Clinical Trial Industry Mobilizes to Donate Supplies to Frontline Healthcare Workers

Jennifer Byrne, CEO, Javara Inc

The team at Greater Gift, an organization dedicated to honoring patient volunteers and research professionals who make clinical trials possible, is appealing to its clinical trial brethren to consider donating unused or otherwise idle medical supplies to the relief effort battling the coronavirus.

“Idled clinical research sites around the country may represent an abundant, untapped source of the very supplies desperately needed by frontline healthcare workers right now,” says Greater Gift President and Founder Jennifer Byrne.

According to GlobalData, there are more than 33,000 clinical trials being conducted in the U.S., and most of these are currently either paused or implementing processes to enable virtual monitoring, if appropriate. “In either case, there is ample opportunity to find medical supplies within research sites that are not in use,” notes Byrne, who is also a member of the Association Board of Trustees for ACRP.

Items including syringes, gloves, surgical masks, respiratory masks, face-shields, and gowns are all typical site supplies that frontline healthcare workers desperately need to protect themselves and their patients.

“And although there’s scant data available publicly regarding the amount of medical supplies that go unused during clinical studies, there’s little doubt in our minds that a significant volume exists among the 33,000 clinical research sites in the Unites States—and it’s needed urgently,” Byrne says.

How to Help

  • Donate: The American Red Cross is coordinating numerous pandemic efforts (including blood donation, if you’re able), and should be able to put you in touch with local healthcare organizations in need of supplies. To get in touch with your state’s department of public health, see this handy list from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • Advocate: Pass this along to all of your colleagues throughout the clinical research community so that we can make a collective impact to help our frontline healthcare heroes and our most vulnerable patients.
  • Share: If you are able to donate unused medical supplies, please let us know. Share a picture, share your story, and Greater Gift will make a vaccine donation to GAVI.

“One of the reasons we all do what we do is that we’re drawn to that strong connection between clinical research and global public health,” Byrne notes. “We were led to this work because we wanted to make a positive impact on public health. But now we’re needed in a very big and very urgent way: to help equip our country’s healthcare workers with the supplies they need to fight a deadly pandemic.”

Author: Michael Causey