Internet Can Improve Clinical Trials

A survey of pharmacuetical and biotechnology executives found that they feel the answer to the problems that currently exist in the clinical trial system may be solved using the Internet.

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Ongoing safety monitoring and access to patient data have been cited as concerns with the clinical trial of new drugs by the US Health and Human Services Department.

Eighty percent of those surveyed indicated that the Internet’s ability to provide real-time access to patient data could improve patient safety, while 27 percent of the respondents noted that this access could “greatly improve” the safety of patients enrolled in clinical trials.

The survey was conducted by Phase Forward, a company that offers clinical data collection and management software. It was sent to 446 pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device, and clinical research professionals, and 11 percent responded.

Real-time access to clinical data via the Internet would help reduce the delays in the clinical trial process, according to 86 percent of the respondents. In addition, 82 percent indicated that the Internet would improve the overall quality of clinical trial data.

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Source: IBM

It is currently estimated that it costs pharmaceutical companies $1 million in lost revenue for each day of delay in delivering a new drug to the market, according to Phase Forward. Seventy-one percent of the respondents said that the real-time access to data could help reduce cost overruns of clinical trials.

“It is clear that senior pharmaceutical executives view the Internet as a potential solution for some of the issues that plague the administration and monitoring of human clinical trials,” said Paul Bleicher Ph.D., chairman of Phase Forward. He predicts that in 1999 pharmaceutical companies will embrace the Internet as the way to speed up the delivery of new therapies to market.

Virtually all (94 percent) of the executives surveyed said they are considering using the Internet in conducting clinical trails, with about half of responding they are “probably” or “definitely” planning to use the Internet.

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Source: IBM

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