Clinical Trials and COVID


Anchor lead: How can balance be struck between clinical trials and patient care? Elizabeth Tracey reports

Should an unproven drug or treatment be used in a person with COVID-19? While many potential therapies have been identified, the best way to assess them is in a clinical trial, where one group of people is treated with the therapy under investigation while in the other that therapy is not used. Yet for critically ill people trials may not bring results fast enough. Brian Garibaldi, a critical care medicine expert and researcher at Johns Hopkins, comments.

Garibaldi: I think it’s very easy to say we’re not going to give any therapy outside of a clinical trial, but then when you’re talking to a patient or their families, and there is nothing available that we know works, and there’s a lot of media support for certain therapies, that doesn’t justify giving that therapy but it certainly has led to the conversation of hey, this thing might be available I’m not sure if it works, there are potential side effects which we also don’t understand yet. That has to be a shared decision between the physician and the patient or their surrogate.  :29

At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.