Independence of clinical events committees: A consensus statement from clinical research organizations

Ernest Spitzer, Alexander C. Fanaroff, C. Michael Gibson, Jonathan Seltzer, Eugene McFadden, Maria Ali, Matthew Wilson, Venu Menon, Roxana Mehran, Claes Held, Kenneth W. Mahaffey, Renato D. Lopes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Randomized clinical trials are the gold standard to assess the causal relationship between an intervention and subsequent outcomes, also known as clinical endpoints. In order to limit bias, central clinical events committees (CEC) are established to ensure consistent event reporting across participating centers, as well as complete and accurate ascertainment of endpoints. However, defining independence is challenging. Methods: This consensus statement was generated by teleconferences and electronic communications among clinical research organizations from the United States, Europe and Australia. This document does not constitute regulatory guidance. Results: An independent CEC is defined when the adjudicators are not primarily involved in designing, funding, sponsoring, organizing, conducting, analyzing or regulating the clinical trial for which they serve as an adjudicator, beyond their role as CEC member. Moreover, independence requires absence of conflicts of interest with the steering committee, sponsor, grant giver, manufacturer, coordinating center, other independent committees, core laboratories, medical monitor, safety physician, participating clinical sites, statistician or data manager, regulatory agencies or authorities, which could influence (or be perceived to influence) a member's objectivity in evaluating trial data. Such conflicts of interest include financial benefits, directing or advisory role (paid or unpaid), decision-making position, as well as being a direct relative. An independent adjudicator has no other role within a clinical trial. Conclusions: This consensus statement presents a standardized definition of an independent CEC to be considered by clinical research organizations, manufacturers, and investigators. In addition, it provides recommendations on best practices for implementation of an independent CEC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)120-129
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Heart Journal
Volume248
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2022

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