Aid groups plan to widen Covid-19 trial base


A global coalition of aid organisations, government agencies and academic institutions will facilitate the clinical trials of Covid-19 drugs in middle and low-income countries to expand access of new therapies emerging for the disease. This global partnership will collect data from all regions and share this on real-time basis which would help countries and World Health Organization (WHO) to make rapid evidence-based decisions on policies and practices.

“Most clinical trials registered for Covid-19 are concentrated in China, South Korea or in high-income regions such as the US and Europe, and in resource-poor countries, these trials are not registered, which means they also lose out on access,” said Suman Rijal, India Head of Drug Network for Neglected Diseases — an aid organisation and part of this coalition. As of March 24, 2020, there are 536 identified, relevant, registered clinical trials. Of the 332 Covid-19 related clinical trials, 188 a ..

The distribution of these clinical trials is centred particularly in China and South Korea, with highincome countries in Europe and North America planning most of the forthcoming trials. Very few trials are planned in Africa, South and Southeast Asia, and Central & South America, the coalition said in their press note. India is participating in a solidarity trial by WHO where countries will study the effectiveness of five drugs that can hold potential for treatment.

“We welcome the launch of this coalition, which takes advantage of existing multinational and multidisciplinary expertise in running clinical trials in resource-poor settings, which will help WHO in co-ordinating role its global response to Covid-19,” said Soumya Swaminathan, chief scientist at WHO.


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