Lacourse SM, John-Stewart G, Adams Waldorf KM. Importance of inclusion of pregnant and breastfeeding women in COVID-19 therapeutic trials. Clin Infect Dis. 2020 Apr 15;ciaa444.

Investigators are employing unprecedented innovation in the design of clinical trials to rapidly and rigorously assess potentially promising therapies for COVID-19; this is in stark contrast to the continued near universal regressive practice of exclusion of pregnant and breastfeeding women from these trials. The few trials which allow their inclusion focus on post-exposure prophylaxis or outpatient treatment of milder disease, limiting the options available to pregnant women with severe COVID-19 to compassionate use of remdesivir, or off-label drug use of hydroxychloroquine or other therapies. These restrictions were put in place despite experience with these drugs in pregnant women. In this Viewpoint, we call attention to the need and urgency to engage pregnant women in COVID-19 treatment trials now in order to develop data-driven recommendations regarding the risks and benefits of therapies in this unique but not uncommon population.

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