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Implementing post-trial access plans for HIV prevention research
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  • Published on:
    A conceptual mistake in the definition of access in post-trial access implementation discussion?
    • Ignacio Mastroleo, Researcher, PhD in Philosophy CONICET, Program of Bioethics FLACSO Argentina

    Paul et al. (2018) “Implementing post-trial access plans for HIV prevention research” present a much-needed discussion on the implementation of post-trial access plans. Here, I just want to signal a mistake on the conceptual definition of access, to an otherwise flawless paper.

    If I am correct, the mistake would be related to the formulation of the following question:

    "it the responsibility of researchers and sponsors only to ensure that all participants have access to effective preventive therapies, or does that responsibility extend further, to ensuring that participants actually receive them?" (Paul et al 2018:4)

    I believe that "to ensure that participants have access to an intervention" is logically equivalent to "ensuring that participants actually receive an intervention". The MRCT Center's framework on post-trial responsibility defines access as “[…] the ability, right or permission of an individual to use an object or asset, and implies the removal of barriers to allow such use” (MRCT Center 2017:76). If a person does not actually receive an effective preventive therapy, she does not have the ability to use it. Therefor she has no access. Hence, distinguishing between the above expressions is conceptual mistake.

    Instead, what I believe that the authors wanted to discuss is how much sponsors and researchers need to do to ensure access to an investigational intervention. In fact, irrespective of the abo...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.