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Ethics

Ethics panels to oversee biomedical, health research in India

by K. V. Venkatasubramanian, special to C&EN
April 28, 2019 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 97, ISSUE 17

 

For the first time in India, ethics committees will oversee biomedical, social, and behavioral science research involving human participants, human biological material, and personal data, according to new regulations released last month. The aim is to review projects before they begin, to safeguard the dignity, rights, safety, and well-being of participants and improve the quality of research. The panels will follow National Ethical Guidelines for Biomedical and Health Research Involving Human Participants developed by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) in 2017. The guidelines cover ethics committees, individual researchers and their institutions, and public and private funders. The guidelines say that ethics committee members should be familiar with scientific, medical, ethical, legal, and social requirements of research. They should also be trained in protecting human research participants and good clinical practice guidelines. Balram Bhargava, director general of ICMR and secretary of the Department of Health Research, says the new committees “will bring about the much-needed transparency and accountability in regulating biomedical and health research in India.”

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