Pfizer clinical trials portal stresses privacy

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Pfizer is launching an “online community” designed to speed clinical trials recruitment while safeguarding patient privacy rights.

Pfizer is collaborating with software developer Private Access on the portal. The firm's proprietary technology lets patients control to whom and for what purposes they grant access to their personal health info, so that they can, for example, allow only researchers focused on the conditions that interest them access.

The company cited an Institute of Medicine study that found that the number one reason patients who were aware of trials were not willing to participate was fear that their health info would not remain confidential.

“Many patients who could benefit from participation in clinical trials don't enroll in them because they are not aware that potentially relevant research is underway or they cannot find a specific trial to meet their needs,” said Pfizer chief medical officer Freda Lewis-Hall, MD. “Others worry that they will lose control of their health information.

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