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Company News Release
Reaccreditation underscores WIRB-Copernicus Group's commitment to enhancing safeguards for clinical trial participants
WIRB-Copernicus Group (WCG), the world's largest provider of regulatory and ethical review services for clinical research, announced today that its Western Institutional Review Board® (WIRB) has been reaccredited by the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs (AAHRPP), which endeavors to improve safeguards for clinical research participants.
WCG Chairman and CEO Donald A. Deieso, Ph.D., commented, "It is of utmost importance to WCG that all of our IRB panels meet the highest possible quality, ethical and participant protection standards when they review clinical research. All 14 of our IRB panels are AAHRPP-accredited so that clients and clinical trial participants can be assured that we continue to set the highest achievable bar."
WCG Chief Compliance Officer David Forster, JD, MA, CIP, added, "AAHRPP reaccreditation is an intensive process, which includes an element of ongoing process improvement, a thorough review of records, policies, procedures and other materials, and a two-and-one-half-day formal, on-site review during which the IRB's minutes, sample protocols and consent forms are audited, and its employees interviewed."
Founded in 1968, WIRB was the first independent review board in the United States. First accredited by AAHRPP in 2003, WIRB undergoes the organization's rigorous reaccreditation process every three to five years, as per AAHRPP requirements.
"AAHRPP accreditation is our much-prized seal of approval for high quality review boards," said AAHRPP president and CEO Elyse Summers, J.D. "All major U.S. independent IRBs are AAHRPP accredited. In addition, more than 60 percent of U.S. research-intensive universities and 65 percent of U.S. medical schools are either AAHRPP accredited or have begun that process," she added.
WIRB now works with more than 1,000 institutions in the United States, and has 20,000 active sites under its oversight. It also has a network of affiliates and fellows reviewing research around the world. Its clients range in size from small community hospitals and research sites to large academic medical centers and universities.
In addition to providing institutions with AAHRPP- accredited review through WIRB, WCG also promotes high quality reviews by helping individual institutions to achieve AAHRPP accreditation through its consulting arm, WCG Consulting.