Research Ethics Governance in the Arab Region: Lebanon
Lebanon is a low to middle income country situated within the Middle East and the North African region.It is usually viewed as an attractive site to conduct clinical trials due to a very short startup time and the availability of many competent physicians. Regulations pertaining to research ethics governance do not exist. Nevertheless there are some laws like the code of medical ethics; the pharmacy practice law and the act on human genetic testing that have provisions pertaining to the conduct of clinical research. In the recent years, the Lebanese Ministry of Public Health took some steps to strengthen the regulatory oversight for clinical trials by issuing multiple ministerial decrees. However these decrees do not have the force of law that can impose punishment on offenses. The Landscape of Research Ethics Committees is diverse as well. RECs had largely operated without any defined framework till 2014 when MOPH started establishing some mandates. A huge amount of time, effort and resources needs to be invested to create a safe environment to run clinical trials in Lebanon. Such a journey is needed to enhance the protection and welfare of our people.
KeywordsLebanon Research ethics committees Research ethics governance
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