September 9-10, 2014: AAHRPP’s Review Committee Visits Campus

Following numerous criticisms challenging the scope, legitimacy, and integrity of AAHRPP’s review, AAHRPP’s review committee visited campus September 9 and 10. Local news media and blogs covered faculty senators’ letter of concern and related critiques of AAHRPP. Vice President Brian Herman and Professor William Durfee served as the chief spokespersons defending the university’s selection of AAHRPP and Elyse Summers, AAHRPP’s CEO, fielded reporters’ questions about that organization’s financial, professional, and personal conflicts-of-interest.

Left unexamined in news coverage was the question of whether any other organizations had submitted responses to the university’s request for proposals. While university officials defended AAHRPP’s proposal as the “best” submission they received, to date there is no publicly available information concerning whether other organizations submitted applications and how the AAHRPP proposal was selected. Local news reports also did not note a discrepancy between AAHRPP’s proposal and the actual review team that visited campus. While three reviewers were identified in AAHRPP’s bid, six reviewers visited campus, reviewed documents, and conducted interviews. It is unclear whether any faculty senators other than Professors Durfee and Gini were consulted before AAHRPP was selected and its six reviewers hired.

An AAHRPP conference is scheduled to take place two months after the review team’s trip to Minneapolis. Pfizer is funding the meeting.

Carl Elliott, “Coming this week: the pretend research review at the U,” Fear and Loathing in Bioethics, September 6, 2014.

Doug Belden, “UMN professors concerned about review of human clinical studies,” Pioneer Press, September 8, 2014.

Maura Lerner, “Faculty members challenge panel reviewing U’s human research,” Minneapolis StarTribune, September 8, 2014.

Robbie Feinberg, “Faculty rip into U of M over new review of drug research program,” City Pages, September 9, 2014.

Jeff Baillon, “Critics call review of U’s human research practices ‘a sham’KMSP-Fox 9, September 9, 2014.

Ed Silverman, “University Plan to Review Clinical Trial Work Meets Conflict Charges,” WSJ Pharmalot, September 10, 2014.

Taylor Nachtigal, “Faculty continues fight against clinical trial review,” Minnesota Daily, September 10, 2014.

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