Harmonization of Ethics Policies in Pediatric Research

Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics 39 (1):70-78 (2011)
The International Conference on Harmonization of Technical Requirements for Registration of Pharmaceuticals for Human Use (ICH) was formed over 20 years ago with a goal of harmonizing research regulations among the European Union, United States, and Japan. Harmonization was intended to speed approval of pharmaceuticals, avoid unnecessary repetition of studies, and ensure protection of research participants. This paper examines United States, European Union, and ICH pediatric research regulations in five domains: parental permission, assent/dissent, payment, risk/benefit and inclusion of disabled children/wards of state. The purpose is to examine similarities and differences among the regulations to help investigators, policy makers and the public to understand what each regulatory framework can learn from the others. Additionally, the paper suggests philosophical differences in how these entities view pediatric research which may serve as barriers to harmonization in the future.
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DOI 10.1111/j.1748-720X.2011.00551.x
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