2015, Number 4
An Med Asoc Med Hosp ABC 2015; 60 (4)
Evaluation of research ethics committees in the area of health. Their relevance and significance in Mexico
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ABSTRACTThere is a lamentable lack of information in our country regarding the advisability of advances in science and technology, the interests of large companies that recruit subjects to test new drugs, the conditions in which experimental protocols are developed, the ethical principles governing them. This gap extends to an appropriate international, national and local legal framework and its implementation. Major national and international documents such as Nuremberg, Helsinki, Belmont, or at a national level, the guides of the Comisión Nacional de Bioética and the Official Standard of Health, are unknown. The pharmaceutical industry regularly determines research priorities, provides the resources and receives the profits. Political and ideological groups also influence and exploit the ambiguity in these fields. The most affected are the participants, whose rights are not adequately protected. Research ethics committees, mandatory from 2013, are the instances that have to cover these ethical and legal gaps. However, there is poor dissemination of their existence and functions: as a consequence, quite often man is at the service of science, rather than science serving the legitimate interests of man. It is urgent to develop insight regarding the magnitude of the substantial deficiencies on this topic and prepare professionals to develop a relevant and comprehensive legislation to be applied and enforced by the research ethics committees.