Health crisis: What opportunities for clinical drug research?

Therapie. 2022 Jan-Feb;77(1):59-67. doi: 10.1016/j.therap.2021.12.008. Epub 2021 Dec 16.


The COVID-19 pandemic led to the deployment of an unprecedented academic and industrial research effort, the sometimes redundant nature of which is regrettable, as is the lack of both national and international management. However, it must be noted that during this crisis, regulatory procedures were adapted and certain obstacles in the organisation of clinical research were partly removed to contribute to the deployment of trials as close as possible to patients and to facilitate monitoring and control procedures. The digitisation of certain processes and the decentralisation of certain activities were implemented under the cover of a mobilisation of the authorities and all institutional, academic and industrial players. While in the UK, the optimisation of resources through a single platform trial has made it possible to demonstrate or invalidate the efficacy of many treatments, in France the health crisis has highlighted the fragility of the organisation of clinical research, in particular a lack of coordination and funding, difficulties in implementing studies and a certain reluctance to share data. However, the crisis has also revealed the adaptability of the various stakeholders and has led to the improvement of several processes useful for the deployment of therapeutic innovation. Let us hope that the lessons learned during this crisis will allow for greater efficiency in the event of a new pandemic and, above all, that the progress made will continue to apply to all future clinical research activities.

Keywords: COVID-19; Clinical research; Data sharing; Drug; Regulation.

MeSH terms

  • Biomedical Research
  • COVID-19 Drug Treatment*
  • COVID-19* / epidemiology
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • France / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Pandemics*
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations
  • United Kingdom / epidemiology


  • Pharmaceutical Preparations