International Research on Herpes vaccines under fire for ethical lapses by government of St. Kitts

At the end of August, news broke about an effort to develop a herpes vaccine. On the face of it a good use of human subject research, in fact the research conducted on the Caribbean island of St. Kitts was “completely unmonitored by the FDA or any kind of IRB” despite being supported by an American university.

The government of St. Kitts and Nevis has begun a formal investigation into the clinical trial. Why? Officials say they had no idea the trials were taking place in its borders on its citizens. St. Kitts and Nevis does have a Medical Board and a Ministry of Health that oversee human subject research. Patrick Martin, St. Kitts and Nives’s chief medical officer until June of 2016, said “We are a country of rules and regulations. Researchers can’t just do whatever they like without notifying the government or going to an IRB.”

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