Life after COVID-19: R WE going to help?

Written by Journal of Comparative Effectiveness Research

In this commentary, published in the Journal of Comparative Effectiveness Research, the authors discuss the potential long-term impacts of COVID-19 on how the usability of real-world data and evidence may be perceived.

In this commentary, published in the Journal of Comparative Effectiveness Research, Sreeram Ramagopalan (F. Hoffmann-La Roche, Basel, Switzerland) and Radek Wasiak (Cytel, London, UK) describe how the threat of COVID-19 has led to an unprecedented level of cooperation among industry stakeholders, from academia to policy makers and public health officials, to find ways to diagnose, prevent and cure the condition.

Although key work is interventional trials testing vaccines and treatments, observational studies – or real-world data and evidence (RWE) – have proved valuable in aiding decision-making. Awareness of how RWE is generated, its limitations and the biases presented that need to be addressed using statistical methods to gain meaningful insights, is now commonplace and should not impede its use and acceptance. The research activities related to COVID-19 should hopefully help end the often unproductive debate about the superiority of randomized clinical trials over RWE.

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