South Africa takes big step to streamline its IRB/IEC process for trial applicants

Updated: Oct 22, 2020

In what should be a welcomed news by the industry, the old NHREC system has been discontinued, leaving only point of entry for trials.

The National Health Research Ethics Committee (NHREC) system which was initially intended to help streamline the application process for ethics and SANCTR approvals has been discontinued and replaced by what promises to be a more user-friendly platform. Prior to the announcement of its discontinuation, the system was commonly used as a portal to indicate that a trial has been submitted to South African National Clinical Trials Register (SANCTR) – a function far short of the rationale that initially informed its creation.

With the introduction of the new SANCTR database, only one point of entry will be applicable going forward – a notable improvement to what was a rather cumbersome process that many industry players criticized. The new system includes a function to generate a printout once all the information is captured and submitted for review as proof that the trial has been captured on SANCTR.