National Diagnostic Action Plan Preliminary Findings Published

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03 November 2022

MTPConnect has been engaged by the Department of Industry, Science and Resources (DISR) to develop a National Action Plan for establishing end-to-end sovereign manufacturing capability for diagnostic products in Australia. The project is mid-way to be being delivered in partnership with Pathology Technology Australia (PTA) and supported by HTANALYSTS.

Currently, more than 97 percent of the in vitro diagnostic (IVD) products used in Australia are imported, exposing Australia to supply shortages during periods of high demand and stress on global supply chains.

To better understand the diagnostics testing landscape – including the current value chain, manufacturing capabilities and supply chain resilience – MTPConnect, PTA and HTANALYSTS have been reviewing the current landscape and conducting interviews across Australia in a 3-phase consultation process with a diverse range of stakeholders, to gain insights into the current barriers and opportunities across the value chain of in vitro diagnostic (IVD) tests and technologies.

In an interim report published today, the preliminary findings from the stakeholder engagement process at the six-month mark, show a clear consensus has emerged that Australia is vulnerable to supply chain disruptions driven by geopolitical instability, which means it is critical to improve sovereign manufacturing capabilities, as well as the resilience of the supply chain.

However, despite the presence of some Australian companies developing, manufacturing and selling diagnostic tests locally and overseas, the current environment to develop sovereign manufacturing capability is still perceived to be unfavourable by a range of stakeholders.

The interim report identifies key barriers to the growth of Australia’s diagnostics product sector, covering the full R&D, manufacturing and commercialisation cycle. It also outlines potential actions for further consultation that could make a favourable impact.

MTPConnect CEO Stuart Dignam welcomed the mid project update from the Australian Diagnostics Action Plan Team (ADAPT) who have been on the road travelling for the last few months interviewing stakeholders including researchers, funders, pathologists, regulation and governing bodies, SMEs, manufacturers, global corporates, start-ups, and scale ups.

“The preliminary findings highlight the issues and challenges in front of us if we want to establish Australia as a regional centre of excellence for diagnostic technology manufacturing. This is just the start of our research and analysis and our final report will provide a National Action Plan to make that happen,” he said.

The interim report has been developed from Phase I interviews conducted in three states and focuses mainly on manufacturing capabilities. Data from the remaining three states will be analysed in the final report.

Further research on the supply chain resilience topic will continue through Phase II and III and will inform the recommendations in the final report, due in April 2023.

Download the interim report