Study: COVID Outpaced Other Clinical Research 3-1 in 2020 and 2021

COVID-19 was the most studied condition in clinical trials during 2020-21, a new analysis from the patient empowerment organization With Power found.

The organization evaluated clinical trial data from the U.S. National Library of Medicine during the past decade to identify what conditions were being studied and where those studies were being conducted.

The analysis of the data found that more than 700 clinical trials were stopped due to the pandemic in 2020-21.

The disease also triggered many new studies, causing the total number of studies to only decrease by 5.5% in 2020 compared to 2019 including many new studies of the virus which compensated for the decline in studies of other conditions, the organization found.

The analysis found COVID-19 led in the number of studies from 2020-21 with 1,257, followed by 401 for breast cancer and 311 for diabetes.

In 2022, researchers appear to be moving away from studying COVID, and returning focus on other conditions, but the studies involving the virus have generated more efficient protocols which has positively changed the field, according to the study.

Some of these changes, such as remote methods of monitoring clinical trial participants, can have a positive impact on participation and removes some barriers in areas where there are few physical facilities available for the trials.

The states conducting the largest number of trials include Rhode Island with 41.6 studies conducted per 1,000 square-miles, Massachusetts with 22.6 studies, and Maryland with 18.7, according to the study.

The states with the lowest number of trials include Alaska, Wyoming, and North Dakota, which all have less than 1 trial per 10,000 square-miles.

While trials for COVID drugs still are still the top study basis, the number of behavioral intervention trials are rising, and may overtake drug interventions.

Trials considering alternatives like devices, dietary supplements, diagnostic tests, procedures, and biological interventions are also being studied in trials for COVID, the study found.

According to With Power, the study examined data from trials that started Feb. 4, 2012, to Feb. 4, 2022, and with at least one facility operating in the United States excluding the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

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