'Guinea pigs' must gain from research, Wellcome says

March 18, 2005

Scientific research carried out in the developing world must provide lasting health benefits to host countries, according to guidance issued by the Wellcome Trust this week, writes Caroline Davis.

Robert Terry, the trust's senior policy adviser, said: "We want the scientists we fund, who enlist the help of communities in these regions, to see good ethics as an integral part of good science.

"It is essential that those people who have volunteered to take part in scientific studies ultimately benefit.

"This means thinking upfront how any new vaccine or drug will be delivered to that population in a sustainable way."

In particular, research must be relevant to the country's healthcare needs and the interests of participants in trials should take precedence over the ultimate scientific goal.

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