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International Clinical Trials

Immediate Impact


For a long time now, frustrated professionals in the clinical research community have struggled to optimise many tired and ineffective processes that slow down and overcomplicate clinical trial setup. Recent technological innovations and newly standardised approaches to hybrid decentralised trials have proven helpful, but more is needed to appropriately address the deficiencies that many within the industry feel are glaring.

In this regard, an unexpected ally was found in the disruption caused by the outbreak of COVID-19 last year. A re-evaluation of standard operating procedure was no longer optional – it became absolutely necessary for the functional continuation of research. Paralysing lockdowns and travel restrictions threatened to leave clinical trials in a state of indeterminate stasis, potentially stopping studies in their tracks and wasting the sacrifice of the patients who made them possible.

In the ensuing frenzy to adapt to the challenges of the pandemic, many of the insufficiencies built within clinical trial design were made exceedingly obvious – a harsh, but welcome, form of validation for their original detractors. 70% of clinical trials are more than a month behind schedule, and many advocates for change feel that the recent adoption of remote access and reporting serves as an excellent step forward in combating these needless delays. If similar applications could be made to the often lengthy procedures associated with site selection and patient recruitment, substantial amounts of time and money could be saved for all parties involved in clinical research.

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About the Author

Liz Brennan is the Clinical Support and Research Manager at Wellington Eye Clinic in Dublin, Ireland, where she oversees pharmaceutical and device clinical trials. She is an ethics committee member at Beacon Hospital and is currently in close collaboration with ophthalmic specialist CRO, Ora, to improve the clinical trial process.

elizabeth.brennan@wellingtoneyeclinic.com
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