Clinical trials may be sponsored by pharmaceutical and/or biotechnology companies, but are administered at hospital and/or research institutions by physician experts in the disease field. Each site (hospital and/or research institution) is required to receive approval by an IRB (institutional review board) before clinical trials on patients can begin. An IRB is a panel of scientists, ethicists and non-scientists charged with overseeing clinical research where the clinical studies are conducted. It is the responsibility of the IRB to review the study protocol or research plan and ensure that risks to patients are minimized and that the study complies with all necessary guidelines.
Who sponsors clinical trials?