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This book examines the ethical controversies that have surrounded the design and conduct of international medical research sponsored by industrialized countries or industry, and carried out in developing countries. The chief concern is that research subjects in developing countries may be exploited because sponsors of research employ double standards. One debate focuses on whether the standard of care provided to subjects of medical research in developing countries should be the same as what research subjects receive in North America and Europe. Other concerns are whether the process of obtaining informed consent in developing countries is adequate, and whether prior ethical review of research meets standards that are well established in the industrialized world. Recent international developments show that essential medications can be made affordable and accessible to developing countries, and that double standards need t prevail.
Professor of Bioethics, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York.