Guidelines introduced

the Indian Council of Medical Research (icmr) in collaboration with the us -based National Institutes of Health has recently released Ethical Guidelines for Biomedical Research on Human Subjects . The Central Ethics Committee on Human Research (cechr), headed by former chief justice, M N Venkatachaliah, has laid out these guidelines. Many areas of research such as genome mapping, genetic engineering, reproductive technology, stem cell research, human cloning, clinical evaluation of drugs, devices, and vaccines, and herbal remedies have been covered under the guidelines. The code will be updated every two years, according to M K Ganguly, director of icmr .

"Some years ago, it was easier to clear projects involving trial on humans because the drugs being registered in India had been used in the West for years. All that was needed for the drug to be produced in India was a nominal trial,' says Javed Chowdhury, secretary of the Union ministry of health. India has now started developing drugs on a large-scale, therefore, these guidelines will prove to be very important. These guideline will facilitate collaborative clinical research.