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Research with Minors in Germany

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image of European Journal of Health Law

The European GCP Directive has been implemented into German law in sect. 40 ff. AMG (German pharmaceutical law). Unlike the Directive, German pharmaceutical law basically differentiates between three constellations of clinical trials on minors: clinical trials on healthy minors, clinical trials on ill minors with an individual benefit for the individual participant, and clinical trials on ill minors without direct benefit for the individual participant, but with a so-called “group benefit”. Particularly the latter possibility of conducting clinical trials on minors even if no individual benefit can be expected is not a matter of course in Germany since due to historical experiences a sceptical attitude towards clinical research on humans prevailed for a long time. German legislature has availed itself of the option granted by Article 3 of the GCP Directive to establish a higher level of protection of clinical trial subjects than the European level.

Affiliations: 1: Institute for Health and Medical Law (IGMR), University of Bremen


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