The Medical Research Future Fund was passed by the Senate yesterday, a multi-billion dollar program to invest in and strengthen Australia’s standing as a leader in medical research.
The Fund is the first of its kind internationally and will provide predictable and stable funding into medical research, starting with $10 million this 2015-16 financial year, with $400 million expected over the next four years.
The independence of the Fund has been questioned by several Labor and Greens MPs, with concerns that the funding decision processes leave the Government exposed to lobbying, mostly due to the lack of peer and expert review requirements.
However there have been assurances, such as the establishment of an independent advisory board, including the permanent seat for NHMRC CEO, with the remaining advisors to be announced shortly. Other amendments have been made following recommendations from The Australian Greens and the Community Affairs Legislation Committee inquiry into the Bills.
Research Path welcomes this announcement and is committed to working alongside Australian research institutions to explore novel and improved clinical practice, medical devices, and patient care models that will ultimately improve patient outcomes in Australia and internationally.
We are strong advocates for evidenced-based decisions to support the allocation of medical research funding, and as AllTrials.net signatories, we support transparency for all clinical trial results. We hope to see tightening of requirements around fund allocation as the Fund is established over the coming few months.