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SAMJ: South African Medical Journal

On-line version ISSN 2078-5135
Print version ISSN 0256-9574

Abstract

LABUSCHAIGNE, M et al. Protecting participants in health research: The South African Material Transfer Agreement. SAMJ, S. Afr. med. j. [online]. 2019, vol.109, n.5, pp.353-356. ISSN 2078-5135.  http://dx.doi.org/10.7196/samj.2019.v109i5.13803.

The need to transfer human biological materials (HBMs) across national boundaries has become increasingly important in view of increased biobank and commercial activities globally. In light of South Africa (SA)'s history of colonisation and racial discrimination, coupled with well-known instances of exploitation of research participants in the developing world, it is critical that the management of HBMs from and to other jurisdictions is explored and regulated. Material transfer agreements (MTAs) represent an important point of departure in such a process. This article explores the need for a uniform MTA in SA and discusses some aspects of the recently gazetted national MTA, which provides a framework that can serve as a safeguard for cross-border transfer of HBMs in the absence of the National Health Act's chapter 8 regulations in this regard.

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