Policy ForumEthics

Fair Benefits for Research in Developing Countries

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Science  13 Dec 2002:
Vol. 298, Issue 5601, pp. 2133-2134
DOI: 10.1126/science.1076899

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The need to provide reasonable availability of a proven intervention to the inhabitants of the host community or country at the completion of a trial has been claimed to be necessary to avoid exploitation and, therefore, required for ethical research in developing countries. Not only is this requirement vague, it is seriously flawed. It mistakes the type of benefit with the need to provide a fair share of benefits to avoid exploitation. Furthermore, it applies only to a very narrow range of research, i.e., successful Phase III studies. The authors of this Policy Forum propose to move beyond the reasonable availability requirement to guarantee Fair Benefits.