We encourage you to republish this article online and in print, it’s free under our creative commons attribution license, but please follow some simple guidelines:
  1. You have to credit our authors.
  2. You have to credit SciDev.Net — where possible include our logo with a link back to the original article.
  3. You can simply run the first few lines of the article and then add: “Read the full article on SciDev.Net” containing a link back to the original article.
  4. If you want to also take images published in this story you will need to confirm with the original source if you're licensed to use them.
  5. The easiest way to get the article on your site is to embed the code below.
For more information view our media page and republishing guidelines.

The full article is available here as HTML.

Press Ctrl-C to copy

African scientists should not be silent when unethical trials are conducted in their countries, says Gilbert Dechambenoit.

A quarter of all clinical trials are now done in the developing world, but often the research lacks a rigorous ethical framework.

Western researchers or funders tend to shoulder the blame for trials that the international scientific community deems unethical, says Gilbert Dechambenoit in this editorial in the African Journal of Neurological Sciences. But, he argues, African scientists should bear just as much responsibility for unethical scientific practices.

African scientists allowed trials of the HIV drug tenofovir to continue, despite the same trial being halted in Cambodia because of ethical concerns.

This situation might have arisen, says Dechambenoit, because of poor technical capability and little knowledge of bioethics among African scientists. He suggests that another motivation might be the financial benefits arising from trials undertaken in poor countries.

Dechambenoit calls on "members of the scientific and intellectual elite" to ensure that their actions in clinical trials, and in science generally, are guided by ethics and not money.

Link to full article in the African Journal of Neurological Sciences

Read more about research ethics in SciDev.Net's ethics of research dossier.

Related topics