Australia has an expanding medical manufacturing industry with pharmaceutical giants such as Astra Zeneca, CSL, GlaxoSmithKline, Merck, Novartis, and Pfizer engaging Australian contract development and manufacturing organizations (CDMOs) in development of therapies. It has been setting global standards for innovation and quality and its medicines are much in demand. Medical manufacturing is part of Australia’s diverse and dynamic manufacturing sector which has been growing in different areas and making quality end products. It leads to the question – what is the secret sauce which enables Australia’s manufacturing to be so highly regarded? Let us explore this question further in this blog.
Support from Government
The Australian government has been facilitating conditions for growth, innovation, and further investment in medical manufacturing. Making medical products and medicines requires state-of-the-art, skilled, advanced manufacturing and sheet metal fabrication processes. Governments and industry must work hand in hand to make the most of the opportunities. The Liberal National Party’s Modern Manufacturing Strategy, developed in close consultation with industry, set a solid foundation to build up Australia’s industrial base. The Coalition’s Modern Manufacturing Strategy provided a long-term vision to support the scale and competitiveness of medical manufacturing. It outlined opportunities for Australian businesses based on strengths, emerging industry trends and market potential. A roadmap was laid out on how industry and government, together, could capture opportunities and address barriers to scale. This plan was backed with investment to support companies that want to grow their manufacturing locally. Building up Australian medical products and medicines manufacturing requires specific things from governments: they must ensure they build a skilled workforce so the sector can commercialize technologies and advanced manufacturing capabilities. Governments are the main customers for many medical products so government procurement must function well so that SMEs have the opportunity to provide services and products.
Asian Market and Complementary Medicine
Demand for health therapeutics in Asia is growing in line with its ageing population. The share of the population aged 65 years and over is expected to increase by nearly 2.5 times in the next decades. Treatments for the two leading causes of death – cardiovascular disease and cancer – will be welcomed. Australia’s proximity to and close business ties with Asia offer trade opportunities, including trade benefits as a result of steel manufacturing. Medicines manufactured in Australia can be exported across the region. Australia has free trade agreements with Asia’s largest economies, including China, Japan, and Korea, as well as fast-growing ASEAN countries. Australia also has strong relationships with Asia’s leading universities and research institutions, opening up possibilities for R&D collaborations. As the booming populations of south and south-east-Asian middle classes grow, Australian-made medical products should be their first port of call.
Australia are world leaders in manufacturing complementary medicines. They are known for great produce, innovation, and quality-assured products — this is doubly so in medicine and preventative health. Complementary medicine manufacturing is a high-demand and high-growth industry. The medical products and medicines sector today supports 30,000 workers across the supply chain, and more than 2,500 manufacturing workers. It is a sector that needs to hit the highest of benchmarks for quality and safety. However, globally recognized regulation needs to balance safety and trust with market access. Government must support businesses as they navigate new markets so they can compete globally.
The medical manufacturing sector has been a priority for Australian governments and this approach is expected to continue in the future. The government is expected to announce further grants and incentives to heavy steel fabrication companies to support medical manufacturing and partnerships and collaborations are predicted to grow as well. A highly developed medical innovation ecosystem is to be leveraged on the back of Australia’s strong manufacturing base – and the future looks bright for this sector!