Disparate compensation policies for research related injury in an era of multinational trials : a case study of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa
CITATION: Chingarande, G. R. & Moodley, K. 2018. Disparate compensation policies for research related injury in an era of multinational trials : a case study of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. BMC Medical Ethics, 19:8, doi:10.1186/s12910-018-0244-y.
The original publication is available at https://bmcmedethics.biomedcentral.com
Background: Compensation for research related injuries is a subject that is increasingly gaining traction in developing countries which are burgeoning destinations of multi center research. However, the existence of disparate compensation rules violates the ethical principle of fairness. The current paper presents a comparison of the policies of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS). Methods: A systematic search of good clinical practice guidelines was conducted employing search strategies modeled in line with the recommendations of ADPTE Collaboration (2007). The search focused on three main areas namely bibliographic data bases, clinical practice guidelines data bases and a restricted internet search. A manual search of references cited in relevant guideline documents was also conducted. The search terms, Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) and key words were developed for a PubMed platform and then adapted for all other data bases. The search terms were kept constant for each country with the only difference being the country name. The documents so obtained were subjected to systematic content analysis. Results: The study revealed that there is vast panoply of regulations which exist on a continuum. On one extreme is India with comprehensive regulations that are codified into law, and on the other end there is China which does not have specific laws regulating research related injuries. There are a number of differences and similarities such as mandatory insurance requirements, existence of no fault compensation, compensable injuries and the role of research ethics committees. Conclusions: It is imperative to enact legislations that protect participants without stifling the research enterprise. There is need for consistency and ideally harmonization of such regulations at a global level. A model policy on compensation for research related injuries should borrow from the best aspects of the different country policies and should be informed by the cardinal ethics principles of autonomy, justice and beneficence.