Clinical trials: chasing recruits.

Posted: Oct 29, 2010
CMAJ. 180. 4. 375-8.
KEYWORDS: Remuneration, International, Regulatory Issues, Provider Influence, Conflict of Interest


Questionable recruitment processes can arise without the presence of a central body to enforce trial regulations and ethical practices.

Why this item may be useful

This journal article touches upon some of the unethical recruitment practices currently associated with clinical trials in Canada. Protection of research participants in Canada has long been a source of controversy, in part because there is no single regulatory body—similar to the Food and Drug Administration in the United States—that governs all domestic clinical trials. It is recognized that patients may be coerced into entering phase II or III trials, or subject to undue influence, which raises the question whether patients are being provided with an accurate sense of the risks or frequency of adverse events associated with the trials. Conflict of interest may also arise when participants are paid or when physicians are paid to recruit patients. The profit motive can conflict with the protection of participants and the scientific validity of trials. Currently, there is more accountability and more money spent overseeing research in animals than in humans. A central, regulatory body to govern research in humans is needed in Canada.