Bioethics News

In Clinical Trials, For-Profit Review Boards Are Taking Over for Hospitals. Should They?

July 6, 2016

(STAT News) – Institutional review boards — which review all research that involves human participants — have undergone a quiet revolution in recent years, with many drug companies strongly encouraging researchers to use commercial boards, considered by many more efficient than their nonprofit counterparts. Commercial IRBs now oversee an estimated 70 percent of US clinical trials for drugs and medical devices. The industry has also consolidated, with larger IRBs buying smaller ones, and even private equity firms coming along and buying the companies.

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