Boston—The last year and a half was an embarrassing and humbling period for institutional review boards (IRBs).
First came reports and recommendations by the President's National Bioethics Advisory Commission, the General Accounting Office, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of the Inspector General, all of which were critical of the current IRB system's ability to deal effectively with increasing workloads and changes in the way research is conducted and of its ability to adequately protect human subjects participating in research.
Phillips DF. IRBs Search for Answers and Support During a Time of Institutional Change. JAMA. 2000;283(6):729-730. doi:10.1001/jama.283.6.729