The COVID-19 pandemic has affected pharmaceutical companies’ abilities to conduct clinical trials and drug development programmes safely.

GlobalData has conducted a survey to identify how the COVID-19 pandemic affected clinical trial planning for companies in the first and third quarters of 2020.

An analysis of the responses reveals that the companies believe that the pandemic will affect patient recruitment for the planning of trials as expressed by30% of the respondents in Q1, although the percentage dropped to 26% in Q3.

Investigator recruitment and supply of clinical trial materials were considered as the next major concerns by 17% of the respondents each in Q1, which dropped to 12% and 15%, respectively, in Q3.

Clinical trial disruptions Q1 vs Q3

Effect of coronavirus on clinical trial planning Q1 vs Q3

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Cancelling or postponing trials was being considered by approximately 14% of the respondents in Q1, which increased to 17% in Q3.

The concerns regarding regulatory resources being stretched decreased from 10% in Q1 to 8% in Q3, while the number of companies who are considering changing trial venues jumped from 5% in Q1 to 11% in Q3.

In Q1, 4% of the respondents said that they do not plan to conduct clinical trials in the next two years, which increased to 5% in Q3.

Companies acknowledging that the COVID-19 pandemic will not affect clinical trials increased from 4% in Q1 to 7% in Q3.

The analysis is based on responses received from the Pharmaceutical Trade and Supply Chain Survey conducted between 07 July and 30 July 2020.