New Zealand Launches New Clinical Trials Portal
The New Zealand Innovation Hub has launched a clinical trials portal, a partnership between four of the country's largest District Health Boards, which will inform researchers, clinicians, the industry and the public about on-going clinical trial activity in New Zealand.
The initiative, which follows one of the recommendations made by the Health Committee in June 2011 on supporting innovation through clinical trials, will "promote and coordinate clinical trial activity in New Zealand, as does the wider activity of the Health Innovation Hub, Minister of Health Tony Ryall said at the launch.
Established earlier this year, the Hub includes the District Health Boards for Auckland, Canterbury, Counties Manukau and Waitemata, and promotes creation of new solutions in health technologies, and implementation of existing ones across New Zealand. The District Health Boards will contribute $7.5 million in total over five years to the Hub, in addition to providing expert clinical advice.
The clinical trials portal follows a strategy of focusing increased health spending on “definable, measurable initiatives that achieve results – and make a real difference to New Zealanders’ health,” Ryall commented.
The portal will help to connect New Zealanders with clinical trials of new therapies “in a very tangible way”, Ryall explained. The portal features a list of on-going trials, as well as provides information on inclusion and exclusion criteria that streamlines the process of identifying potentially eligible participants. Users can browse the new website by diseases, types of trials, and stage of recruitment. They can also learn about the terms and procedures related to conducting clinical trials, including but not limited to study types, primary and secondary outcome measures and publication of results.
“We know New Zealand is an attractive place for clinical trials,” Ryall added. “We have a first-rate public health system; an outstanding clinical workforce, and many researchers recognized internationally as world leaders in their fields.”
Earlier this year, a National Clinical Trial Network, a not-for-profit cooperation between the National Health Index, National Minority Quality Forum, and Microsoft Corporation was inaugurated in the U.S., combining data about disease prevalence and impact by region, with information about on-going research. A similar initiative has been put forward by the U.S. National Cancer Institute, which links researchers working on different studies across the country. Both projects stand on top of ClinicalTrials.gov, the world’s largest clinical trial registry operating today, managed by the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
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