Scientists have been doing good work during the Coronavirus pandemic, but clinical research on treatments has failed, according to microbiologist Herman Goossens.
Speaking on Thursday at an online congress organised by the Flemish employers’ association Voka, Goossens pleaded for more European cooperation.
Clinical research has failed as a result of “university cannibalism,” according to the expert.
“It’s been frustrating to see almost every doctor or clinician set up their own research protocols whereas protocols allowing cross-border research in Europe were ready to be implemented,” he noted. “Each country and many researchers have withdrawn into themselves, which is particularly regrettable.”
Neither the researchers nor the European Commission, which has provided support and additional resources, are to blame, the microbiologist said. The failure, he argued, “is due to the organisation of the health system in Europe and States’ will to conduct their own policies. That’s a lesson for the future: more (European cooperation) is needed.”
“However, one country has succeeded remarkably: the United Kingdom, which is embarrassing since it’s no longer a member of the European Union,” Dr. Goossens said. “They’ve developed a very good system enabling research to be launched quickly throughout the country.”
Thanks to British research, specialists today know which treatments do not work on patients infected with COVID-19.