National Institutes of Health’s ClinicalTrials.gov Web Site Wins Prestigious Award|
Web site gives patients and families facing life-threatening illnesses access to centralized information on clinical trials
Bethesda, Maryland ClinicalTrials.gov, the Web site developed by
the National Library of Medicine (NLM) as an information service
of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the U.S. Department
of Health and Human Services (HHS), was the recipient of Harvard
University's prestigious "Oscar" of government awards the
Innovations in American Government Award. ClinicalTrials.gov, one
of five winners of the award, will receive a $100,000 grant to support
HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson noted that ClinicalTrials.gov is
a good example of how government can improve access to vital health
care information for all Americans. "It is an important element
in this Administration's initiative to improve the health care system
through the application of advanced health information technology,"
Secretary Thompson said.
Elias A. Zerhouni, M.D., Director of the National Institutes of
Health, added, "We are extremely proud of this resource. It
is accessible to all and written in a manner that patients can understand.
The site tells the public about the location of clinical trials,
what they are trying to do, where they are located and how any member
of the public can volunteer to participate. Even more, it links
to additional information about diseases and disorders. We are delighted
by this recognition."
ClinicalTrials.gov grew out of 1997 legislation that required HHS
to broaden the public's access to information about clinical trials
on a wide range of serious or life-threatening diseases by establishing
a registry for both federally and privately funded trials (<http://clinicaltrials.gov/>).
ClinicalTrials.gov is a completely confidential Web site. No registration
or personal identification of any kind is required. People who search
the site are not contacted by the sponsors of clinical trials or
"Created in 2000, the Web site gives patients and families
convenient access to information on clinical trials for a wide range
of diseases and conditions," said Donald A.B. Lindberg, M.D.,
Director of the National Library of Medicine. "If we are to
continue to make the giant strides in diagnosis, treatment, and
cure of illness that marked the last century, we must have the participation
in clinical trials by well-informed volunteers."
Alexa T. McCray, Ph.D., who directs the ClinicalTrials.gov project,
remarked, "Most gratifying to us has been the reaction of our
users. Our primary, overriding goal is to provide patients, their
families, and other interested individuals with high-quality, reliable
Traffic on the site is one measure of its value. Since its inception,
the site has logged more than 75 million hits. During the last two
years, daily visitors to the site have more than doubled from 7,130
to 16,055. In February 2000, ClinicalTrials.gov included about 4,400
trials. Today, that number has more than doubled to 11,000.
The Innovations in American Government Awards is a program of the
Ash Institute for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard
University's Kennedy School of Government. The award is administered
in partnership with the Council for Excellence in Government.
Located in Bethesda, Maryland, the National Library of Medicine,
the world's largest library of the health sciences, is a component
of the National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human