Australian medicine exports take a tumble

Australian medicine exports take a tumble article image

Exports of medicine from Australia fell by 13.5 percent last financial year – the lowest level for eight years.  

The total value of medicine exports for the year was A$3.36 billion, according to Medicines Australia.  

“While the Australian medicines industry remains one of Australia's leading manufacturing exporters, a fall of 13.5 percent in exports in one year is a real worry,” said Dr Brendan Shaw, Medicines Australia’s chief executive.  

The sector has been a strong achiever in the manufacturing sector over several years.  

“For years the medicines industry has been a beacon of hope in Australia's innovative manufacturing sector, averaging $4 billion in exports each year for the past several years,” Dr Shaw said.  

The downturn in exports could be attributed to ongoing restructuring for the Australian industry.  

To encourage an innovative medicines industry in Australia, the following is needed, Dr Shaw said:  

  • A supportive environment in pharmaceutical benefits scheme policy and intellectual property
  • Reform in regulations for clinical trials and data
  • A culture of collaboration between public research and private industry  

Medicines Australia recently lodged a submission with the Senate Economics References Committee’s inquiry into the Australian innovation system.  

The submission contains recommendations aimed at revitalizing the sector. 


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