Published: 20 March 2020

Commenting on the challenges to research during the COVID-19 pandemic Aisling Burnand MBE, Chief Executive of AMRC (the Association of Medical Research Charities) said:

With those working on the front-line of health care facing unprecedented challenges, it is the right decision to focus efforts and resources on COVID-19. We know that this decision has not been taken lightly, and has been made with an appreciation of the significant impact it will inevitably have in all areas of research.

We sympathise with all those having to make such difficult choices. Clinical trials are not only vital to the development of new treatments and an improved understanding of diseases, for many patients, they are a crucial lifeline.

The decision to suspend clinical trials, if doing so does not endanger the patient, will have a significant impact on participating patients and their families. We ask that decisions on each trial are made with that impact on patients in mind. These decisions need to be proportionate, and communicated transparently and sensitively.

The medical research charity sector will continue to do its utmost to support the front-line healthcare workforce, patients and their families through this difficult period.