Clinical Trials in Australia

Clinical trials are an integral part of the research and development of new treatments, interventions or tests, and the refinement of existing standards of care and clinical practices. As such, they are vital to the future of global healthcare.

In 2015, 1,360 clinical trials were started in Australia, including 473 industry sponsored trials [i]. Australian clinical trials are growing at a fast rate, outpacing the U.S., the UK and the global average by roughly five-per-cent per year. Approximately 6,900 jobs have been supported and/or created since 2015 [ii] with a potential for up to 6,000 new highly skilled jobs to be created in the next 10 years.

Australia invested $1.1 billion in gross expenditure on ongoing trials in 2015, which included $930 million from industry sponsors with the exciting potential to surpass $2 billion in the next 10 years.

MTPConnect’s report 'Clinical Trials in Australia: the economic profile and competitive position of the sector' is the first comprehensive overview of the entire clinical trials landscape in Australia. Produced in collaboration with L.E.K Consulting and funded by the Australian Government under the Industry Growth Centre Initiative, this report includes input from a range of sector participants and stakeholders. Whilst previous reports on the activity and economic profile of clinical trials have focused on sub-segments of the sector, MTPConnect's report provides a holistic overview of clinical trials in Australia. This includes investigative and observational trials, trials conducted in public and private settings, and trials sponsored by both industry and non-industry sponsors.

The report highlights the significant contribution that the conduct of clinical trials makes to the Australian economy, evaluates Australia's strong competitive position in the world market, and details priorities and highlights potential for future growth.


[i] ANZCTR and – combined by ANZCTR; L.E.K analysis

[ii] Pharmaceutical Industry Council; L.E.K analysis