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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 165-167

An audit of the approval letters issued by Drugs Controller General of India to Ethics Committees in India

1 Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, KEM Hospital, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
2 Institutional Ethics Committee, Mumbai KEM Hospital, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
3 Department of Clinical Pharmacology, KEM Hospital, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Shruti S Bhide
Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Mumbai KEM Hospital, Mumbai, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2229-3485.192037

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Aim: The present study is an audit of the communiquιs issued by the Drugs Controller General of India [DCGI] to Ethics Committees [ECs] for content and directives after the mandatory notification of registration of Ethics Committees issued on 8 th February 2013. Methods: All letters were downloaded from the website of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization [CDSCO] and evaluated for the date of issue, number of directives, domains covered by the directives [general instructions, administrative requirements and quorum requirements], median time to approval for registration and time elapsed between date of application and issue of the approval letter. Results: There were a total of 1036 EC letters listed on the website, from which 854 [82.4%] could be downloaded. A working denominator of 841 was arrived at after discarding repeat letters and those that had an incorrect address. The state of Maharashtra had the highest number of ECs registered (209/841, 24.9%) followed by Gujarat [97/841, 11.5%) and Karnataka [96/841, 11.4%]. The number of directives within each letter ranged from 8-22. The overall time to approval was 77.5 [24-919] days and the time to approval between Institutional and Independent Ethics Committees was significantly different. Conclusions: The office of the DCGI had a very wide time range for approving registration of Ethics Committees that ranged from less than a month to more than two years. The quality and nature of the directives improved with time. As the country moves towards accreditation, letters issued by the DCGI should have uniformity. The large number of ECs in a single state and lack of even a single one in several others is something that needs to be addressed by policy makers.

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