Continuing oversight through site monitoring: experiences of an institutional ethics committee in an Indian tertiary-care hospital

Continuing oversight through site monitoring: experiences of an institutional ethics committee in an Indian tertiary-care hospital

Continuing oversight through site monitoring: experiences of an institutional ethics committee in an Indian tertiary-care hospital

Abstract

WHO-TDR and the Indian Council of Medical Research recommend site visits by institutional ethics committees (IECs) for continued oversight, to ensure the ethical conduct of research. Our IEC conducted seven site visits in 2008-2009 using a standardised format to monitor adherence to protocol and the informed consent process. The study identified issues related to informed consent (6/7), deviation from protocol (5/7), reporting of study progress to the IEC (3/7), recruiting additional participants without IEC approval (2/7), reporting of serious adverse events (1/7), investigator’s lack of awareness of protocol and the informed consent document (2/7) and other findings. Investigators were informed about the findings and were asked to submit an explanation. The IEC issued warnings about not repeating such lapses in the future (5/7), restricted enrollment of new participants (2/7), recommended continued good clinical practice training to the study team (4/7), advised the recruitment of additional study coordinators (2/7), and requested the submission of adverse event reports (2/7) or sponsors’ audit reports (2/7). Our study showed that the ethical conduct of studies can be ensured by conducting routine site monitoring.

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