Pfizer Gets AAHRPP Accreditation

Pfizer has just become the first pharmaceutical company accredited by The Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs, Inc. (AAHRPP)

Here’s Thursday’s press release from AAHRP: Pfizer Is First Pharmaceutical Company to Earn Accreditation

Accreditation of human research protection programs is expanding into clinical trials conducted by Pfizer Inc., and to three more of the nation’s social science and behavioral research universities, the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs, Inc., announced today.

AAHRPP has accredited another 16 organizations, expanding coverage to a total of 175 organizations representing more than 830 entities that have met its standards for accreditation since 2003. Pfizer, the world’s largest research-based pharmaceutical company, is the first in its industry to gain accreditation for its phase 1 clinical research units….

The press release is short on details, but does note that “AAHRPP accredits organizations that can demonstrate they provide participant safeguards that surpass the threshold of state and federal requirements.” The press release also notes that AAHRPP accreditation requires higher standards than those required by Federal regulations.

Why is Pfizer doing this? Well, the press release is AAHRPP’s, not Pfizer’s — there’s no similar release on Pfizer’s website as far as I can see. But presumably Pfizer had some say in how its involvement was described, and the press release describes accreditation as part of Pfizer’s “effort to earn public trust.”

Here’s Pfizer’s own, more detailed, press release: Pfizer Becomes The First Pharmaceutical Company To Be Accredited For Protection Of Human Rights In Clinical Research

Pfizer Inc announced today that it has become the first pharmaceutical company to be accredited by the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs (AAHRPP) for ensuring the protection of human subjects taking part in early-stage clinical trials.

The AAHRPP accreditation was awarded to Pfizer’s clinical research units (CRUs) in New Haven, CT, Brussels, Belgium and Singapore, where the company conducts most of its Phase I clinical research. To earn the accreditation, Pfizer participated in a rigorous, 15-month examination of the clinical research practices at these units.

The Pfizer press release goes on to echo AAHRPP’s “trust” language. Admittedly, public trust is a hard thing to find these days, if you’re a drug company. Why? Well, take a look at the other reason Pfizer is in the news today: from the BBC, Deal in Pfizer-Nigeria drugs suit.

Nigeria’s Kano State and US drugs firm Pfizer have agreed to settle a multi-million dollar lawsuit out of court, lawyers for both sides say.

Pfizer has been accused of killing 11 children and injuring 181 others when an antibiotic was tested on them during a meningitis epidemic in 1996.

The company denies the claims, saying they were victims of the outbreak.

Admittedly, 1996 was a long time ago. But when trust is lost due to the deaths of nearly a dozen children, it really should take quite a while, and a lot of jumping through hoops, to earn it back.

~ by Nancy Walton on April 4, 2009.

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