The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many industries to adapt to this strange new quarantined and socially distanced environment. The clinical trials space is no exception. Patients, especially very sick patients, cannot be expected to appear at trial visits as they once did. Accommodations needed to be made to enable trials to continue while maintaining patient safety – safety with respect to the trial itself and safety with respect to COVID.
The pharma industry is not known for rapid change. A recent interviewee mentioned that she feels like she is tapping into stone tablets with chisels given the slow rate of change in clinical trials. Prior to 2020, a toe was dipped into trials with online components. Now, however, the COVID pandemic has brought push to shove, and many trial sponsors and CROs have had no choice but to take the plunge into hybrid trials.