Position paper on how to manage incidental findings in medical research

Publications swissethics

Annual reports and other publications of swissethics

Updated documents

List of documents recently updated by swissethics


Information on the coronavirus: In order to promote transparency and facilitate research coordination, swissethics is now also publishing research projects that have been submitted but not yet approved.


The current situation of the corona pandemic is extremely challenging for all health care institutions involved. The ethics commissions are currently receiving a large number of submissions of projects on corona research. Understandably, the interest in evaluating patient data on new therapies, analysing cohorts or evaluating data on certain pre-existing conditions is extremely high.

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Information on the coronavirus: new and updated document “Guidance of Swissmedic and swissethics on the management of clinical trials with medicinal drug products in Switzerland during the COVID-19 pandemic”


The spread of the new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) also poses a major challenge for clinical trials of medicinal products in Switzerland. 

Swissmedic and swissethics have therefore published a joint document ("Joint Guidance of Swissmedic and swissethics on the management of clinical trials with medicinal drug products in Switzerland during the COVID-19 pandemic"), which describes the most important recommendations for the treatment of patients in clinical trials of medicinal products. The document can be viewed on the respective Swissmedic and swissethics websites.

Information on the coronavirus


Sponsors, investigators and project leaders of clinical trials and research projects in Switzerland must ensure that the studies are conducted in line with the COVID-19 Ordinance 2 (available in German (PDF), French (PDF) and Italian (PDF), issued by the federal government on 16 March 2020.

In particular, participants over the age of 65 and participants with underlying medical

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Information on the corona virus


The corona virus also does not stop at the ethics commissions. Not all the scheduled committee meetings can be held regularly at the various locations. This means that there may be delays in the decision-making process and therefore deadlines cannot always be met. The ethics committees thank you for your understanding.

Nevertheless, the reviews and approvals of studies investigating the disease or investigational medicinal products for Covid-19 are of course treated with priority.

We thank you for your cooperation in this critical situation. In individual cases, the ethics committees are available to answer questions on this matter directly.

Quality assurance, or research project subject to approval?


Sometimes it is not really clear when submitting an application whether it is a research project to be approved by the ethics committee or a pure quality control, which according to the HRA is not subject to approval and therefore does not have to be submitted to the ethics committee.

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