Medical, pharmaceutical research held back by "red tape" in Australia: scientific agency

Source: Xinhua| 2017-04-04 08:52:45|Editor: Xiang Bo
Video PlayerClose

CANBERRA, April 4 (Xinhua) -- Australia's leading scientific research agency has lamented the outdated regulations relating to medical and pharmaceutical research, claiming that many contracts are being taken overseas because of the political "red tape" in Australia.

Researchers from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) have outlined their plans for a clearer "roadmap" for medical research in Australia -- a field which currently employs 48,000 Australians and is worth 4.4 billion Australian dollars (3.35 billion U.S. dollars) annually.

Speaking to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) on Tuesday morning, the CSIRO's health and biosecurity director, Rob Grenfell said that Australia required a more "agile" system to back Australian medical and pharmaceutical research as, currently, many ventures were heading overseas as it was easier and faster to gain approval and regulation.

"Australia rates very high on innovation and discovery and sadly we're almost on the bottom of the developed world with regards to translation of that into commercial success," Grenfell said.

"To give you an example, we have recently licensed a bowel cancer sensing test, which of course is very, very accurate for detecting recurrent bowel cancer."

"We've managed to license this in the U.S. and it's being now marketed through the largest pathology company in the world, yet we're still taking it through the pathways of our own regulatory system," he said.

Grenfell's colleague and the CSIRO's manufacturing director, Keith McLean said it could be an easy fix for the government, and urged lawmakers to simplify the regulatory process for undertaking vital research.

"What we're really trying to do here is create the jobs and the technologies of the future, create exports for Australia, you know our market in this space," he said.