Updated on 9 August 2013
Dr Deborah Rathjen - The new chair of Australia's Pharmaceuticals Industry Council (PIC)
Singapore: Dr Deborah Rathjen, managing director of Bionomics and chair of AusBiotech, has been elected as the chair of the Pharmaceuticals Industry Council (PIC). Dr Rathjen will hold this position until at least June 2014.
Dr Rathjen said she is delighted to be named the PIC's chair. "The Australian biopharmaceuticals industry faces many serious challenges, such as the constant danger of further price cuts, a declining number of clinical trials conducted in this country, a shortage of incentives to support the growth of Australia's medical biotechnology sector and a complete lack of globally competitive incentives to encourage manufacturing investment in Australia," she said.
She also said, "Even so, with the rise of Asia, we have an incredible opportunity to position Australia as a regional biopharmaceutical manufacturing and R&D hub. Australia boasts some of the world's best scientists and research infrastructure. And we are world renowned for manufacturing medicines and vaccines of the very best quality. To capitalize on this unique opportunity, we need well-designed policies that encourage the full spectrum of activities in this high-value industry, from basic R&D to full scale manufacturing."
Dr Rathjen also paid tribute to her predecessor, Dr Martin Cross, who stepped down from the position in June. She said, "I want to thank Martin for his leadership of the PIC over the past 18 months. He is an exceptional advocate for the industry, and we will miss his enthusiasm and remarkable advocacy skills."
Dr Rathjen said that she looks forward to working with fellow PIC members, the Australian Government and other stakeholders to ensure a positive operating environment for the Australian biopharmaceuticals industry.