Survey of ethics committee protocol approval letters: compliance with Schedule Y / ICMR Guidelines 2006
A study was carried out to determine the extent to which ECs comply with format requirements given in guidelines and regulations. ECs were sent a written communication requesting them to permit investigators to study their approval letter for compliance with the ICMR Guidelines and Schedule Y, using a predesigned proforma. Of the 60 ECs approached, only 20 agreed to participate. Legal experts and social scientists were not present at the approval meetings of most of the ECs. Only 7 ECs had a quorum according to Schedule Y. Several ECs did not state whether documents such as the clinical trial agreement and insurance policy were reviewed. Delays in sending approval letters could be shortened with efficacious operating of ECs. There is a need to train EC members and create a better awareness of regulatory requirements. There is also a need to evolve a mechanism to monitor EC functioning.
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