Covid-19 has shown its effects throughout the globe. It was an inevitable situation and since its outbreak, every country expected the virus to reach its borders sooner or later. Some countries felt a far much serious impact of the virus as their health system, economy, and the market crashed abysmally. In the case of Pakistan, however, the situation was somewhat different. Pakistan did suffer from the pandemic but better decisions, better steps, and comprehensive planning was the main reason why Pakistan tackled this condition in a much better way. Of significance has been the coordination between federal and provincial government authorities for the pandemic emergency measures.

The rate at which the virus affected Pakistan was surprisingly lower than what was being expected. In 2 years, approximately 1.3 million patients have been confirmed COVID-19 positive in Pakistan. Amongst COVID-19 positive patients, 2.2% suffered death; the more vulnerable age group of greater than50 years were mainly affected. The death rate in Pakistan is also comparable to the global average death rate (2.0%) among COVID-19 positive cases. The highest peak of positivity percentage was observed in April-2021 with 11.63 %. After vaccination drive in the country, a total of 133 million subjects have received single or two (02) doses of vaccine, of which 56 million people have been fully vaccinated in the country by 12th December 2021.

In general, Pakistan did fairly better than many other countries, not only did we tackle the pandemic with sensible and calculated steps, Pakistan also emerged as one of the hubs for the clinical research and development related to COVID healthcare management.

Different Types of Trials:

Pakistan has contributed to conducting clinical trials of various kinds to help develop vaccines and drugs for the prevention and treatment of COIVD-19. Ministry of Health in Pakistan and the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan have invested great efforts in the development of vaccines. As of now, fifteen (15) clinical trials of different phases (Phase I-III) have been approved by DRAP and almost 61 clinical trial sites have been approved by DRAP across the country.

One of the most notable accomplishments of Pakistan during this wave of research and the development of vaccines for the prevention from COVID is that Pakistan has been the country by which many vaccines received approvals internationally. The trial conducted and data gathered in Pakistan for COVID vaccines proved to be satisfactory and resulted in international regulatory approvals for many vaccines like Sinopharm, Sinovac, CanSino. CROs played an essential role in the execution of these trials as timely & urgent recruitment of healthy volunteers was the critical step to bring the outcomes in trials. Collectively 30,000 subjects are recruited in till-yet conducted vaccine trials.

In addition, Pakistan has also conducted several therapeutic trials for COVID-19 management such as the WHO-Solidarity trial. Other trials involved interventions like IgG2 monoclonal antibody, plasma extracted immunoglobulin therapy, and the use of Chinese herbal medicine to gauge effectiveness in mild-severity COVID-19 patients. Metrics research has the privilege to stand out in Pakistan for managing Phase-I trial of receptor protein kinase inhibitor drug which stops the progression of inflammation in severe COVID-19 patients. There are still many clinical trials that are being carried out for COVID-19 booster doses and COVID-19 drugs. This is one of the biggest landmarks for both Pakistan and Metrics Research.

Contract Research Organizations (CROs) have been the backbone in this journey as they have been the main driving force behind all the research development and it’s an ongoing process. Metrics Research Pvt. Ltd. has also been in the thick of all the action. Collaborating with well-renowned pharma and medical institutions at both national and international levels, Metrics provided technically and ethically sound solutions and services to the sponsors in the past year or so.

For the COIVD-19 outbreak, Pakistan’s efforts stand out in terms of tackling the situation and also in the development of key preventive and therapeutic approaches of COVID-19 while ensuring globally practiced standards and guidelines. These are all steps in the right direction for a better, brighter future of clinical research in Pakistan.

1. Situation Reports by National Command and Operation Center for COVD-19.

2. COVID-19 Statistics in Pakistan by Government of Pakistan.

3. COVID-19 Global Statistics by WHO.