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190 approved ethical review applications relating to COVID-19

2020-08-19

During the first six months of 2020, around 190 planned research projects studying patients with COVID-19 have been approved by the Swedish Ethical Review Authority.

Of the approved applications, 8 per cent relate to medicine trials (fee category E), 36 per cent are projects that only deal with personal data (fee category D), and 56 per cent relate to other medical research (fee categories A, B and C). In addition, a further 60 applications received are awaiting decisions.

Half of the studies based in Stockholm

The first COVID-19 studies were approved in March, but the peak number of applications were approved during the period April–June. The planned research is concentrated in the larger healthcare regions, and around half of the approved applications have a responsible principal researcher from the Stockholm healthcare region. The figure below shows how the applications are distributed across the healthcare regions.

The picture illustrates the monthly accumulated number of approved ethical review applications relating to COVID-19, by approval date and by the responsible principal researcher’s healthcare region. The applications are for medical research, fee categories A–E.

Monthly accumulated number of approved ethical review applications relating to COVID-19, by approval date and by the responsible principal researcher’s healthcare region. The applications are for medical research, fee categories A–E.

Statistics from the Swedish Ethical Review Authority

The figures are based on excerpts from the Swedish Ethical Review Authority’s register. “Cov” was used as the search word in case descriptions (corresponding to project titles), and for this reason there may be research projects that have not be captured in the figures.