Increased data sharing and greater interoperability of electronic health records are needed to modernize and improve America’s clinical trial process, according to witnesses who testified at a July 9 congressional hearing.

The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health examined how improvements to clinical trials can accelerate the discovery, development, and delivery cycle of new cures and treatments. The problem is that fewer new drugs reach patients each year, argued subcommittee chairman Joseph Pitts (R-Penn.), and on average it takes about 14 years and $2 billion to bring a new drug to the market, with a large portion of the cost spent on recruiting and retaining subjects for clinical trials.

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