Pfizer, Private Access aim to accelerate clinical research via online community

September 2, 2009

Pfizer has entered into a collaboration with Private Access to create a new online community aimed at increasing clinical trial awareness and participation. It will be rolled out in phases starting late this year.

New York —Pfizer has entered into a collaboration with Private Access to create a new online community aimed at increasing clinical trial awareness and participation. It will be rolled out in phases starting late this year.

“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, MD, Pfizer’s chief medical officer. “With unprecedented collaboration among key groups, Pfizer and Private Access believe we can build the pre-eminent online clinical trial community to be used industry-wide to share knowledge while giving patients the confidence and control to share their health information.”

Private Access’ patented technology is designed to allow patients to limit access to all or selected portions of their personal health information to those people and for those purposes they specify. Accessing the information made available by patients, researchers and investigators could conduct more focused searches for clinical trial candidates, the partners believe.

“It still takes months or years and often thousands of dollars per patient to locate individuals for clinical trials that might save or improve lives,” said Robert Shelton, founder and chief executive officer of Private Access. “By introducing technology that honors each patient’s privacy needs, we can leverage the efficiency of Internet-based search for clinical trial patients, speeding up the recruitment process and the discovery of new treatments.”

Greg Simon, senior vice president for worldwide policy at Pfizer, said, “Patients are the most important stakeholders in medical research. By merging respect for their privacy with access to relevant and actionable medical information, we are giving patients more control over their destinies. This collaboration has the potential to accelerate medical progress by putting patients’ needs front and center.”