NIH Director Zerhouni Calls for More Participation in Medical Research
Medical researchers should improve efforts to share data from clinical trials and find more individuals to participate in trials, NIH Director Elias Zerhouni told health reporters on Friday at the Association of Health Care Journalists national conference in Minneapolis, the Omaha World-Herald reports. Zerhouni proposed an Internet-based system that would allow researchers to post current data from clinical trials and information about patients with multiple conditions. He said, "We need to have much greater participation" in clinical trials, adding, "We no longer want to do research to patients or ... on subjects. We want to do research with subjects." Zerhouni also said that rather than seek to identify causes of diseases based on symptoms, researchers must "catalog the functions of one million or more tiny proteins and track the interplay of those molecules over the course of a human lifetime," the World-Herald reports. He added that NIH hopes to build public library of such information in the next five to six years to allow researchers in one field to find applications for molecules that those in others did not find. "Viagra wasn't developed for erectile dysfunction. It was developed (and failed) as a cardiac drug," Zerhouni said (Aksamit, Omaha World-Herald, 3/27).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.