AAHRPP accredits first private research site

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CONTACT: Julie Rosenthal, (202) 248-8449


138 Organizations Now Accredited

WASHINGTON, D.C., September 18, 2008 – The Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs, Inc. (AAHRPP) today announced that it has accredited another nine organizations, including HOPE Research Institute of Arizona―the first independent, investigative research facility to attain this distinction. To date, 138 organizations representing more than 600 entities have earned AAHRPP accreditation.

HOPE’s accreditation extends AAHRPP’s higher standards to a key sector of the research enterprise: the private research sites that conduct an increasing share of industry-sponsored clinical trials. As an accredited site, HOPE now relies exclusively on AAHRPP-accredited institutional review boards (IRBs) to review its clinical trials.

“AAHRPP’s goal is to improve protections for research participants by setting uniform, high standards across the research enterprise―in both the private and non-profit sectors,” said AAHRPP President and CEO Marjorie A. Speers, Ph.D. “The accreditation of HOPE Research Institute is a significant step toward achieving that goal. It increases the accredited options available both to industry sponsors and research participants.”

AAHRPP-accredited organizations include community hospitals, a contract research organization, independent IRBs, teaching hospitals, universities and, now, a private, independent research facility.

HOPE Managing Partner Patricia Adams said the organization sought accreditation, in part, to improve participants’ access to high-quality clinical trials.

“Private research sites like ours make clinical research opportunities available to average Americans,” she said. “They deserve the assurance of quality that accreditation provides.

“Certainly, accreditation is a feather in our cap,” she added. “But what’s even more important is that accreditation is good for patients who participate in clinical trials and, over the long term, will be good for research in general.”

The newly accredited organizations are:

Aurora Health Care, Inc., Milwaukee, WI
Central Texas Veterans Health Care System, Temple, TX
Clement J. Zablocki Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Milwaukee, WI
HOPE Research Institute, Phoenix, AZ
Louisville VA Medical Center, Louisville, KY
Philadelphia VA Medical Center, Philadelphia, PA
Pittsburgh VA Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA
VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System, Ann Arbor, MI
VA North Texas Health Care System, Dallas, TX

Through the rigorous accreditation process, organizations must demonstrate that they have built extensive safeguards into every level of their research operation and that they adhere to the highest standards for research. AAHRPP’s standards exceed federal regulations by requiring organizations to address conflicts of interest, to provide community outreach and education and to apply the same stringent protections to all research involving human participants. (Under federal regulations, such protections are mandated only for federally sponsored or regulated research.) The accreditation process typically results in system-wide improvements that enhance protections for research participants and promote high-quality research.

Accreditation is available to U.S. and international organizations that conduct biomedical, behavioral or social sciences research involving human participants. Decisions on accreditation are announced quarterly, and accreditation is valid for three years.

About the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs, Inc.
AAHRPP is a non-profit organization that works with organizations that conduct human research to raise the level of protection for research participants. AAHRPP accredits organizations that can demonstrate they provide participant safeguards that surpass the threshold of state and federal requirements. The accreditation program utilizes a voluntary, peer-driven, educational model. For organizations interested in learning more about accreditation, visit www.aahrpp.org.