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Table 1 Detailed objectives and rationale with respect to evidence generation during a pandemic

From: Compassionate drug (mis)use during pandemics: lessons for COVID-19 from 2009



Quantify the volume of data that described patient treatment, stratified by research type

The volume of research gives an indication of the scale of the response mounted. Comparisons of different types of research (clinical trial, hypothesis-driven observational study, case series) describe the quality of evidence available

Document the time taken to initiate and complete this clinical research and compare this to the outbreak epidemiology

The faster that clinical research is commenced, the greater the pool of potential participants, and the greater the likelihood of enrolling a sufficient sample size and completing within the timeframe of the outbreak

Document the time taken to submit and publish this research and compare this to the outbreak epidemiology

Research can only influence patient treatment in the current outbreak by providing enhanced evidence if it is available to clinicians treating patients within the time-frame of the outbreak

Describe the extent to which manuscripts report key clinical parameters, including those needed for stratification of treatment effect (the age of patients, the pregnancy status of patients) or indicate the quality of reporting of treatment effect (adverse events due to treatment)

We have selected key parameters for assessment that would be necessary to know in order to evaluate a treatment effect.

Describe the outcomes of clinical research that was prospectively registered

This expands discussion around limits to conducting high-quality research as we can comment on the proportion of planned research that was able to complete.