Australia goes online for clinical trials awareness

Australia's government has acknowledged the impact of the Digital Age on clinical trials. The government last week launched a website with information about clinical research of treatments, with an eye toward boosting public awareness of the studies as well as making the country competitive in the clinical trials sector.

From a public health perspective, the Australian Clinical Trials portal gives chronically ill patients in the region an online destination to search for new treatments under development in the country, as an AAP article notes. Meanwhile, the government is grappling with competition for clinical trials, which can be a lucrative source of income for medical centers. Yet many trials are going overseas to China, India, Russia and other hot destinations for drug studies.

Australia's clinical trials website follows others such as the U.S. government's ClinicalTrials.gov and similar online venues in Europe. The Internet has become one of the first places patients go for information about their conditions, and clinical trials websites have helped drug companies inform patients and clinicians about experimental therapies under development. Both the governments that manage the websites and drug companies benefit from having the information available online.

"The launch of the Australian Clinical Trials Portal is an important first step in improving the public's understanding of clinical trials and benefits such as faster access to new treatments," said Jason Smith, CEO of Novartis Pharmaceuticals Australia, in a statement.

- check out the AAP article
- and Novartis' statement

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