Author Affiliations: Medical School and College of Law, Australian National University, Canberra (firstname.lastname@example.org).
A variety of factors are driving the phenomenon of global clinical trials, not all of them related to ethically and efficiently addressing the global or regional burden of disease. Adriana Petryna comprehensively and elegantly discussed the historical and philosophical dimensions of global clinical trials in When Experiments Travel (2009, Princeton University Press). Petryna highlighted the inequities of the outsourcing and offshoring of clinical research by multinational pharmaceutical corporations, in which clinical risk for patients (particularly in zones of crisis) becomes a resource traded for profit against the hope of indirect health benefits from association with trained foreign medical professionals. Jennifer Hawkins and Ezekiel Emanuel similarly edited Exploitation and Developing Countries: The Ethics of Clinical Research (2010, Princeton University Press) as a lively collection of essays and case studies by ethicists and clinicians. Global Clinical Trials, edited by Richard Chin and Menghis Bairu, has a more practical and positive focus; indeed, it can be considered a manual on how an ethical global clinical trial should be conducted.
Faunce TA. Global Clinical Trials: Effective Implementation and Management. JAMA. 2012;307(19):2105. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.4820