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Remote access to drug trials


Paul Hayes


21/11/2018 2:59:53 PM

People in rural areas of North Queensland will have access to ‘potentially life-saving’ cancer drug trials thanks to a new telehealth model.

Queensland Minister for Health Steven Miles said the increased access will help to ‘bridge the gap between the care we can deliver in our metro areas and what we can offer in regional hospitals’.
Queensland Minister for Health Steven Miles said the increased access will help to ‘bridge the gap between the care we can deliver in our metro areas and what we can offer in regional hospitals’.

‘For the first time, all North Queenslanders will have access to the latest drug trials from national and international trial groups and companies,’ Queensland Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services Steven Miles said.
 
Access to the drug trials comes as the result of the Australasian Teletrial Model, which was developed by the Clinical Oncology Society of Australia.
 
Telehealth drug trials will be delivered as the ‘Northern Teletrial Cluster’, which includes Townsville, Cairns, Mackay and North West Hospital and Health Services. Townsville Hospital will initially serve as the primary site, although the role of lead agency will be shared between Townsville, Cairns and Mackay in the future.
 
‘In the past, drug companies have predominately targeted metro areas because the reach of potential patients was much higher,’ Townsville Hospital and Health Service Oncologist Professor Sabe Sabesan, who is described as the ‘architect’ of the new model, said.
 
‘By linking areas of North Queensland, we can increase the availability of suitable patients and really incentivise attracting cutting edge trials to our communities.
 
‘There has been significant progress in treating cancers and it is important our communities are able to access the latest developments.’
 
Robyn Creighton, who lives in Airlie Beach in the state’s Whitsunday region, is the first person to participate in a cancer drug trial via telehealth.
 
Ms Creighton, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in September 2017, would have had to travel seven hours to Townsville every month to participate in a trial. However, she was able to be a participant in the trial by dialling in from Mackay Hospital.
 
‘When I was told I could do it from Mackay I agreed to give it a go,’ she said.
 
‘It didn’t seem fair that I couldn’t take part just because of where I live but I am glad that is starting to change.’



Queensland telehealth Teletrial Model





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