The 14th Forum for Ethics Review Committees in the Asia and Western Pacific (FERCAP) International Conference and 1st Philippine Health Research Ethics Board National Conference 2014 was held last November 23 – 26, 2014 at Tagaytay Vista Hotel, Tagaytay City.With the theme, “Embedding Ethics in National Health Research Systems,” the conference highlighted the initiatives towards institutionalization of ethics within national systems and harmonization of good practices across the Asia Pacific region.
The objectives of the conference were to: (1) describe concepts, best practices, and initiatives towards embedding ethics in national health research systems; (2) highlight the use of a systems approach at the international, national and institutional levels to promote ethics in research among various research stakeholders; (3) identify gaps, facilitators and barriers to good ethical infrastructures; (4) suggest options and future directions of national research systems to maintain the highest ethical and scientific standards in health research; and, (5) develop relevant models of partnership and alliance building in ethical research that promotes empowerment of stakeholders within context of diverse Asian cultures and pluralistic socio-political systems.
The resource speakers were from international and national health authorities, ethics committees, researchers, academic institutions, and pharmaceutical industry. Among the topics discussed were: (1) Challenges and Issues in Health Research Regulations; (2) Empowerment of Research Participants; (3) Effective Governance in Health Research; (4) Models of Health Research Systems; (5) Role of Community Representatives in Research Ethics; (6) Conflict of Interests in Health Research; (7) Indicators of Ethical Health Research Systems; and (8) 2013 Helsinki and Health Research System.
The conference was attended by various sectors and disciplines involved in health research, mainly from Asia and the Western Pacific region. Among them were the delegates from BCHRD, namely Prof. Sandy Lasa of Universidad de Sta. Isabel, ERC Chair and two (2) ERC members- Dr. Aurora Daluro of the Department of Health and Dr. Richard Bartolata of the Bicol University. Likewise with the BCHRD participants were Ma. Theresa de Alban of the Commission on Higher EducationR5 and Prof. Dennis Gogola of Bicol University,
The conference contributed in increasing the participants’ awareness on the various ethical models and practices utilized to improve multidisciplinary health research systems.