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The RECOVERY trial has rapidly become a landmark trial in the COVID-19 era. This commentary discusses how the clinical trial was set up as a platform trial and how this format, when used appropriately, can lead to efficient discovery of clinically important therapies. The author also discusses how efficient data collection was key to this trial's success. Careful analysis of the RECOVERY trial set-up and execution suggests that the findings are robust and clinically relevant.
A renewed dedication to the scientific method is needed as the medical community navigates COVID-19, and the RECOVERY trial is a wonderful example.
– Kolene Bailey, MD
This abstract is available on the publisher's site.
In a platform trial, patients with a single disease are randomly assigned to a group of different therapies on the basis of a decision algorithm to determine whether any therapy has benefit.1 The principle underpinning such trials allows for the execution of efficient, less expensive designs by enrolling populations quickly and collecting minimal data to answer more than one question. These are sensible principles and, when successful, result in trials that provide clear answers to several questions in a timely and efficient way.