07 Jul Spain leads in number of Covid-19 clinical trials
Covid-19 clinical trials in Spain are on the rise. Right now, there are roughly 100 clinical trials under way in Spain to test the efficacy of drugs in fighting Covid-19. Fourteen pharmaceutical companies that are Farmaindustria members are coordinating these trials or collaborating on others that are public initiatives.
These clinical trials are taking place in 162 hospitals all over the country. In total, some 28,000 patients are participating, according to the Spanish Ministry of Health. This race to find a therapeutic solution to the coronavirus has put Spain fourth in the world and first in Europe in number of trials under way.
How does a clinical trial work?
Clinical trials are used to test the safety and efficacy of new drugs, so they are a key step towards getting approval from the authorities. It is a complex process that can take 6-7 years of work and that involves authorities, researchers, hospital centres and, of course, patients. Plus, the sponsoring pharmaceutical company, which is responsible for eight out of ten clinical trials on new drugs in Spain.
Once the Spanish Drug Agency and the drug research ethics committees have approved it, the trial can be launched with patients. That where the teamwork begins between researchers and hospitals. Patients’ safety and the confidentiality of their data will be the top priority at all times.
Thanks to trials, there will not only be a better chance of curing or controlling more diseases, or improving quality of life for patients, but there is also a virtuous circle created that strengthens the healthcare system.
This is because clinical trials require pharmaceutical companies to invest in the hospitals where they are carried out, through collaboration deals. They also keep healthcare professional on the cutting edge of research, an experience they can later apply in providing their healthcare services, which means better care for all patients.
Trials, furthermore, can be an opportunity for patients in serious condition to slow or cure the disease when current treatments haven’t worked.
Coronavirus clinical studies in Spain
The notable role Spain is playing in coronavirus clinical research is the result of many years of collaboration between pharmaceutical companies and the healthcare system, along with researchers and patients, which have made the country a global benchmark in clinical trials.
Nevertheless, researching new treatments for Covid-19 hasn’t been the only role pharmaceutical corporations have played during the pandemic.
During the pandemic, and specifically the hardest weeks when hospitals were overwhelmed, clinical trials under way focusing on other conditions were affected: In Spain there are 3,400 trials under way with 145,000 patients.
For some patients participating in clinical trials, this is their only hope for a cure.
The commitment and cooperation of researchers, centres, pharmaceutical companies and healthcare authorities made it possible to tackle this challenge and make sure no one participating in a clinical trial already under way was left without treatment those months.
To make this possible, new solutions were put in place, such as remote monitoring and home delivery of medications.