The Ministry of Health says it has been brought to its attention that certain clinical trials are being conducted in the Federation, with the support of Southern Illinois University in the United States of America (USA).
The Ministry of Health has stated categorically that neither the Cabinet, the Ministry of Health, the office of Chief Medical Officer (CMO) nor the St. Kitts and Nevis Medical Board has ever been approached on this project.
“By extension, none of these agencies has approved such a venture. As a result, an active investigation has commenced into this project,” the ministry said in a statement.
“The Ministry of Health will always ensure that all research involving human participants follow international standards which protect the safety and security of persons involved.”
It said in order to help fulfil this mandate, the Chief Medical Officer convened an Interim Ethics Review Committee (IERC) to vet all medical research protocols in the Federation in keeping with international best practices.
The role of the IERC is to ensure that the basic ethical principles and guidelines that govern the conduct of research involving human beings are maintained at all times.