Research ethics committees examine and review procedures in any health and social care related areas to ensure that they are conducted in an ethical and scientifically valid way. They are appointed by the Government's UK Ethics Committee Authority.
The booklet, published by the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI), has been prepared with prospective and current ethics committee members in mind, as well as pharmaceutical company personnel involved in ethics committee applications.
"Ethics committees play a vital role in providing independent scrutiny and oversight of clinical trials work. However, their activities can sometimes seem daunting to newcomers, so the ABPI has produced this publication to explain the process," said Dr Richard Tiner, ABPI Medical Director.
The booklet explains the various terms used in clinical research and also contains a useful list of websites as well as a comprehensive set of appendices providing important reference documents.
Compiled by Dr Michael Goggin, a retired physician who is himself a member of a research ethics committee, Introduction to the work of research ethics committees in the United Kingdom is available, priced £15, from the ABPI Publications Department, 12 Whitehall, London SW1A 2DY; phone 020 7747 1446
For further information, please contact: ABPI Press Office 020 7747 1410