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Current guidelines on the ethics of medical research in developing countries state that, in order to avoid exploitation, treatments that are proven safe and effective should be made "reasonably available" in those countries.

In this article, a group of more than 30 researchers from Africa and the United States complain that this guidance is too narrow, because it focuses only on the provision of knowledge and drugs.

They argue that communities involved in medical trials must determine whether they will receive a fair level of benefits, both during and after the research. These benefits could range from the provision of treatments for disease, to health care training, improved medical facilities, and employment opportunities.

Reference: Science 298, 5601 (2002)

Link to Science article

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