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Open Access Review

The institutional review board is an impediment to human research: the result is more animal-based research

Mark J Rice

Author Affiliations

Department of Anesthesiology, Department of Anesthesiology, University of Florida College of Medicine, PO Box 100254, Gainesville, FL 32610-0254, USA

Philosophy, Ethics, and Humanities in Medicine 2011, 6:12  doi:10.1186/1747-5341-6-12

Published: 7 June 2011

Abstract

Biomedical research today can be generally classified as human-based or nonhuman animal-based, each with separate and distinct review boards that must approve research protocols. Researchers wishing to work with humans or human tissues have become frustrated by the required burdensome approval panel, the Institutional Review Board. However, scientists have found it is much easier to work with the animal-based research review board, the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee. Consequently, animals are used for investigations even when scientists believe these studies should be performed with humans or human tissue. This situation deserves attention from society and more specifically the animal protection and patient advocate communities, as neither patients nor animals are well served by the present situation.