The last decade has witnessed a substantial increase of multi-centre, public health-oriented clinical trials in poor countries. However, non-commercial research groups have less staff and financial resources than traditional commercial sponsors, so the trial teams have to be creative to comply with Good Clinical Practices (GCP) requirements. This article hopes to feed the reflection on the methodological and ethical aspects of clinical trials carried out in developing countries by North-South collaborative research groups.
This paper, recently published on the Italian Journal of Tropical Medicine(Vol 15, N 1-4, 2010), reports on a debate that took place during the 6thEuropean Conference of Tropical Medicine in 2009, on some topics of greatinterest for GlobalHealthTrials.org: is there a global standard for clinicalresearch? Should standards be adapted in developing countries? How toencourage research while preventing the exploitation of vulnerableindividuals or groups? Five "debate questions" where addressed by ProfessorNick White and by Dr. Lumuli Mbonile, and discussed with the moderator(Raffaella Ravinetto) and the audience.