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Pfizer launches virtual clinical trial

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 14 June 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d3722
  1. Bob Roehr
  1. 1Washington, DC

The giant drug company Pfizer is conducting a “virtual” clinical trial that relies solely on electronic rather than face to face encounters between researchers and participants. It announced the trial on 7 June at a conference on clinical trials held on the Bethesda, Maryland, campus of the US National Institutes of Health.

Freda Lewis-Hall, Pfizer’s chief medical officer, said that the company is trying to reduce barriers to participation in clinical trials; to offer a consistently strong experience that does not vary by location; and potentially to save money in conducting trials in the future, if the concept proves viable.

Surveys of patients show that the …

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