(Reuters) – Pfizer Inc said on Wednesday it was delaying patient recruitment in new and ongoing global trials for three weeks due to the coronavirus outbreak, as drugmakers look to ease the burden on healthcare facilities and on doctors treating coronavirus patients.

The decision would exclude select studies that are recruiting patients with life-threatening conditions who have few or no other therapeutic options, the U.S. drugmaker said in an emailed statement.

Other large drugmakers including Eli Lilly and Co and Bristol Myers Squibb have also announced similar decisions recently.

Wall Street analysts have said the pandemic is likely to hit clinical trials that are not dealing with life-threatening conditions or cancer patients.

Delaying clinical trials could hurt pharmaceutical companies’ future revenue, as it would lengthen the time for drug approval and their reaching the market, and also hurt patients by limiting their access to experimental treatments.

(Reporting by Manas Mishra in Bengaluru and Michael Erman in Maplewood, New Jersey; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi)