3 Ways Sponsors Are Focusing Their Efforts in the Pandemic Era
As the spread of COVID-19 has affected every industry, pharmaceutical and biotech companies are feeling the heat of it. In our last piece, we covered some of the issues the clinical trial industry, as a whole, was facing. With unexpected delays, over-flooded inboxes, and patient safety at risk, here are specific ways sponsors can and are alleviating the negative impact of the virus.
1. Ensuring patient safety is a top priority at their sites. Sponsors can do this by:
a. working with site coordinators and vendors to make sure masks, gloves and other necessary protective equipment are being delivered in the right quantities;
b. identifying and prioritizing sites that are conducting COVID-19 trials to expedite shipping to ensure on-time delivery;
c. conducting regular check-ins with site coordinators and offering resources to ensure patient safety is a top priority and not being compromised;
d. providing transportation and housing financial assistance to sites to ensure safe patient travel and accommodation.
2. Collaborating and engaging with investigators. Sponsors can do this by:
a. considering holding off on trials where enrollment is challenging;
b. speeding up protocol amendment submission;
c. collaborating with software vendors and investigators to implement technology that can reduce administrative costs;
d. creating a COVID-19 management and tracking system for every site;
e. bridging the gap between regulatory agencies and sites by adhering to timely and efficient communication;
f. offering flexible payment plans;
g. and donating technological equipment like iPads, laptops, and other communicative devices.
3. Focusing on what is in their control. Sponsors can do this by:
a. bridging the gap between pharma sales reps and physicians to efficiently manage resources and productivity;
b. dedicating a team to speed up compound discovery to lighten the post virus blow;
c. taking necessary steps to minimize research and development disruptions;
d. collaborating with other pharmaceutical and biotech companies to speed up vaccine development;
e. focusing on serological or antibody testing to test virus immunity;
f. and understanding major foreign supply chain disruptions and pivoting to alternatives for the interim.
In such an unprecedented time, pharmaceutical and biotech companies are under immense pressure to speed up the race to find a vaccination, enable research and test sites, and above all, ensure patient safety is at utmost priority. It’s now more than ever, that brilliant ideas, thoughtful leadership, and an empathetic approach can bring us closer to the light at the end of the tunnel.