E-MEDICINE: Popular Sites to Recruit for Clinical Trials
Two much-publicized Internet health sites yesterday announced separate partnerships to help clinical trials management firms recruit patients. www.drkoop.com will join Quintiles Transnational Corp. to sign up online visitors for possible participation in trials. The center will give drkoop.com's 1.5 million monthly visitors access to information about existing and forthcoming clinical trials and will screen candidates. Dennis Gillings, Quintiles chair and CEO, said, "Patient enrollment is the number one challenge in completing trials on a timely basis." Dr. C. Everett Koop, the former surgeon general who chairs drkoop.com, added, "Today, only a small percentage of consumers are aware of clinical trials as a health care option, both from the standpoint of receiving a high level of care and in helping develop the latest products to treat debilitating or life-threatening diseases" (drkoop.com release, 6/28). Meanwhile, www.AmericasDoctor.com has agreed to offer links to Boston-based CenterWatch, which provides information to help drug companies conduct their trials, Reuters/Los Angeles Times reports. "The online capability is designed to make it easy for consumers to identify, follow and participate in numerous clinical projects," said Scott Rifkin, CEO of AmericasDoctor.com (Fox, 6/29).
Discover-ing More Competition
In related news, Bethesda, MD-based Discovery Health Media, Inc. has signed a deal with InteliHealth that will allow the established online health company to provide original, exclusive features for a new vertical Internet portal, discoveryhealth.com, scheduled for launch on July 1. Discovery Health Media President John Ford said, "Discoveryhealth.com will cut through the clutter of health information on the Web to emerge as an authority with personality and style -- an engaging 24/7 resource giving consumers the information they need to lead longer, healthier, more vigorous lives." The new site will offer consumers interactive health assessment tools, health databases and reference materials and special features. The launch of the Web site will precede the launch of the Discovery Health Channel on August 2, after which the two resources will offer information simultaneously (Discovery Health Channel release, 6/28).