Updated on 13 September 2013
The Australian government is focused on providing quality education in schools and universities to keep the country on the forefront of science and innovation, which are critical to the continued development of biopharmaceuticals. However, Australia must retain streamlined processes in clinical trial initiation, including its efficient regulatory processes which enable a streamlined single ethics review process. Australia is a great place to initiate early phase work in devices and drugs, and studies can be set up with a good patient pool for these smaller studies.
Listing on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) could also be a challenge affecting the decision of companies to launch in Australia. Besides, early considerations in drug development will be critical to the end point of the products' future and of that of the Australian market. Sharing resources across the globe to assist the markets is one way to overcome some of the challenges that Australia may face due to skill shortages. If a company grows a team of like-minded experts around the region, it will enable Australia to contribute to the global programs in both hemispheres as well as in the emerging markets of the Asia Pacific region.
It is this spirit, which infiltrates the Australian work ethic and a reason why Australia is still regarded and respected as an influential member of the Asia Pacific region. It may not be considered as an operational hub for pharmaceuticals but it has considerable influence in the biotechnology sector.
In terms of discovery research, Australia is competitive in the quality of its researchers, the relative cost for its skilled scientists, and the quality of its laboratory facilities. However, competitors in Asia Pacific are not standing still. Several other regional players have been raising their profiles as countries for quality research and development (R&D) investments while maintaining more cost effective environment than Australia. This is perceived to be an increasingly important threat to R&D activity in Australia.