Lasch F, Psarelli EE, Herold R, Mattsson A, Guizzaro L, Pétavy F, Schiel A
Clin Pharmacol Ther - (-) - [2022-01-28; online 2022-01-28]
The Covid-19 pandemic has a major impact not only on public health and daily living, but also on clinical trials worldwide. To investigate the potential impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the initiation of clinical trials, we have descriptively analysed the longitudinal change in phase II and III interventional clinical trials initiated in Europe and in the United States. Based on the public clinical trial register EU Clinical Trials Register and clinicaltrials.gov, we conducted (a) a yearly comparison of the number of initiated trials from 2010 to 2020 and (b) a monthly comparison from January 2020 to February 2021 of the number of initiated trials. The analyses indicate that the Covid-19 pandemic affected both the initiation of clinical trials overall and the initiation of non-Covid-19 trials. An increase in the overall numbers of clinical trials could be observed both in Europe and the US in 2020 as compared to 2019. However, the number of non-Covid-19 trials initiated is reduced as compared to the previous decade, with a slightly larger relative decrease in the US as compared to Europe. Additionally, the monthly trend for the initiation of non-Covid-19 trials differs between regions. In the US, after a sharp decrease in April 2020, trial numbers reached the levels of 2019 from June 2020 onwards. In Europe, the decrease was less pronounced, but trial numbers mainly remained below the 2019 average until February 2021.