We know that Medical Affairs and Medicines Development Professionals around the world have been working non-stop to develop vaccines, treatments, testing, and medical devices in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. To aide in the distribution of information, we have provided below important clinical trial guidance from different sources for use during this pandemic.
We wish everyone health and safety during this difficult time!
The below document was released by ACRO – Association of Clinical Research Organizations
Considerations to Support Clinical Trial Monitoring Oversight During COVID-19, 13 March 2020
The emerging coronavirus (COVID-19) situation is increasingly impacting clinical trial oversight, particularly on-site monitoring. The Association of Clinical Research Organizations (ACRO) recommends that sponsors, CROs and sites introduce emergency interim measures so that clinical trial monitoring is maintained during this period. These guidelines will ensure that data quality is unaffected, clinical trial sites are supported and that the patients enrolled in clinical trials are kept safe.
The use of centralized monitoring tools and technologies can supplement and support the recommendations outlined below. These practices and tools are already in place and do not require any additional sophisticated analytical tools or dashboards. Care should be taken that any remote monitoring activities implemented are proportionate to the risks identified. Further, they should not place any extra burden on clinical trial sites.
These recommendations should be considered in the following situations:
• When sites have suspended or restricted all visitors (including clinical research associates (CRAs)) from accessing medical facilities, but where patient visits are still occurring
• When local health officials have implemented regional quarantines
• When local CRAs are unable to travel to the sites (for personal health reasons or because of travel restrictions)
The below document was released by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).
Guidance on the Management of Clinical Trials during the COVID 19 (Coronavirus) pandemic Version 1 (20/03/2020)
The European Medicines Agency (EMA), Good Clinical Practice (GCP) Inspectors Working Group, the Clinical Trials Facilitation and Coordination Group (CTFG, a working group of the Heads of Medicines Agency (HMA)), the Clinical Trials Expert Group (CTEG, a working group of the European Commission representing Ethics Committees and National Competent Authorities) and the European Commission (EC) acknowledge the impact of COVID-19 on the health system and broader society, and the impact it may have on clinical trials and trial participants1. Extraordinary measures may need to be implemented and trials adjusted due to e.g. trial participants being in self-isolation/quarantine, limited access to public places (including hospitals) due to the risk of spreading infections, and health care professionals being committed to critical tasks. Therefore, EMA, EC and HMA strongly support the efforts of the GCP Inspectors’ Working Group for developing harmonised EU/EAA-level guidance to mitigate the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the conduct of clinical trials.
The situation is evolving, and pragmatic actions may be required to deal with the challenges of conducting research, and in ensuring the rights, safety and wellbeing of participants. The points mentioned below are intended to provide guidance for all parties involved in clinical trials during this time.
Due to the urgency, this guidance is issued without prior public consultation. The sponsors should note that due to the rapidly evolving situation further updates to this guidance are possible and likely.
The below document was released by the FDA (Federal Drug Administration)
FDA Guidance on Conduct of Clinical Trials of Medical Products during COVID-19 Pandemic
Guidance for Industry, Investigators, and Institutional Review Boards (March 2020)
I. Introduction The Food and Drug Administration (FDA or Agency) plays a critical role in protecting the United States from threats including emerging infectious diseases, including the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. FDA is committed to providing timely guidance to support continuity and response efforts to this pandemic.
FDA is issuing this guidance to provide general considerations to assist sponsors in assuring the safety of trial participants, maintaining compliance with good clinical practice (GCP), and minimizing risks to trial integrity during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Given this public health emergency, this guidance is being implemented without prior public comment because the FDA has determined that prior public participation for this guidance is not feasible or appropriate (see section 701(h)(1)(C)(i) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) and 21 CFR 10.115(g)(2)). This guidance document is being implemented immediately, but it remains subject to comment in accordance with the Agency’s good guidance practices.
In general, FDA’s guidance documents, including this guidance, do not establish legally enforceable responsibilities. Instead, guidances describe the Agency’s current thinking on a topic and should be viewed only as recommendations, unless specific regulatory or statutory requirements are cited. The use of the word should in Agency guidance means that something is suggested or recommended, but not required.