The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted clinical trials forcing pharmaceutical companies to resort to innovative digital tools to comply with social distancing and lockdown measures.

GlobalData has conducted a survey to assess the reasons behind the disruptions of clinical trials.

The number of disrupted clinical trials, as tracked by GlobalData, increased by six times, from roughly 200 in April to more than 1,200 in June, after which the number started to decline marginally.

Clinical trial disruptions

Suspension of enrolment remained the main cause for disruption until June before declining steadily and accounting for 43.3% of the disruptions by August.

Slow enrolment is the next cause of disruption and has been steadily increasing since April. It accounted for 39.1% of the disruptions until August.

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The next cause of disruption was delayed initiation, which remained steady since April accounting for 17.6% of the clinical trials disrupted until August.

The analysis is based on responses received from the Pharmaceutical Trade and Supply Chain Survey.