Clinical trials are the engine room that powers our ability to deliver new treatment options to patients. The rigorous testing and resulting data that help us understand how new treatments work are what propels our industry forward.
We have seen a digital revolution sweep across clinical practice, driven by the extraordinary circumstances of the coronavirus.
With reduced capacity and opportunity for fundraising, extra pressure on support services and attention diverted elsewhere, it will take a long time for them to recover and return to business as usual.
While initial impressions may be that the COVID-19 pandemic is creating a barrier for medical education initiatives, this is not necessarily the case across the board.
Clinical trial delays not only impact the current path forward but potentially (depending on the extent of the delay/disruption) can create hurdles for future regulatory filing, approval and launch. Therefore, as with all functions being affected by the pandemic, adaptability will be critical.
How we remember the COVID-19 pandemic will be decided by the journalists of today who are editing and documenting these unusual times.
In the case of COVID-19, clinical trials – like many other planned activities – have been impacted and many companies have been forced to make some tough choices. When making the difficult, yet necessary, decision to delay a trial, communicating clearly and strategically across all affected audiences is critically important.
Many companies are facing challenging decisions on whether to proceed with clinical trials in the coming months as countries experience varying degrees of lockdown.
Telehealth, in particular, has been waiting for its moment. In the U.S., the first recorded instance of telemedicine happened more than 60 years ago (!) when the Nebraska Psychiatry Institute began using closed-circuit TV for psychiatric consultations.
Clearly the delay/postponement/cancellation of clinical trials owing to the COVID-19 pandemic will have an impact on the availability of data to communicate, but this is not the only way in which the pandemic is reshaping the publications landscape.