‘No going back’ for clinical trials after COVID
Trial sites have adapted swiftly to the restrictions of COVID-19, and patients have seen many knock-on benefits as a result. The next step is ensuring the industry does not regress to old ways of working once the pandemic is over, say Karen McIntyre and Allyson Small.
COVID-19 has changed everything for clinical trials – but in most cases these are changes that were well overdue.
“For years and years, the industry has debated the practicalities and safety of decentralising clinical trials, using telemedicine, and where study activities should take place,” says Karen McIntyre, executive director, global lead Catalyst Program & site relationships at Syneos Health. “We were always having these discussions, but nothing moved forward.”
When the pandemic hit, regulators around the world rapidly updated their guidelines to reflect the realities of conducting trials amidst lockdowns and social distancing mandates.
“For example, drugs are now able to be delivered directly to patients to allow for a clinical trial visit to take place remotely,” says McIntyre.