Producing and using timely comparative evidence on drugs: lessons from clinical trials for covid-19
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Huseyin Naci, Aaron S Kesselheim, John-Arne Røttingen, Georgia Salanti, Per O Vandvik, Andrea Cipriani. Producing and using timely comparative evidence on drugs: lessons from clinical trials for covid-19. BMJ: first published as 10.1136/bmj.m3869 on 16 October 2020
Since the early days of the novel coronavirus outbreak, a record number of studies have been launched to test several repurposed and new medicines as potential treatments for covid-19 An analysis by the news organisation STAT identified over 1000 clinical trials registered on ClinicalTrials.gov between January and June 2020. This is a testament to the research and clinical community’s commitment to identify effective treatments for covid-19. However, the large volume of studies may paradoxically limit the generation of robust evidence and complicate the formulation of trustworthy guidance and decisions related to drug use if the current research is duplicative and redundant or produces conflicting data. Indeed, the multiplicity of research on candidate therapeutics for covid-19 has exposed important flaws and failures in the current evidence ecosystem.Crucially, these limitations also affect the full spectrum of research on new health technologies.
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