Guidance for Addressing the Provision of Antiretroviral Treatment for Trial Participants Following their Completion of NIH-Funded HIV Antiretroviral Treatment Trials in Developing Countries

Notice Number: NOT-OD-05-038

Key Dates
Release Date: March 16, 2005

Issued by
National Institutes of Health (NIH), (http://www.nih.gov)

Summary

It is important that individuals who volunteer to participate in NIH-supported/funded HIV antiretroviral treatment trials have the option to continue to receive antiretroviral treatment following the completion of the treatment trial. For antiretroviral treatment trials conducted in developing countries, the NIH expects investigators/contractors to address the provision of antiretroviral treatment to trial participants after their completion of the trial. The NIH recommends investigators/contractors work with host countries' authorities and other stakeholders to identify available sources of antiretroviral treatment.

Background

The NIH is committed to conducting and supporting HIV/AIDS research in an effort to improve the health of people living with HIV/AIDS, particularly people in countries most affected by the epidemic. As part of the NIH's mission to apply knowledge to extend healthy life and reduce the burdens of illness and disability, the NIH plays a pivotal role in conducting and supporting studies to assess whether antiretroviral therapeutic regimens are appropriate and effective, which in turn sets the standard of care.

To effectively provide antiretroviral treatment to HIV-affected populations, including those populations participating in research, requires the combined efforts of, and coordination and communication among, many stakeholders with different expertise, capabilities, and mandates. Such stakeholders include governments, non-governmental organizations, pharmaceutical manufacturers, advocacy groups, and research organizations.

The NIH's authority to “encourage and support research” does not extend to providing treatment following the completion of that research. 42 USC 284(b)(1)(A). It is important that trial participants who receive antiretroviral treatment in NIH-supported/funded antiretroviral treatment trials have the option to continue to receive antiretroviral treatment following their completion of the trial. Thus, the NIH recommends NIH-supported/funded investigators engage in a dialogue with host countries' authorities and other stakeholders in order to facilitate the inclusion of these populations in available in-country antiretroviral treatment programs and when applications are made for treatment programs through outside agencies. The inclusion of treatment trial participants in these antiretroviral treatment programs reflects the changing standards for HIV care in developing countries, including the development of national plans for introducing antiretroviral treatment and care in association with assistance programs such as the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria; the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief; and others.

This Guidance explains the NIH's expectations for applicants/offerors to address the provision of antiretroviral treatment to research participants in NIH-funded antiretroviral treatment trials following their completion of the trial.

Implementation

The NIH recommends NIH-funded investigators work with host countries' authorities and other stakeholders to identify sources available, if any, in the country for the provision of antiretroviral treatment to antiretroviral treatment trial participants following their completion of the trial.

For grant applications determined to be in the fundable range, in addition to the NIH Just-In-Time requirements, applicants are expected to provide to NIH Program Staff for evaluation their plans that identify available sources, if any, for the provision of antiretroviral treatment to research participants.

For contracts, the solicitation will require that the proposal include a plan that identifies available sources, if any, for the provision of antiretroviral treatment to research participants. The NIH Project Officer will evaluate the plan as a part of the overall review of the proposal.

For both NIH-funded grants and contracts, in the selection of sites for antiretroviral treatment trials, priority may be given to sites where sources are identified for the provision of antiretroviral treatment following the completion of the trial.

This Guidance applies to both investigator-initiated applications and to applications/proposals sent in response to Funding Opportunity Announcements (e.g., Requests for Applications, Program Announcements, and Requests for Proposals) issued by the NIH.

Timely information, Q&As, and resources may be found by clicking here or by entering the following URL: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/antiretroviral/index.htm.


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