Rebecca S. Boxer, MD, comments on COVID-19 clinical trial in nursing homes


Rebecca S. Boxer, MD, medical director of clinical trials at Kaiser Permanente’s Institute for Health Research in Colorado, told the New York Times that a new trial being conducted in nursing homes will serve a population greatly in need of targeted COVID-19 treatments.

“These patients are so underserved,” said Dr. Boxer, a geriatrician with Colorado Permanente Medical Group. “They do not get access to innovative new drugs and trials.”

Nursing home residents make up 1.2% of the U.S. population but account for about 40% of COVID-19 deaths, according to the New York Times story.

The clinical trial, sponsored by Eli Lilly and the National Institutes of Health, will test an experimental treatment derived from monoclonal antibodies, with the goal of stopping COVID-19 outbreaks. It is among the first large trials to recruit in nursing homes and extended care facilities, and about 2,400 residents and staff from across the United States will be enrolled.

Dr. Boxer said it can be a challenge to enroll older people and those with disabilities in clinical trials because they must read and understand a form that explains the risks and adverse side effects that can occur.

Note: To read the full story, go to the New York Times website (subscription may be required).