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Subject:   The Establishing of Independent Oversight over Research at the Veterans Administration
Date:   2003-04-30

In 1999, the Veterans Administration decided to set up an independent oversight entity, prompted by serious human subject violations at the West Los Angeles VA. CIRCARE, at the time, testified before Congress in favor of establishing such an entity. Recently, the VA has decided to go back on its original decision so that the Office of Research and Compliance and Assurance (ORCA) would merge with the VA's office for the administration of its research programs. The difficulty of self-regulation is well-known – as even prestigious University research programs have exhibited serious lapses – particularly when conflict of interests are involved. Problems at the VA have continued, such that the current administration was recently moved to order a nationwide review, suspend studies and investigate deaths at three hospitals. (See the New York Times article titled Nationwide Inquiry at Veterans Hospitals. 2003-04-13). *

The latest series of abuses only points to the correctness of the original decision by the Veteran's Administration. CIRCARE has long advocated for truly independent safeguards as an essential measure for preventing unnecessary deaths and injury in the conduct of medical research. The Federal Government should submit itself to the same standard of oversight and standard of research safety, as it sets an example for other research entities, and for which it is responsible for overseeing.

Michael A. Susko MS, CIRCARE President
(410) 499-4895

Adil Shamoo Ph.D., CIRCARE Co-Founder
(410) 706-3327

* We apologize for the incomplete information on the article published in the New York Times. We're attempting to find the missing information.


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Last Updated: 2006-04-25

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