Large American drugmakers from Eli Lilly and Co to Bristol Myers Squibb report they will delay the start of new clinical trials in part to help free up doctors and healthcare facilities to address the handle the growing pandemic spreading across the nation.
The two companies are the biggest yet to announce clinical trials delays based on a contagion that has killed 16,000 people in just weeks. Many smaller biotech firms have already announced delays and even suspensions. Of course, these decisions don’t involve trials or drugs that could be tested on COVID-19 patients.
Recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration urged the switching to virtual patient visits rather than in-person monitoring when conducting clinical trials. This recommendation actually aligns with what the FDA has already suggested when it comes to various electronic productivity and efficiency gains for the biopharmaceutical sponsor. Now companies can truly embrace electronic clinical trial technologies including new telehealth platforms for example.
Company Delays and Financial Hit to do the ‘Right Thing’
Of course, the delays announced impact the company’s business model as now clinical trials on hold will take longer, and cost more. Share prices may be influenced and drugs delayed but frankly, this is a small price to pay given what could happen to human life in the short run. TrialSite News is thankful for Eli Lilly and Bristol Myers Squibb for doing the right thing, putting other business on hold and contributing to the COVID-19 vaccine and treatment effort.