The FDA is conducting fewer inspections of clinical trial research sites, according to a Government Accountability Office report. Investigative journalist Maryanne Demasi, who in 2022 found the FDA’s oversight in 2020 of COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials was “grossly inadequate,” said the latest report shows “little has changed.”

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is conducting fewer inspections of clinical trial research sites than in past years, according to a recent report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

FDA officials attributed the decrease to the COVID-19 pandemic and a shortage of investigators, the federal watchdog said.

In preparing its report — which Congress commissioned — the GAO looked at FDA data and documents from fiscal years 2012 through 2023. It also interviewed an undisclosed number of FDA officials and 15 FDA investigators.

Investigative journalist Maryanne Demasi said she found the decrease in clinical research inspections “concerning.”

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