Conference Examines Lagging Ethical Guidelines In Face Of Expanding Clinical Trials In Developing Countries

SciDev.Net reports on the 7th World Conference of Science Journalists, taking place this week in Qatar, where participants discussed how the number of clinical trials in developing countries is surging despite legal and ethical frameworks often not being in place.

“By 2008, for example, there were three times as many developing countries participating in clinical trials registered with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) than there were in the entire period between 1948 and 2000, with many ‘transitional’ countries, such as Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Africa, taking part. For the pharmaceutical industry, the attractions are the lower costs and the availability of ‘treatment-naive’ patients, who are much less likely to have been previously exposed to drugs or trials,” SciDev.Net writes (Leighton, 6/28). The news service’s blog has several other updates from the conference.