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ETHICS
Year : 2012  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 50-56

Ethics committees in India: Facing the challenges!


1 Quality Assurance Manager, Chest Research Foundation Pune, India
2 Former Director Center for Gerontology and Elderly Medicine, B V Medical College, Pune, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Rashmi Kadam
Quality Assurance Manager, Chest Research Foundation, Marigold Premises, Kalyani Nagar, Pune - 411 014
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/2229-3485.96444

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The past few years have seen a tremendous rise in the number of clinical trials conducted in India. This is been attributed to the huge patient population, genetic diversity, and rich technical pool in our country. However, the economical upsurge in the clinical trial industry has also caused concerns pertaining to the efficiency of the Regulatory Agencies and Ethics Committees (EC). The EC plays an important role in the regulation of clinical research at the local level. However, it is seen that many ECs are oblivious to their roles and responsibilities. It is reported that ECs lack standard operating procedures, do not have a proper composition or adequate representation, thus affecting their functions in regulating clinical research. Moreover, ECs seem to function in isolation, as self-sufficient bodies, having no communication with the regulatory agency or other ECs. This brings forth the need for ECs to come together and share their experiences and observations, with the aim of updating themselves and refining their functions. Efforts also need to be focused on capacity building, centralized registration of ECs, and bringing an oversight mechanism in place. The Ethics Committees in India need to work in close association with forums such as the Forum for Ethics Review Committees in India and the Forum for Ethical Review Committees in Asia Pacific, in an effort towards empowering themselves.


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