Law for biomedical research on humans by end 2012: Official
Kolkata, Dec 27 (IANS) The law on biomedical research on human subjects, which will keep a tab on unethical medical practices and help those who abide by medical science ethics, will be in place of end of 2012, an official of the union health ministry said Tuesday.
'Everybody should do trials by following ethical practices. If a therapy is approved, the doctor is authorised to use it and practice. But if you do anything beyond that, whether it is drugs or cells, then it is an experimental practice which is unethical,' said Health Research Secretary Vishwa Mohan Katoch on the sidelines of a workshop 'Stem Cell and Research'.
'Earlier, there were guidelines to stop such kind of things. But now these guidelines have been given shape of a bill. By end of 2012, it will be in place. This law will also have the authority so that nobody who is working ethically faces any kind of problem. Every new medical research and experiment on humans will come under this,' he said.
'This bill will also monitor all kinds of foul play in terms of research and experiment. Under this bill, any research on human beings will be covered. If after four trials it is proved that a certain therapy is working, then its ok. But if you are treating somebody without any evidence, then it's unethical.'
According to Katoch, anybody found guilty under this bill will face severe punishment, including imprisonment.
Katoch, who is also director general of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), said stem cell therapy has immense potential.
'Stem cell therapy has immense potential. But potential is one issue, as some forms of it are proven, some are not. And those which are not proven, there is hope for that also. There is a proper scientific process and there will be guidelines which will be changing with a changing scenario. If there is a new indication, and if it is proved after four trials, then it will come up in the website,' he said.
Katoch added that the department of health research has plans to make six regional laboratories across the country. The laboratories will come up under ICMR.