Country Report: Australia - Pharmaceutical Executive


Country Report: Australia
Where Value Beats Cost

Pharmaceutical Executive

Professor Warwick Anderson, CEO, NHMRC
These promising developments led Medicines Australia to unfold a highly ambitious agenda. The vision is to double the manufacturing output from AUD7 billion (USD7.34 billion) in 2012 to AUD14 billion (USD14.68 billion) over the next decade and to establish a number of highly specialised bio-manufacturing plants, to double exports from AUD4 billion (USD4.19 billion) to AUD8 billion (USD8.39 billion); and to double R&D investment from AUD1 billion (USD1.05 billion) to AUD2 billion (USD2.1 billion), to create many more high-skilled jobs and increase the number of Australians accessing clinical trials to 30,000.

Robert Hendriks, Managing Director, Genzyme
Some doubt, however, whether the nation is sufficiently aware of the value of this highly innovative industry to generate the support needed to realize these plans. Making the importance of the industry clear can be especially challenging against the backdrop of a massive natural resource-driven economic boom that made Australian per capita GNP overtake the US' in 2011 (USD49.130 for Australia and USD48.620 for the US) according to World Bank data. This led the International Monetary Fund in April 2012 to predict that Australia would be the best performing major advanced economy in the world over the next two years.

"We need to keep our policy makers understanding that booms in minerals and coals come and go; we need to balance that with industries built on brains, and the Australian medicines industry has shown that it can fulfill a balancing role," said professor Warwick Anderson, CEO of the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), Australia's medical research-funding organ that is responsible for handing out AUD0.8 billion in subsidies in 2012.

Paradoxically, today's biggest challenge to Australia's pharmaceutical industry indirectly comes from the nation's rapidly ageing population. The Australian government is looking to contain soaring health expenditures through reform of its pharmaceutical reimbursement system.


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Source: Pharmaceutical Executive,
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