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Benefits of medical research

Australian patients are usually the first to benefit from Australian discoveries.

Examples of important discoveries made by Australian researchers include:

  • Colony stimulating factors (CSFs) which are used for treating cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. Australian cancer patients had first access to these new medicines that have now improved the quality of life of more than 10 million people.
  • New targeted anti-cancer-cell survival medicines for the treatment of lymphoma and other blood cancers. These are currently being trialled first in Australia.

Protecting medical research funding will allow medical researchers in Australia to continue to make discoveries that will improve healthcare in the future.

Medical research improves long-term health outcomes of all Australians

  • Medical research funding in Australia is concentrated on our biggest health problems, including heart disease, obesity, diabetes and cancer
  • Researchers are working on ‘closing the gap’ and improving the health and wellbeing of indigenous Australians.

Reducing medical research funding in Australia will decrease our capacity to respond to the unique healthcare needs of Australians.

Medical research boosts the Australian economy

  • Every $1 invested in the Australian health research and development sector returned at least $5 in national economic development (Access Economics, 2003)
  • The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), which distributes Australian Government medical research funds, supported more than 8,000 jobs in Australia in 2010.

A cut to medical research funding will cause job losses and have a negative impact on the economy. It also has the real potential to force Australia’s best researchers to pursue career opportunities overseas.

Medical research is a long-term investment that requires ongoing support

  • Developing new treatments and therapes requires teams of expert researchers. The journey from an initial discovery to patient benefit occurs over years (even decades)
  • The Australian Government has invested heavily in the medical research sector in the past decade, resulting in many research projects that are now close to yielding improvements in healthcare.

A withdrawal of funds in the federal budget will result in the cancellation of some medical research projects, negating years of investment.

Discoveries Need Dollars

  • Medical and scientific research is an expensive enterprise. Enormous costs are involved in making the fundamental discoveries that lead to breakthroughs in the treatment of diseases such as cancer, heart disease, type 1 diabetes and other human health issues
  • Medical research is a global enterprise, and is fiercely competitive. Cuts to the medical research budget will drive our best scientists overseas, to those countries that value them and are willing to invest in the future health of their citizens.

Medical research relies on community support. Cutbacks in medical research funding are not an option.