The entire team at Altasciences expects all participants to be treated with respect and dignity. To ensure that all of our practices affecting members of the public remain ethical, we collaborate with a Research Ethics Board (REB). This article will explain what the board is, what their mission is, its role at Altasciences and what this implies for you, current or future participant.
What is a Research Ethics Board (REB)?
First off, regulations surrounding clinical studies require the intervention of a research ethics board to ensure the participants’ protection. The board’s goal is to ensure the security and well-being of the participants throughout the clinical process. Important to know, the research committee is external and independent from Altasciences.
The members of the board come from varied backgrounds and experiences. Some may come from academic and research communities, others from public institutions. These diverse experiences and points of view ensure an excellent review process of all our studies.
The Board’s Mission
The committee’s mission consists of, above all, protecting the public and the participants, ensuring you are treated with dignity and are protected throughout the clinical studies in which you will participate. In other words, the board is responsible for the ethical validity of the study.
The committee is involved as soon as a new study begins; well before participants are sought out to partake. The board examines the description of the study and its various steps, the indemnity offered, the implications for the future participants, the conformity of the study, the potential risks, etc.
Role at Altasciences
For Altasciences, the Research Ethics Board plays a key role in helping us manage our participant relations. In order to begin, a study must first be approved and receive authorization by the board with which Altasciences collaborates. If a study does not meet the board’s criteria, the board will advise Altasciences, who will then need to make the necessary modifications and resubmit the study for re-evaluation.
In summary, once you learn about a new study or participate in a study, it inevitably means that beforehand, this study was approved by the Research Ethics Board.
Implications for the participant
What this means for you, as a participant, is that the Research Ethics Board reviews all documentation that is shared with you. This ensures that we are not trying in any way to deceive you or influence your decision.
It is the same procedure followed throughout the recruitment process. The board also ensures this process is ethical. From the risks you may undertake during your participation in a study, to the manner in which you will be treated during your stay in clinic and to the indemnities you will receive, these are all overseen and evaluated first by the committee.
Last but not least, the protection of your personal data (name, age, address, health, etc) also has an important place in the board’s evaluation.
To learn more about clinical studies, we invite you to read through our series “Before the Study.”