Protecting public health

The Swiss healthcare system is aimed at maintaining and promoting public health. The primary focus of human research regulation is on protecting each and every human being and handling health-related personal data with due respect.

Favourable framework conditions for research

Science is crucial for public health, because research leads to new findings and helps revise outdated ones. Human research regulation aims to create favourable framework conditions for research on humans.

1

Protecting humans

The goal of human research regulation is the protection of each and every human being and the respectful handling of health-related personal data.

Research into prevention and treatment procedures

Numerous procedures to prevent and treat diseases are deployed in order to preserve and restore health. Research in the areas of medicine, biology, psychology and social sciences contributes to the discovery and development of new procedures and allows us to question or confirm the efficacy of existing procedures.

Application of tested, established and effective procedures

Switzerland has clear guidelines on which procedures are permitted and which are not. Procedures which are used in everyday practice have been tested, established and proved efficient.

2

Prevention and treatment procedures

Numerous procedures are deployed to prevent and treat diseases, including therapies, medical devices, radiation, surgery and medicinal products.

Testing procedures in humans

In order to assess the efficacy and safety of new procedures, they have to be tested in humans – which requires official authorisation. If a new procedure demonstrates its efficacy in the tests and the risk/benefit ratio is adequate, it is approved (in other words, it becomes the standard) and can then be used in humans.

Protecting research participants

Participation in a research project can sometimes involve risks for the participants’ health – depending on the project, however, they also have the opportunity of benefiting from new scientific findings early on. The primary focus of all human research projects, however, is on protecting the research participants and handling their health-related data with due respect.

3

Testing procedures in humans

New prevention and treatment procedures – such as medicinal products – need to be tested in humans by means of an officially approved research project. If a new procedure demonstrates its efficacy and the risk/benefit ratio is adequate, it is approved, in other words, it becomes the standard.