Ministry launches Good Clinical Practice

Improvement: The Sleep Medicine Laboratory at the JPMC. Picture: BT photo file

Sunday, May 11, 2008

BRUNEI DARUSSALAM will establish a research framework under the regulation of the Ministry of Health Medical Research Committee (MMRC) to identify national health research priorities and provide direction for future health research.

"Research is the way forward. If we want to see progress in the fields of science and medicines, we need to invest in research," said Minister of Health Pehin Orang Kaya Indera Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Hj Suyoi Hj Osman yesterday.

Speaking at the launch of the Brunei Darussalam Guidelines for Good Clinical Practice (GCP) at the Sheraton Utama Hotel, the minister said that the committee will be headed by the Ministry of Health's permanent secretary.

Two other research committees will be under the umbrella of the MMRC, namely the Health Policy and System Research Committee and the Medical and Health Research and Ethics Committee, the latter to be chaired by Dato Samuel Yapp Kai San, the head of Clinical Services at the Ministry of Health.

To provide protection for the participants and researchers, the minister said that it will become a mandatory requirement in Brunei that all research with human participants be conducted in line with an approved research of ethics application.

In pushing towards more research in the country, the production of the Brunei Guidelines on Good Clinical Practice has come in a timely manner and the minister urged all researchers to comply with the guidelines to ensure high standard work and achieve excellence in clinical research.

"As medical research becomes more complex, a more elaborate guideline is necessary to address a doctor's ethical and scientific responsibilities," Pehin Dato Hj Suyoi said.

Dr Alice Yong, a specialist physician at the Ripas Hospital, said that a major focus of the national guidelines for good clinical practices was to help initiate and shape the research culture in Brunei. The standard of the good clinical practices provides assurance that the data and results are both credible and accurate, she added.

Moreover, compliance with the guidelines provides public assurance that the rights, safety and well-being of trial subjects are protected, he said. The guidelines serves as an international ethical and scientific quality standard for the design and report of research and trials that involve the participation of human subjects and becomes increasingly necessary as medical research is needed to discover new technologies and new drugs.

The minister explained that advances in medical knowledge and technology has made it possible to do more than ever before and cutting-edge techniques will likely be more developed in the years ahead. "What seems like medical miracles today will be medically routine tomorrow," added the minister. The event followed a similar gathering last March. The Brunei Times