It found the COVID-19 pandemic wasn’t as harsh as the clinical trial industry. “Despite significant societal disruptions … activity in clinical trials rose 8% and increased over 7% in 2020, the fourth year in a row,” according to a new report from IQVIA.
With the pandemic arriving on the U.S. shores in early 2020, it was not surprising that monthly test starts dropped significantly in the first quarter of last year, but recovered from mid-year to higher levels than 2019 even without the COVID-19 studies .
The diversity of patient populations in clinical trials remained a persistent problem, the report said. For example:
- African American or races identified as black make up 13.4% of the US population, while clinical trials of new drug approval over the past six years had an average turnout of just 3% and were underrepresentative in 79% of cases from 2015 to 2020 .
- Asian people make up an estimated 6.5% of the US population, but it wasn’t until 2015 that their median study participation was above this threshold, and 52% of studies over the past six years were funded by the US Food and Drug Administration Approve drugs carried out had underrepresentative participation from them.
- Hispanic or Latin American ethnicity is estimated at 16% of the US population, and the median participation in studies from this population segment is consistently below half that level, although patients may not always identify as such.
The report found that overall clinical trial productivity stalled in 2020: “In most disease areas, clinical development productivity – a composite metric of success rates, clinical trial complexity, and study duration – has been in the last decade decreased challenges in achieving clinical results in well-satisfied traditional disease areas such as cardiovascular and endocrinology, and shifting research priorities to more difficult areas such as oncology and rare diseases. “
The report also found:
- The increase in the productivity index for clinical trials in 2020 was mainly due to an improvement in phase III studies, which widened the gap to phase I studies, which do significantly lower on the IQVIA index.
- Phase II trials have consistently weighted themselves across the overall productivity index because success rates have increased and duration has decreased, although complexity increased in phase II and the number of endpoints and eligibility criteria are attributes of these trials.
Edited by Michael Causey