The Public Responsibility in Medicine and Research (PRIM&R) Conference was held this past week in San Diego, California (Dec 6-8) and our colleagues, Rehab Abdel Hai, Azza Saleh, Hadir El-Dessouky, and myself were fortunate to attend. This conference attracted over 1,500 participants representing investigators, research coordinators, IRB members, ethicists, regulatory officials, pharmaceutical companies, contract research organizations, etc. There were over 100 individuals from international countries. There were Plenary sesssions that included “A Great Debate: Be It Resolved that Consent Forms are an Obstacle to Informed Consent and Should be Abolished”; “Rethnking the Research Regulations: Where Should We Go?”; “Global Standards for Research Ethics: Is Uniformity Possible…Or Desirbable?” and “Making Sense of Community Responses to Tissue Research”. There were many sessions on informed consent, protecting vulnerable populations, ethics of tissue sample research, and post-trial benefits in international trials. Also impressive were the diverse posters selected for presentation. Including those mentioned before from our colleagues from Egypt, there were several posters that addressed issues regarding processes for central IRB review for multi-site studies, evaluation of informed consent understanding among participants, IRB satisfaction survey, and quality assurance programs for IRBs. I and Rehab, Azza, and Hadir will be reporting several of the sessions and posters in the next few days.
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