Subject: The NIH Roadmap and Lack of Training in Ethics
On September 30th, Dr. Elias Zerhouni, Director of the National Institutes of Health, announced the
NIH Roadmap, a plan which will cost $2.1 billion for the next five years. The purpose of the plan is to coordinate and accelerate the conversion of basic science into therapy for patients by increasing clinical trials and patient recruitment, especially in community settings. We share the desire of Dr. Zerhouni that more effective treatments be made available in health care. We especially commend his proposal for doctors not ordinarily engaged in clinical research to be trained in research ethics in order to protect the safety of volunteers. (See Bor. J., The Baltimore Sun, Wednesday October 1, 2003. P.A1.)
CIRCARE, however, has two concerns. Firstly, Dr. Zerhouni appears to be making the case that a higher percentage of patients for a given disease be enrolled in experimental treatment. For instance, he cites how most leukemia patients are enrolled in clinical trials, while only 1% of Parkinson's disease and 4% of adults with cancer are enrolled in clinical trials. It is only appropriate that a small percentage of persons with a given disease be in clinical trials because the rest of patients are presumably receiving the standard of care.
Secondly, CIRCARE is concerned that the expansion of the current system for training in research ethics will not work, for the present system that trains the tens of thousands of clinical researchers is wholly inadequate.
CIRCARE would like to offer specific reforms, which should be part of a roadmap for the future of research that is seeking to expand to larger numbers of persons and settings.
roadmapmight benefit from those well experienced in the hazards of the road.
Michael A. Susko MS, CIRCARE President
Adil Shamoo Ph.D., CIRCARE Co-Founder
Link: To create an HTML link to this InfoMail cut and paste the following:
<a href="http://www.circare.org/im/im24Nov2003.htm">The NIH Roadmap and Lack of Training in Ethics</a>. CIRCARE InfoMail (2003-11-24)
Last Updated: 2006-04-25
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