Medicine trials to be closely scrutinized

Clinical trials of medicines in Greece will soon be conducted and evaluated under a controlled regime rather than on an ad hoc basis, Deputy Health and Social Solidarity Minister Thanassis Yiannopoulos said yesterday. «(The trials) will no longer be reliant on personal relations but will operate within a framework based on high-quality scientific indicators, rules and principles,» Yiannopoulos said. The minister added that the setting up of a national ethics committee had been recommended in order to oversee the conduct of clinical trials. The government ordered an inquiry in May after it was alleged that residents at an Athens old-age home had been subjected to clinical trials without their written consent. Yiannopoulos said the creation of a nationwide body would help research centers improve their know-how and attract foreign pharmaceutical companies for clinical trials.