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Clinical trials on trial: Ethics should be integral to trials

If clinical trials are conducted in low income countries the treatmentmust be affordable to the people in that country said Annelies denBoer, of Wemos, an organisation dedicated to the structuralimprovement of people’s health, speaking at the “Clinical trials ontrial” conference, organised by HAI Europe, that was held in Berlin on21 November 2008

by Nicola Cree

If clinical trials are conducted in low income countries the treatment must be affordable to the people in that country said Annelies den Boer, of Wemos, an organisation dedicated to the structural improvement of people’s health, speaking at the “Clinical trials on trial” conference, organised by HAI Europe, that was held in Berlin on 21 November 2008.

Developing countries are used for clinical trials because they are cheap, fast and easy, she said, but we should be concerned because many people in these countries have limited access to healthcare and may feel forced to join a trial to receive treatment. It must be considered what happens to these patients after the trial, she said.

Ms den Boer believes that ethics should become part of the registration process and that checks on the ethical considerations in trials conducted in developing countries, should be carried out in Europe.

Christian Wagner-Ahlfs, BUKO Pharma Kampagne, Germany, said that today’s trial participants should not be sacrificed to benefit future society. Ms den Boer said she could not see how high ethical standards could hamper clinical research.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal URI: 10043450

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