Patients will be persuaded to try medical trials to access
next-generation treatments while bolstering Australia’s biotechnology industry.
A new push to open clinical trials of the latest emerging
treatments — including lifesaving drugs such as that which saved Hawthorn
captain Jarry Roughead’s life — is being launched by the Federal Government.
Hawthorn captain Jarryd Roughead and Australian of the Year
Ian Frazer will lead the Helping our Health awareness campaign as part of a
$248 million boost for clinical trial activity.
Having overcome melanoma with the groundbreaking
immunotherapy treatment Opdivo during a 2016 clinical trial, Roughead said he
was proud to be advocating for such an important cause.
“Without clinical trials, the treatment I received for
melanoma would not have been possible,” Roughead said.
More than 1000 clinical trials are currently underway in
Australia which Health Minister Greg Hunt said offer the hope of better
diagnosis, treatment and ultimately cures.
“Clinical trials are about saving lives and protecting
lives,” he said.
“We are investing significantly to open up access to new
medicines that help Australian patients.”
The Helping our Health campaign will feature advertising
throughout the media as well as in clinical settings to encourage people to
sign up for a clinical trial.
Professor Ian Frazer said trials offered the means to move
medical research out of the lab and into practice.
The original version of this article appeared here on the Herald Sun. Below is the full text of this morning's press release from the Minister for Health, the Hon. Greg Hunt.
AFL superstar joins push to get more Aussies into clinical
The Turnbull Government is launching a national awareness
campaign to get to get more Australians into ground-breaking clinical trials,
opening up access to life-saving new medicines and treatments.
The Helping Our Health awareness campaign will be led by
four-time AFL premiership player and Hawthorn Football Club Captain, Jarryd
Roughhead will be the official ambassador for the campaign
and signed up after gaining an understanding of the importance and benefits of
clinical trials following his own health scare.
In 2016 Roughead received news that a melanoma on his lip –
detected and removed in 2015 – had spread. A biopsy confirmed four small spots
on Roughead's lungs were cancerous.
Jarryd’s treating doctor Professor Grant McArthur from Peter
MacCallum Centre, suggested that Jarryd consider a new immunotherapy treatment
that was at the time being tested in clinical trials.
The clinical trial tested the effect of a combination of two
immunotherapy drugs, Opdivo (nivolumab) and Yervoy (Ipilimumab).
Jarryd began treatment in June 2016 and by November 2016 was
given the official all clear and declared cancer free.
This is the power of clinical trials and we want more
Australians to access them. They offer hope of better diagnosis, treatment and
Jarryd Roughead said “The effective treatment of Australians
living with medical conditions were in part dependent on the success of
clinical trials and innovative research.
"I am proud to be advocating for such an important
cause. Without clinical trials, the treatment I received for melanoma would not
have been possible," Roughead said.
Helping our Health will feature a range of social and
digital advertisements telling the success stories of Australian patients who
have been through, and benefited from clinical trials, encouraging people to
sign up for a clinical trial.
Former Australian of the Year Professor Ian Frazer said
“Clinical trials are the means by which we move medical research into clinical
practice for the benefit of the general public. They are the innovation that
drives health system improvement and given us prolonged and healthier lives.”
Only last week the Turnbull Government announced a $248
million investment to support clinical trials for Australian patients with rare
cancers and rare diseases, and unmet need clinical trials and registries
In the 2018-19 Budget we announced our commitment to deliver
$6 billion in record funding for Australia’s health and medical research
sector, including $3.5 billion for the National Health and Medical Research
Council, $2 billion in disbursements from the Medical Research Future Fund and
$500 million from the Biomedical Translation Fund.
The foundation of the Government’s commitment to health and
medical research is a new job boosting $1.3 billion National Health and Medical
Industry Growth Plan, to improve health outcomes for hundreds of thousands of
Australians, create tens of thousands of new jobs, and develop the next
generation of Australia’s global leading industries.
Further info visit AustralianClinicalTrials.gov.au