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COVID-19 Expected to Interrupt up to a Third of Clinical Trials, Survey Says

March 18, 2020

As many as one-third of clinical research study sites were anticipating significant COVID-19-related interruptions to clinical trial recruitment and retention rates in the weeks and months ahead, according to a survey.

The survey was conducted by Continuum Clinical March 12-13 in the United States prior to the federal government’s declaration of a National Emergency and states moved to limit the daily activities of their residents.

In the first two months of 2020, sites exhibited extremely consistent performance in reaching out to potential trial participants. However, the week of March 9 saw a major drop in responsiveness – well below levels of any time this year.

Initial results indicate multiple areas of concern for study sites, highlighting an expected significant impact on clinical trial recruitment.

Nearly 30 percent of responding sites said the coronavirus pandemic will have a big or extremely big impact on their ability to recruit patients for new trials and to keep already-enrolled patients compliant with their study schedules. Neil Weisman, president of Continuum Clinical said study sites are bracing for a recruitment and retention problem.

In the study, 39 percent of U.S. sites surveyed said they believe patients will be much less or somewhat less likely to enroll in new clinical research trials; 25 percent of sites indicated they expect patients currently enrolled in a trial to be much less or somewhat less willing to continue their participation.

In the study, non-academic hospital sites were more likely to say recruiting new patients has been a challenge, whereas sites in academic institutions were more likely to say retention of currently enrolled patients has been the biggest challenge.

 “The data show a clear early signal that we’re entering an inflection point in trial sites’ confidence about patient willingness to participate in research as a response to the outbreak,” said Paul Ivsin, clinical vice president of data and analytics.

Author: Rare Daily Staff

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