OECD Consultation on Human Biobanks and Genetic Research Databases

20 April 2008

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has launched a public consultation on draft Guidelines for Human Biobanks and Genetic Research Databases (HBGRDs).

The success of research involving the human genome and resulting applications is dependent on the sharing of knowledge comprised of data, biological samples and information derived from the analysis of those samples. . The OECD guidelines are intended as a tool to assist both OECD and non-OECD economies with the development of policies for the establishment and operation of HBGRDs

The draft Guidelines have been developed by experts from OECD member states, including individuals from national and international HBGRDs, along with policy makers, researchers, lawyers, ethicists, and private sector representatives. They are intended for use by individuals and bodies involved in the governance, management and use of human biobanks and genetic research databases, and aim to provide both key principles and suggested best practices.

The OECD is inviting comments are invited from any member of the public, but there is a particular call for input from “public and private sector entities involved in the establishment, governance, management and use of human biobanks, genetic research databases, and collections; patient groups; researchers; and from experts involved in ethical, social, legal and financial fields” (see Frequently Asked Questions for more information). The deadline for submitting comments is 16 May 2008.

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