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Ethical issues in recruitment of “healthy volunteers”: study of a clinical research organisation in Hyderabad.

Shilpa Krishna, N Purendra Prasad

DOI: 10.20529/IJME.2014.057


This paper raises some of the ethical issues involved in the recruitment of healthy volunteers (HVs) by clinical research organizations (CROs) for bioavailability and bioequivalent (BA/BE) studies. It also explores the underlying reasons for the participation of the HVs and their interaction with the CROs. The findings are based on the data collected from 50 HVs participating in a BA/BE study conducted by a CRO in Hyderabad and from the key officials involved in it. The findings indicate the existence of various complex networks, throw some light on the role of middlemen (“Anna”) and the negotiation process, and give us an insight into the social norms and values that compelled the HVs to participate in the study. The paper offers a critical analysis of a few ethical concerns.

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