Pfizer to roll out trial-based social networking site

A new form of online matchmaking could offer drug developers added hope for achieving one of their greatest desires: More efficient clinical trial recruitment. Pfizer is teaming up with the IT outfit Private Access to create a social networking site that can help bring together patients and clinical trial researchers.

Once the site is up and running, patients will have the opportunity to confidentially post personal health information that will only be made available to researchers studying their particular condition. Trial sponsors can use the site to recruit patients and patients will have a shot at learning more about the studies that relate directly to them.

"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 under way or they cannot find a specific trial to meet their needs; others worry that they will lose control of their health information," said Freda Lewis-Hall, M.D., Pfizer's chief medical officer. "With unprecedented collaboration among key groups, Pfizer and Private Access believe we can build the preeminent online clinical trial community to be used industry-wide to share knowledge while giving patients the confidence and control to share their health information."

- check out the press release
- read the AP report