The need for a therapy to combat the contagious coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has led pharmaceutical companies to fast-track development plans, raising concerns over safety data.

Verdict has conducted a poll to assess the level of confidence in reliability of data regarding COVID-19 therapies.

Analysis of the poll results shows that confidence in reliability of data regarding COVID-19 therapies is moderately high, as voted by 60% of the respondents including 32% who believe that the data has minor issues but is generally reliable and 28% who believe that the data is reliable.

Reliability of data of COVID-19 therapies

Approximately 20% of the respondents voted that they do not have confidence in the data available, while 20% believed that the data has major issues and is generally unreliable.

The analysis is based on 208 responses received from readers of Pharmaceutical Technology, a Verdict network site, between 27 July and 07 October 2020.

Need for transparency in development of COVID-19 therapies

More than 150 vaccines for COVID-19 are estimated to be under development across the world. Pharmaceutical companies are running different phases of the trials simultaneously to fast-track the vaccine development which, however, is raising concerns on whether the vaccines will clear safety trials.

Further, political pressure in the development of vaccines is raising doubts that a vaccine may be approved for emergency use without sufficient evidence. In the US, for example, President Donald Trump requested the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to aim for a vaccine approval by 01 November.

The FDA agreed to expedite the approval process but released a statement that stringent safety standards will be followed during the same.

Several pharmaceutical companies have stated that they will apply for the approval process only after safety and efficacy of a vaccine is demonstrated in a phase three clinical study. The statement was aimed at increasing public trust in COVID-19 therapies and contains clinical study protocols for their late-stage studies.