The Beginning of the End of Clinical Trials As We Know Them?

April 1, 2020
Lisa Henderson

Lisa Henderson is Editor-in-Chief of Applied Clinical Trials and Pharm Exec. She can be reached at lhenderson@mmhgroup.com.

Applied Clinical Trials

Applied Clinical Trials, Applied Clinical Trials-04-01-2020, Volume 29, Issue 4

COVID-19 will not only leave a long legacy on public health, but it may also force companies that have been lagging behind the disruption curve to adopt technologies and processes that will make clinical trials more efficient.

Our own contributor, Moe Alsumidae, recently shared, at the precipice of U.S.-based COVID-19, where clinical trials were already heading. Then, in a video from Madrid, he shared on LinkedIn what many were beginning to think…this had to be the beginning of the end of clinical trials as we know them.

COVID-19 will not only leave a long legacy on public health (and a plethora of other institutions) as we know it, but will it also force companies that have been lagging behind the disruption curve to adopt technologies and processes that will make clinical trials more efficient?

Moe’s was not the only rallying cry. From large technology providers, to executives at large pharma, to doctors-turned-technologists, they posted, issued press releases, and spoke from stay-at-home lockdown to say, “This is the Time.”

Just check our news feed from only the last two weeks of March. Some of it may seem self-serving, but there was no end to the number of companies offering some kind of service, software, or toolkit to help clinical trials during the pandemic. As I write this column at the end of March, we still don’t have a total picture of how many or what types of trials have been suspended by investigators or sponsors in response to the crisis. Ethically, some most go on; others, ethically also, must be put on hold.

Most of those services, software, or toolkits were from providers that, not surprisingly, have a remote, centralized, or patient-centric aspect. Decentralized and hybrid trials had been the words of day coming into 2020; the pandemic is bringing virtual and remote to new heights. If you thought remote monitoring of a clinical trial was too much change for your organization, how did the complete inability to get into a quarantined site to verify source data go?

But, it’s only early April. We are all still scrambling to maintain some semblance of a work life, let alone a personal or family life for the next maybe 30 days. Applied Clinical Trials isn’t your news go-to, we know that. We are the ones that provide practical, hands-on solutions to the current clinical trials industry.

Suffice to say, we are already reshaping our future content to bring the lessons learned from COVID-19 to bear on this next phase of clinical trials. Stay healthy.

 

Lisa Henderson is Editor-in-Chief of Applied Clinical Trials. She can be reached at lhenderson@mmhgroup.com. Follow Lisa on Twitter: @trialsonline

 

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