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Local research ethics committees and multicentre drug trials

BMJ 1995; 310 doi: (Published 18 March 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;310:735
  1. R P F Dear
  1. Chairman, clinical research (ethics) committee St James's University Hospital, Leeds LS9 7TF

    EDITOR,—The role of local research ethics committees in multicentre trials has been discussed at length in the BMJ and other journals. I understand the frustration of researchers at having to jump through so many hoops, but I sincerely hope that any central committees which do emerge reflect the practice of the best of the local committees and do not become a soft option for gaining approval for poor quality projects, either in hospital or general practice.

    The ethics committee that I chair recently received a response from a major pharmaceutical company that shows scant regard for the carefully considered opinion of a local research ethics committee and a gung-ho attitude to ethics committee approval in general. The study in question was to compare antibiotics in the treatment of otitis media and chest infections in children. We …

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