The Clinical Trials Action Group (CTAG) was established to identify and progress necessary reforms to secure Australia’s competitiveness in the clinical trials sector. This was partly in response to issues raised in the Pharmaceuticals Industry Strategy Group (PISG) Final Report, which was released on 30 January 2009. The CTAG was established as a subgroup of the Pharmaceuticals Industry Working Group (PIWG).
The CTAG sought advice from a wide range of key clinical trials stakeholders from Australian, state and territory governments, hospitals, clinicians, researchers and industry, who participated in five expert reference groups. The CTAG also received public submissions to inform their report. The CTAG report Clinically competitive: boosting the business of clinical trials in Australia was released on 3 March 2011. The report tasked the then Department of Innovation, Industry, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education (the department) with the following responsibilities:
- Recommendation F: together with the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), investigate and prepare a study on the feasibility of creating a comprehensive and searchable national clinical trials web portal. The department contracted the Australian E-Health Research Centre (AEHRC) to undertake this investigation.
- Recommendation H: to work with the Department of Health and Ageing, health consumer groups and other stakeholders to develop consumer information on the benefits of clinical trials. The department contracted the Consumers Health Forum of Australia (CHF) to develop a consumer factsheet on clinical trials titled "Consumer Guide to Clinical Trials", to assist in raising the general community and consumers' understanding and awareness of clinical trials
- Recommendation J: to collate available material about the value and performance of clinical trials. The department assisted Medicines Australia to conduct a "Survey of Privately Funded Clinical Research in Australia" which was released in February 2012.
Australian Clinical Trials Website
On 11 October 2012, the Minister for Health the Hon Tanya Plibersek MP and the Minister for Industry and Innovation the Hon Greg Combet AM MP, launched a new Australian Clinical Trials website. The website offers patients, healthcare providers, researchers and the general public easier access to information about clinical trials of new drugs, treatments and medical procedures, and represents the Australian Government’s continued work in implementing the CTAG recommendations. The NHMRC was responsible for building the website, while the department provided $40,000 to support its development.
CTAG Coordination Group and Report Implementation
To assist in implementing the recommendations of the Clinical Trials Action Group (CTAG) report, it was decided at the Pharmaceuticals Industry Working Group (PIWG) meeting of 2 May 2011, that a CTAG Coordination Group (the Group) be formed. This group comprises relevant state and federal government agencies as well as industry stakeholders, consumer representatives and researchers.
The Group met for the first time on 21 June 2011 and meets every four to five weeks. The Group's meeting summaries are provided below:
For enquiries contact:
Manager, Biomedical Industry & Strategy Section
Pharmaceuticals and Transformative Industries Branch
Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education
GPO Box 9839
Canberra ACT 2601