Developing countries face numerous barriers to conducting effective and efficient ethics reviews of international collaborative research. In addition to potentially overlooking important scientific and ethical considerations, inadequate or insufficiently trained ethics committees may insist on unwarranted changes to protocols that can impair a study's scientific or ethical validity. Moreover, poorly functioning review systems can impose substantial delays on the commencement of research, which needlessly undermine the development of new interventions for urgent medical needs. In response to these concerns, the Drugs (...) for Neglected Diseases Initiative, an independent nonprofit organization founded by a coalition of public sector and international organizations, developed a mechanism to facilitate more effective and efficient host country ethics review for a study of the use of fexinidazole for the treatment of late stage African Trypanosomiasis. The project involved the implementation of a novel ‘pre-review’ process of ethical oversight, conducted by an ad hoc committee of ethics committee representatives from African and European countries, in collaboration with internationally recognized scientific experts. This article examines the process and outcomes of this collaborative process. (shrink)
Paying research participants in developing countries like Uganda raises ethical concerns over potential for undue inducement. This article, based on an exploratory study, reviewed 49 research protocols from a national HIV/AIDS research ethics committee database. Payments mainly adhered to the reimbursement and compensation payment models. Offers made were diverse but basic in order to limit undue inducement. Implications in terms of undue inducement and possible impact on participants and research are discussed. We end by recommending standardization across comparable studies in (...) the interests of promoting high-quality research, altruism, voluntariness, and restraining unfair reimbursement practices in research. (shrink)
On site monitoring of research is one of the most effective ways to ensure compliance during research conduct. However, it is least carried out primarily for two reasons: presumed high costs both in terms of human resources and finances; and the lack of a clear framework for undertaking site monitoring. In this paper we discuss a model for research site monitoring that may be cost effective and feasible in low resource settings.