CLINICAL TRIALS: Online Federal Database Debuts Today
The federal government's National Library of Medicine today will launch an online database of all clinical trials for serious illnesses. The site aims to boost enrollment in trials while helping patients understand how the experiments work and what questions they should ask to fully understand the risks involved. The free database so far contains 4,000 studies at 47,000 sites nationwide, mostly sponsored by government agencies or universities. Because Congress has ordered that the registry be comprehensive, more studies, particularly drug company trials, are expected to be added. Each study lists a telephone number to contact researchers about enrollment and further questions. The registry is available at http://clinicaltrials .gov (AP/New York Times, 2/28).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.