Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


The present opinion considers the ethical aspects of clinical trials carried out within the European research programmes in developing countries. This gives rise to ethical questions specifically linked to socio-economic inequalities and poverty but also to cultural diversity. It must be stressed that cultural diversity is a factor that may influence the practice of clinical trials independently from socio-economic factors. Moreover, concepts of industrialised and of developing countries are in themselves vague as there is continuity from very poor countries to countries with a standard of living close to developed ones. The EGE members would like to stress that the huge economic inequalities of our world are the cause of most of the problems raised in this Opinion.

This Opinion is aimed at providing help to the Commission in the exercise of its responsibility regarding the implementation of EU-funded research activities in countries which culturally or economically differ from the West European context. Some aspects of this Opinion may also be applicable to research involving cultural minorities or vulnerable groups within industrialized countries. It may also be relevant for the European Agency for the Evaluation of Medicinal Products.

Additional information

Authors: No editor stated, European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies to the European Commission, Brussels (BE)
Bibliographic Reference: Luxembourg, Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, 2003, 207 pp., free of charge
Availability: EUR-OP reference: KA-51-03601-3A-C Available from European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies to the European Commission, Brey 10/128, B-1049 Brussels, Email:
ISBN: ISBN: 92-894-5373-7
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