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Randomized Clinical Trials and COVID-19Managing Expectations

Educational Objective
To understand how Clinical Trials are being used to manage COVID-19
1 Credit CME

Despite the millions of cases and hundreds of thousands of deaths that have occurred in this devastating coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, no peer-reviewed studies of specific therapies proven to be effective in reducing mortality have been published and a vaccine is many months to years away. To date, more than 1000 studies addressing various aspects of COVID-19 are registered on ClinicalTrials.gov, including more than 600 interventional studies and randomized clinical trials (RCTs).1 During the next few weeks and months, the results of numerous RCTs involving therapies for COVID-19 will be reported. Indeed, preliminary results from some studies have already been reported in social media and the popular press. How will clinicians, the public, and politicians understand the results of these much-anticipated and critically needed clinical trials?

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Article Information

Corresponding Author: Howard Bauchner, MD, JAMA, 330 N Wabash Ave, Chicago, IL 60611 (Howard.Bauchner@jamanetwork.org).

Published Online: May 4, 2020. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.8115

Conflict of Interest Disclosures: None reported.

Additional Contributions: We thank Derek C. Angus, MD, MPH (associate editor, JAMA), and Rob Golub, MD (deputy editor, JAMA), for their valuable comments.

References
1.
US National Library of Medicine. ClinicalTrials.gov. Accessed April 30, 2020. https://clinicaltrials.gov/
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