|Sl. No.||Staff Name||Designation||Status in Ethical Committee|
|1||Dr. L Mahadevan||Ayurveda consultant physician||Chairperson|
|2||Dr. J Clarence Davy||Principal||Member Secretary|
|3||Mr. Shobhana Raj||Professor||Philosopher|
|4||Dr. E Vijaya Sundar||Pharmacologist||Medical Scientist|
|5||Dr. Nandhinee Vijay||HOD of DravyaGuna Dept||Medical Scientist(DravyaGuna Dept)|
|6||Dr. Roshy Joseph||Lecturer in Rasashastra/Bhaisajya Kalpana||Medical Scientist(Rasashastra/Bhaisajya Kalpana Dept)|
|7||Dr. Suresh R D||HOD of Kayachikitsa Dept||Clinician|
|8||Dr. Belmont S Swamy||Advocate||Legal Expert|
|9||Mr. R Arulkannan||Athencottasan Muthamizh Kazhagan||Representative of Non Government Agency|
|10||Mr. Velayuthan||Common Public||Lay Person|
Institutional Ethics Committee (IEC) is the committee formed of a group of people who go through the research protocol / proposal and state whether or not it is ethically acceptable.
Looking into the history, ethics in medical practice were addressed in Charaka Samhita in 1600 BC which mentions the code of ethical conduct and also by Hippocrates in 600 AD. In first half of 20th century many medicines, vaccines were developed, based on trials on captive groups and prisoners without their consent with no concern for their health & welfare. Several unfortunate things occurred throughout the world during World War II where studies were done on prisoners.
ICMR Code is the statement of Ethical Guidelines for Biomedical Research on Human Participants. These Statements of General and Specific Principles may be varied, amended, substituted and added from time to time.
To safeguard the welfare and the rights of the participants it is mandatory that all proposals on biomedical research involving human participants should be cleared by an appropriately constituted Institutional Ethics Committee (IEC). This is also referred to as Institutional Review Board (IRB).
The IEC appoints from among its members a chairperson who should be from outside the Institution and not head of the same Institution, and the Member Secretary from the same Institution who conducts the business of the committee. Members of IEC are:
The Quorum (i.e. the minimum number of people required to conduct a meeting) has 5 persons minimum. As per revised Schedule Y of Drugs & Cosmetics Act, 1940 which is amended in 2005, they should be as :
The members work to safeguard the interests and welfare of all sections of the community. If required, subject experts could be invited to offer their views like a pediatrician for pediatric conditions, a cardiologist for cardiac disorders etc. IEC has its own Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) according to which it functions. These SOPs are updated periodically and these ensure smooth functioning also. An IEC must preferably be registered at the National Biomedical Research Authority as per the Bill passed in 2007.
Responsibilities of IEC are to protect the dignity, rights and well-being of the potential research participants, to ensure that universal ethical values and international scientific standards are expressed and to assist in the development and the education of a research community responsive to local health care requirements.
The IEC’s member-secretary screens the research proposals for their completeness and depending on the risk involved categorize them into 3 types:
The ethical review should be done in formal meetings by all primary reviewers and decision is made only when quorum complete.
The committee should meet at regular intervals and should not keep a decision pending for more than 3 – 6 months. Periodic reviews are done as per the SOPs. All the decisions are communicated in writing to the principal investigator (PI). Members should be encouraged to attend trainings so that they are aware of all new guidelines and developments.Elements of review are:
All documentation & communication of an IEC are dated, filed and preserved up to minimum of three years after completion/termination of the study and strict confidentiality maintained during access and retrieval procedures.
All institutions which carry out any form of biomedical research involving human beings should establish an appropriate IEC that is consistent with international and local guidelines and regulations. They must follow ICMR guidelines in India to protect safety and well-being of all participants and should prevent unethical research.