South Africa
South Africa

Quick facts

Clinical trial application language English
Regulatory authority & ethics committee review may be conducted at the same time Yes
Clinical trial registration required Yes
In-country sponsor presence/representation required No
Age of minors Under 18
Specimens export allowed Yes

Regulatory Authority > Regulatory Authority

Last content review/update: September 26, 2022

South African Health Products Regulatory Authority

As stated in the MRSA, Proc20of2017, and ZAF-9, the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) is the regulatory authority overseeing medicines and clinical research, as well as medical devices and radiation safety. As stated in the MRSA, GRMRSA, and ZAF-10, SAHPRA is responsible for clinical trial oversight, approval, and inspections in South Africa. The agency grants permission for clinical trials to be conducted in South Africa in accordance with the provisions of the GRMRSA.

Per the MRSA and ZAF-39, the SAHPRA is an independent, state-owned entity established to oversee the regulation of medicines in South Africa. According to ZAF-39, this agency is responsible for ensuring that all clinical trials of both non-registered medicines and new indications of registered medicines comply with the essential requirements for safety, quality, and efficacy.

Per the MRSA, SAHPRA is a state-owned entity within the public administration but ouG-Ettside the public service. It acts through a Board appointed by South Africa’s Minister of the National Department of Health (NDOH). For details on the Board appointments, see ZAF-39 and ZAF-38.

As described in ZAF-39 and the SA-GCPs, SAHPRA is tasked with regulating (monitoring, evaluating, investigating, inspecting, and registering) all health products. This includes clinical trials, complementary medicines, medical devices, and in vitro diagnostics (IVDs). Its mission is to promote access to health products and protect human and animal health in South Africa through science-based regulatory decisions. Per ZAF-36, SAHPRA’s Clinical Trial Committee (CTC), within the Clinical Trial Unit, reviews clinical trial applications and bioequivalence studies for human participants, and recommends approval of the conduct of clinical trials. SAHPRA also authorizes the importation of unregistered medicine for the purpose of conducting clinical trials. The SA-GCPs also states that SAHPRA is responsible for the following: ensuring efficient, effective, and ethical evaluation or assessment of health products that meet defined standards of quality, safety, efficacy, and performance; ensuring that the process of evaluating or assessing and registering health products is transparent, fair, objective, and concluded in a timely fashion; ensuring periodic re-evaluation and monitoring of health products; and conducting announced and unannounced inspections.

Please note: South Africa is party to the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit-sharing (ZAF-8), which may have implications for studies of investigational products developed using certain non-human genetic resources (e.g., plants, animals, and microbes). For more information, see ZAF-34.

Contact Information

Per ZAF-35, SAHPRA’s postal address is:

South African Health Products Regulatory Authority
Private Bag X828
Pretoria
0001
South Africa

SAHPRA’s physical address is:

Building A
Loftus Park
402 Kirkness Street
Arcadia, Pretoria
South Africa

As provided in the G-CTA-Electronic and ZAF-36, the following are the SAHPRA Clinical Trial Unit emails:

New clinical trials application alert, responses to new clinical trial applications and related queries: ctcresponses@sahpra.org.za
Protocol amendments, responses to amendments and related queries:
ctcamendments@sahpra.org.za
Additional investigators and sites, responses to additional and related queries:
ctcinvestigators@sahpra.org.za
Bioequivalence (BE) studies, BE amendments, responses to BE studies and related queries:
ctcbeprotocols@sahpra.org.za
Notifications and related queries:
ctcnotifications@sahpra.org.za
Individual patient serious adverse events and related queries:
ctcsaes@sahpra.org.za
Guidelines, forms, and related queries:
ctcguidelines@sahpra.org.za

Per ZAF-47, the contacts for clinical evaluation and management are:

Clinical Evaluation Management:
Tohlang Sehloho, Senior Manager
Telephone: 012 501 3016
Cell: 082 302 0222
Email:
tohlang.sehloho@sahpra.org.za

Clinical Trials:
Kedibone Malatji
Telephone: 012 501 0330
Cell: 076 510 8083
Email:
kedibone.malatji@sahpra.org.za

Pharmacovigilance:
Florah Matlala
Telephone: 012 501 0497
Cell: 083 387 3358
Email:
mafora.matlala@sahpra.org.za
Pharmacovigilance queries:
pvqueries@sahpra.org.za
Pharmacovigilance documentation:
pvsubmissions@sahpra.org.za

In addition, see the Safety Reporting section for adverse drug reaction report submission emails.

For general inquiries, reach out to the following:

Boitumelo Mahlangu
Cell: 078 178 2769
Telephone: 012 501 0344
Email:
boitumelo.mahlangu@sahpra.org.za

Telephone/general: 012 501 0300
Email:
enquiries@sahpra.org.za (for general, non-product specific enquiries only.)

30
1, 2, 3, and 35
4.2
Clinical Evaluation and Management
4

Regulatory Authority > Scope of Assessment

Last content review/update: September 26, 2022

Overview

In accordance with the GRMRSA, the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) is responsible for reviewing and approving all clinical trial applications for an unregistered medicine, and for any new indication or dosage regimen of a registered medicine. The scope of the SAHPRA’s assessment includes all clinical trials (Phases I-IV) and bioequivalence/bioavailability studies. Per ZAF-23, the review and approval of clinical trial applications by SAHPRA and an accredited ethics committee (EC) may be conducted in parallel.

ZAF-36 states that the SAHPRA’s Clinical Trial Unit (CTU) provides the legal framework for the review of clinical trials and bioequivalence studies for human participants and recommends approval of the conduct of clinical trials. The unit also authorizes the importation of unregistered medicines for the purpose of conducting clinical trials. As per G-GenInfo, the CTU is specifically charged with evaluating the following:

  • Clinical trial applications and clinical trial amendments
  • Adverse event reports arising from a clinical trial
  • Applications for named patient use (compassionate use) of unregistered medicines
  • Applications for the use of unregistered medicines for clinical trial purposes

Clinical Trial Review Process

Per ZAF-36, the CTU of SAHPRA receives, processes, and evaluates clinical trial applications and any subsequent amendments for approval to conduct a study within South Africa. Researchers must submit a completed application and the prescribed fee on predetermined dates (ZAF-11). The proof of delivery, proof of payments, and cover page must be sent to SAHPRA via email.

The CTU completes a preliminary screening of the application and sends an official letter to the applicant with the outcome and follow-up questions on a screening checklist. If an application is rejected, no response is required; the screening checklist should be used as guidance for resubmission during the next review cycle. Next, the CTU’s Clinical Trial Committee (CTC) (which includes an expert committee of specialists, as needed) reviews the proposed clinical trials pursuant to the schedule on SAHPRA’s website. (See ZAF-11 for 2022 dates). Clinical trial reviews will result in one (1) of the following outcomes:

  • Category 1A: Approved; no items pending
  • Category 1B: Approved; ethics approval pending
  • Category 2A: Not approved; for approval by in-house evaluators, 1-2 or more items outstanding as deemed by the committee
  • Category 2B: Not approved; for approval by the original evaluator and in-house if a need arises
  • Category 3: Not approved; items outstanding to be discussed at the next CTC meeting
  • Category 4: Not approved; for referral for specialist opinion
  • Category 5: Not approved – technical/scientific deficiencies; applicant to resubmit for the next cycle
  • Category 6: Rejected due to administrative and technical items outstanding; applicant to resubmit for the next cycle

If an applicant would like to request a meeting with the CTC, the request should be submitted through the SAHPRA Chief Executive Office pursuant to the procedures in the G-ConsultMtg.

Other Considerations

Per the G-Capacity, SAHPRA will also review clinical trial applications for evidence of plans to build capacity at each study site as well as enhancing research activities and skills of professionals from historically disadvantaged groups. See G-Capacity for detailed information on actions that will comply with this requirement.

In addition, see G-Clin for South Africa's use of a “reliance model” to register medicines based on clinical trial data from other regulatory authorities.

8.2.4
Part 30 (1)
3.1, 11.10, Annex 3, Annex 5, and Appendix

Regulatory Authority > Regulatory Fees

Last content review/update: September 26, 2022

South African Health Products Regulatory Authority

Per the MRSA, the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) is authorized to make regulations to collect fees for its various medicine regulatory functions. As delineated in the G-GenInfo, the MRSA-Fees, and ZAF-37, applicants are responsible for paying several non-refundable fees to submit a clinical trial application. MRSA-Fees delineates the following fees:

For a clinical trial application for the authorization of the use of unregistered medicines:

  • Clinical trial application (safety and efficacy): South African Rand (R)32 400
  • Clinical trial application (bioequivalence study): R30 400
  • Clinical trial application (postgraduate study): R10 800
  • Any other clinical trial application: R5 000

For amendments to clinical trials:

  • Technical amendment applications: R7 000
  • Administrative amendment applications: R4 100
  • Any other application except for the purpose of performing a clinical trial: R350

For licenses:

  • New manufacturing license: R25 200
  • New import/export license to the holder of certificate of registration: R15 000
  • Renewal of manufacturing license: R22 000
  • Renewal of import license to the holder of the certificate of registration: R9 200
  • Renewal of export license to the holder of the certificate of registration: R9 200
  • Annual retention of all licenses: R4 200

For inspections to assess the quality, safety, and efficacy of medicines:

  • Local and international manufacturing sites: R1 600 per hour
  • Local and international clinical trial sites: R1 600 per hour

Payment Instructions

Per the G-SAHPRAFees and the G-GenInfo, when making payments, applicants should follow these guidelines (Note: the regulations provide overlapping and unique elements so each of the items listed below will not necessarily be in each source):

  • Applicants should submit a cover page that identifies the services requested using the template provided in ZAF-37
  • The cover page should list the payment reference/classification associated with the service as specified in the SAHPRA Fee Categorization Guideline (Annexure A of G-SAHPRAFees)
  • Fee payments may be transferred directly into the SAHPRA bank account by electronic or manual deposit process; check payments should not be made
  • For administrative control purposes, applicants should make one (1) payment per service. If a bulk payment is made, the breakdown should be clear on the application cover page
  • As soon as the fee payment has been made, applicants should send proof of payment from the applicants’ bank account (with the payment reference/classification associated with the service as specified in the SAHPRA Fee Categorization Guideline (Annexure A of G-SAHPRAFees)) and the application cover page via email to SAHPRA Finance at pop@sahpra.org.za and finance@sahpra.org.za to ensure timely processing

Per the G-SAHPRAFees, the bank and account details are as follows:

Account name: South African Health Products Regulatory Authority
Special Name: The Medicines Control Council
Account type: Cheque/Current Account
Account number: 40-5939-2080
Bank: ABSA
Bank Branch Code: 632005
Bank physical address: 240 Vermeulen Street, Pretoria, 0001, South Africa
Swift Code: ABSAZAJJ

Fee payment questions can be directed to finance@sahpra.org.za.

2.10
Sections 1-3 and Annexure A
35
Fees for Clinical Trials, Fees for New Licenses, and Fees for Inspections

Ethics Committee > Ethics Committee

Last content review/update: September 26, 2022

Overview

Per ZAF-51, ethics committees (ECs) in South Africa are governed by the National Health Research Ethics Council (NHREC), which is a statutory body established under the NHA. According to ZAF-52, NHREC gives direction on ethical issues relating to health and develops guidelines for the conduct of research involving humans and animals. As delineated in the NHA, the G-EthicsHR-ZAF, and the SA-GCPs, all ECs are required to register with the NHREC in order to undertake the ethical review of a clinical study.

The NHA requires that every institution, health agency, and health establishment at which research is conducted establish an EC or have access to an independent EC. The EC must be registered with the NHREC. The SA-GCPs note that the NHREC accredits and audits the ECs.

Ethics Committee Composition

As delineated in the SA-GCPs and the G-EthicsHR-ZAF, an EC must consist of members who collectively encompass the qualifications and experience required to review and evaluate the scientific, medical, and ethical aspects of all proposed research studies.

The G-EthicsHR-ZAF indicates that an EC should comprise:

  • Members who have documented proof of research ethics training, refreshed at least once within the period of appointment
  • At least nine (9) members
  • At least one (1) layperson
  • At least one (1) member with knowledge of, and current experience in, the professional care, counselling, or health-related treatment of people; such a member might be a medical practitioner, psychologist, social worker, or nurse
  • At least one (1) member with professional training and experience in qualitative research methodologies
  • Members with professional training and experience in quantitative research methodologies
  • A member with expertise in bio-statistics
  • A member with expertise in research ethics
  • At least one (1) member who is legally qualified

Terms of Reference, Review Procedures, and Meeting Schedule

Per the G-EthicsHR-ZAF, an institution or organization must select EC members according to prescribed recruitment and appointment procedures. Members must receive a formal notice of appointment and assurance that they will be legally protected with respect to any liabilities that may arise during their term. EC quorum should be a simple majority, and where the number of members is more than 15, the quorum may be 33%. An EC must also establish and record written procedures to address several administrative issues including meetings, agenda/minutes preparation, research protocol presentations, application registration, protocol submission requirements, review and decision notification process, adverse event reporting, protocol amendment reporting, and end-of-trials review. A reasonable term of office is between two (2) and four (4) years, renewable twice, after which the person should stand down for at least one (1) term. Further, EC members and researchers are expected to familiarize themselves with the institutional documentation as well as national and international research ethics guidelines and should have documented proof of such familiarity. Training of all EC members is critical, especially for ECs that review high-risk research. Training and refresher courses should be available, and EC members should produce, at least once during a term of appointment, evidence of recent training. This ensures that both expertise and responsibility are distributed and encouraged in a range of members, and that institutional memory is accumulated. The SA-GCPs stipulate that EC members who review clinical trial proposals should have research ethics training and good clinical practice training, evidenced by certificates issued in the last three (3) years.

Per the SA-GCPs, the EC should retain all relevant records for a period of at least three (3) years or as per institutional requirement, whichever period is longer, after completion of the trial and make them available upon request from the applicable regulatory authority. The G-EthicsHR-ZAF indicates that ECs should keep written records of all research protocols received for review in the form in which they were approved. Electronic records are acceptable if the signatures are properly documented and included in the record. EC records must provide a reliable and authoritative record of the EC’s business that will stand up to scrutiny in the event of queries, conflicts, and audits.

4.2-4.5, 5.1, and 5.2-5.4
Chapter 9 (72 and 73)
4.3 and 12

Ethics Committee > Scope of Review

Last content review/update: September 26, 2022

Overview

Per the SA-GCPs, clinical trials should be conducted in accordance with all ethical principles outlined in the Declaration of Helsinki (ZAF-44) and consistent with good clinical practice and other applicable regulatory requirements. In accordance with the NHA, the SA-GCPs, and the G-EthicsHR-ZAF, ethics committees (ECs) must evaluate the ethical and scientific rigor of all research studies to be conducted in the country. An EC’s primary responsibilities are to (Note: the regulations provide overlapping and unique elements so each of the items listed below will not necessarily be in each source):

  • Review protocols to ensure that research involving human participants has scientific merit and will promote health, and prevent or cure disability and disease; in addition, ensure the research has social merit in light of South Africa’s research priorities or is otherwise justified
  • Ensure clinical trials are governed by the ethical principles of beneficence and non-maleficence, distributive justice (equity), and respect for persons (dignity and autonomy)
  • Grant approval for research where the protocols meet the ethical standards of the institution, agency, or establishment
  • Determine whether and why randomization is relevant, and how this is addressed
  • Evaluate the appropriateness of the inclusion/exclusion criteria and the recruitment process in the South African context
  • Ensure the feasibility of obtaining meaningful results with the lowest possible risk of harm for participants and whether the risk of harm is appropriately weighed against anticipated benefits for participants or the class of persons from which they are drawn; high risk of harm may be justifiable where the anticipated benefit is of high importance to increase relevant knowledge and appropriate mitigating measures are in place to minimize harm to participants; and attention must be given to harms and benefits beyond the life of the trial itself, especially in respect to early phase studies and (pharmacovigilance) surveillance for chronic and life-threatening conditions

An EC must also pay special attention to protecting the welfare of certain classes of participants deemed to be vulnerable (See the Informed Consent topic for additional information about these populations).

Role in Clinical Trial Approval Process

Per the G-EthicsHR-ZAF, the SA-GCPs, and the NHAParticipants, the principal investigator (PI) or the sponsor must submit a clinical trial application to both the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) and a registered EC for review and approval before a study may commence. Per ZAF-23, the review and approval of clinical trial applications by SAHPRA and an accredited EC may be conducted in parallel.

The G-EthicsHR-ZAF indicates that after the deliberative review process, the EC should approve, require amendment to, or reject a research protocol. In considering a research protocol, the EC may seek assistance from experts. EC decisions should be recorded in writing. A decision to approve should include the conditions (e.g., the duration of the approval, the reporting requirements, etc.). Reasons for a decision to require an amendment or to reject a research protocol should be recorded. Outright rejection should be avoided if a researcher can be advised to improve the protocol. Researchers should be encouraged to engage with the concerns and improve their protocols. ECs should require researchers to report immediately if a project is terminated or suspended before the anticipated date of completion. ECs should require researchers to report immediately anything that might warrant reconsideration of ethical approval of the protocol, including but not limited to:

  • Serious or unexpected adverse effects on participants
  • Proposed changes in the protocol
  • Unforeseen events that might affect continued ethical acceptability of the project

ECs may, at their own discretion, recognize prior review and approval of a research protocol by another registered EC to avoid duplication of effort. Reciprocal recognition means that two (2) or more registered ECs decide to recognize each other’s prior review. ECs that recognize prior review in this manner must determine the nature of the documents to be filed locally, which must, at minimum, include a copy of the approval letter from the other ECs. In addition, ECs may establish procedures for expedited review for research that poses no more than minimal risk of harm to participants.

The SA-GCPs requires the EC’s approval of the following before the clinical trial may begin: protocol and any amendments; case report form, if applicable; informed consent form(s); any other written information to be provided to the participants; advertisement for participant recruitment (if used); participant compensation; and any other documents given approval/favorable opinion.

The SA-GCPs mandate that the sponsor receive confirmation of EC review from the investigator(s) or institution(s). The sponsor must receive the following information prior to the trial’s commencement:

  • The name and address of the relevant EC registered with National Health Research Ethics Council (NHREC), with its documented approval
  • If EC approval is conditional on required modifications, a copy of the modification(s) made and the date the final approval was granted by the EC
  • Documentation and dates of any EC re-approvals/re-evaluations

As delineated in the G-EthicsHR-ZAF, ECs have the right to monitor the research it approves, and researchers should provide appropriate information to the EC to facilitate monitoring, including alerts and investigator brochures. The frequency and type of monitoring should reflect the degree and extent of risk of harm to participants or animals. ECs may recommend and adopt any additional appropriate mechanism for monitoring.

Per ZAF-20, if there is an amendment to the protocol, the sponsor must notify the EC and get its approval. This approval should be sent to the SAHPRA using the Application for Protocol Amendment to an Approved Trial (ZAF-20).

2, 4, 5, and Appendix 1
Chapter 9, Sections 72 and 73
3
2.1, 2.6, 4.3, and 9.2
3 (Part 4)
3.1, 11.10, Annex 3, Annex 5, and Appendix

Ethics Committee > Ethics Committee Fees

Last content review/update: September 26, 2022

Based on the G-EthicsHR-ZAF, ethics committees (ECs) may independently decide whether to charge fees for a protocol review. The G-EthicsHR-ZAF states that an EC should establish and record working procedures concerning fees charged, if any. Researchers without affiliation to an institution or organization with an EC should approach a registered EC to request it to review their health research protocols. If the EC is willing to review external applications, a fee for service may be levied.

4.2 and 4.3.1

Ethics Committee > Oversight of Ethics Committees

Last content review/update: September 26, 2022

Overview

Per ZAF-51, ethics committees (ECs) in South Africa are governed by the National Health Research Ethics Council (NHREC), which is a statutory body established under the NHA. As delineated in the NHA, the NHREC was created by the Minister of Health to provide ethical oversight of clinical research and to safeguard the rights and welfare of human participants involved in clinical studies. According to ZAF-52, NHREC gives direction on ethical issues relating to health and develops guidelines for the conduct of research involving humans and animals. Further, NHREC upholds the principle that research involving human participants is based on a moral commitment to advancing human welfare, knowledge, and understanding, and to exploring cultural dynamics, especially in large-scale trials conducted in developing countries. Of fundamental importance is the duty to conduct scientifically sound research while acting in the participant’s best interests and respecting and protecting the participant’s autonomy.

As delineated in the NHA, the SA-GCPs, and the G-EthicsHR-ZAF, the NHREC’s core responsibilities center on promoting, ensuring, and monitoring compliance by ECs. According to ZAF-52, the functions of the NHREC include:

  • Determine guidelines for the functioning of ECs
  • Register and audit ECs
  • Set norms and standards for conducting research on humans and animals including clinical trials
  • Adjudicate complaints about the functioning of ECs
  • Refer to the relevant statutory health professional council matters involving the violation or potential violation of an ethical or professional rule by a health care provider
  • Institute such disciplinary action as prescribed
  • Advise the national department and provincial departments on any ethical issues concerning research

Registration, Auditing, and Accreditation

As delineated in the NHA, the G-EthicsHR-ZAF, and the SA-GCPs, all ECs are required to register with the NHREC in order to undertake the ethical review of a clinical study. The application to register an EC is available at ZAF-53. The annual report form that ECs must submit to NHREC is available at ZAF-54.

The EC registration is recorded and publicly listed by the NHREC. Per the SA-GCPs, the NHREC accredits and audits the ECs.

4.6, 5.2, and 5.4
Chapter 9, Sections 72 and 73
4.1 and 12.0 (National Health Research Ethics Council)

Clinical Trial Lifecycle > Submission Process

Last content review/update: September 26, 2022

Overview

As delineated in the SA-GCPs, the sponsor and the investigator must obtain approval from the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) and a registered ethics committee (EC) to begin a clinical trial in South Africa. Per ZAF-23, the review and approval of clinical trial applications by SAHPRA and an accredited EC may be conducted in parallel. Per ZAF-20, the same process applies to the review and approval of an amendment to the protocol.

Regulatory Submission

Per ZAF-36, researchers must submit a completed application (ZAF-23) on predetermined dates (ZAF-11) and obtain proof of delivery. The G-CTA-Electronic delineates the electronic submission and communication process in SAHPRA’s Clinical Trial Unit (CTU). For new clinical trial applications (excluding bioequivalence studies), upon submission at SAHPRA Reception, applicants are requested to alert the CTU via e-mail at ctcresponses@sahpra.org.za and include a copy of the proof of delivery, proof of payment, and proof of insurance. In the subject of the e-mail, provide type of application, protocol number, SAHPRA predetermined cycle (see ZAF-11), and email number in case of multiple emails (e.g., “email 1 of 5”). Note that the submission email must include organized zipped folders for various sections of the clinical trial application. Individual site documents for each staff member must be uploaded into one (1) document and labelled with the staff name and arranged in folders according to the site which they belong.

Per G-CTA-Electronic, to respond to SAHPRA’s screening checklist or to CTU’s expert committee review, the applicant must submit all responses by e-mail to ctcresponses@sahpra.org.za and include labelled attachments to the required documents. In the subject of the email, the applicant should provide the type of application, protocol number, and SAHPRA database tracking number. Responses to the CTU’s expert committee recommendations can be in MSWord or PDF formats. All other accompanying documents should be in PDF format v1.4, 1.5, 1.6, or 1.7 and legible with the Acrobat Reader search plug in or any other freeware viewer. PDF files should be saved as “Optimized” to reduce the size and allow faster opening when viewed online. The use of additional software to navigate and work with the files is not acceptable. If PDF files are not produced from an electronic source document but from scanned paper, readability and file size should be balanced; the following is recommended: resolution 300 dpi (photographs up to 600 dpi), avoid grayscale or color where possible, use only lossless compression techniques. The file must be searchable (OCR scanned). In addition, the maximum size of documents allowed per e-mail is 5 MB. As per arrangement with CTU, in case of a big file of documents and documents that need to be couriered, the waybill should indicate the type of application, protocol number, and SAHPRA database tracking number.

Per G-CTA-Electronic, for bioequivalence studies, the application and accompanying documents should be emailed to ctcbeprotocols@sahpra.org.za. The clinical trial application form should be in MS Word format and all other accompanying documents in PDF, as described above. As per arrangement with CTU, in case of a big file of documents and documents need to be couriered, the waybill should indicate the type of application, protocol number and SAHPRA database tracking number. The email subject should include the type of application, protocol number, and SAHPRA database tracking number. See the G-CTA-Electronic for specific examples of labeling the emails.

Per the G-CTAPHEmerg, during a public health emergency, applicants should use the modified clinical trial application form in G-CTAPHEmerg. This form recognizes the constraints on the availability of information posed by the emergency. SAHPRA may accept clinical trial applications with reduced information together with a commitment to update and complete the required information as soon as possible. However, all documents submitted must be organized with zipped folders according to the checklist in the G-CTAPHEmerg and correctly labelled to ensure easy validation by SAHPRA (See the Submission Content and Special Circumstances/Emergencies sections for more details).

The G-CTA-Electronic provides instructions on submitting protocol amendments during the conduct of clinical trials, for additional investigators and sites during the conduct of clinical trials, bioequivalence studies, notifications and notification studies, and individual serious adverse events. The applicant must submit to SAHPRA the application for amendment to an approved trial (ZAF-20), as well as notify and get EC approval. (Also see Site/Investigator Selection and Safety Reporting sections for information about these submittal processes.)

The G-CTA-Electronic and ZAF-23 state that the clinical trial application must be sent to SAHPRA in a submission email (per directions above). However, ZAF-36 provides the following address for delivery of clinical trial applications to SAHPRA Reception:

South African Health Products Regulatory Authority
SAHPRA reception – 2nd floor
Loftus Park, Building A
402 Kirkness St, Arcadia
Pretoria, 0007
South Africa

Per ZAF-36, upon receipt of the clinical trial application at SAHPRA Reception, an acknowledgement of receipt in the form of a stamp and signature will be issued. The waybill from a courier company does not suffice as proof of delivery. SAHPRA’s CTU requires a document, referred to as the ‘stamp page,’ which includes the SAHPRA trial reference number, protocol number, and study title. This document will then be date-stamped and signed by SAHPRA’s Administrative Department and returned as proof.

Per the G-GenInfo, all applications and correspondence should be clearly coded as specified in the following list:

  • TGC – General correspondence
  • TCA – Application to conduct a clinical trial
  • TCV – Amendment of an existing clinical trial
  • TCR – Response to CTC resolution
  • TAE – Report of adverse drug events arising from a clinical trial
  • TUM – Applications related to unregistered medicines as per the MRSA

As per the G-GenInfo and the GRMRSA, all applications and supporting data submitted to the SAHPRA should be presented in English. Original documents that are not in English must be accompanied by an English translation.

Ethics Review Submission

Each EC has its own required submission procedures, which can differ significantly regarding the number of copies to be supplied and application format requirements. Refer to each EC’s website for specific submission procedures (Note: ECs are referred to as health research ethics committees (HRECs) in South Africa).

2.4, 2.5, and 13.5
Application for the Registration of a Medicine – Part 16 (4)
21 and 35
2.6 and 6.2
9

Clinical Trial Lifecycle > Submission Content

Last content review/update: September 26, 2022

Regulatory Authority Requirements

As per ZAF-23, the following documentation must be submitted to the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA):

  • Two (2) cover letters (one (1) signed in PDF and one (1) in MS-Word format)
  • Two (2) completed copies of the clinical trial application (one (1) signed in PDF and one (1) in MS-Word format) (ZAF-23 and ZAF-20)
  • Checklist
  • Protocol
  • Patient information leaflets (PILs) and informed consent forms (ICFs); include standardized SAHPRA contact details (Annex 1 of ZAF-23)
  • Relevant questionnaires
  • Investigator’s Brochure (IB)/SAHPRA and other regulatory authorities’ approved professional information (Package insert(s))
  • Certificate of analysis of the product
  • Signed investigator(s) Curriculum Vitae(s) (CV) in SAHPRA format (Annex 2 of ZAF-23)
  • Signed declaration by co- or principal investigator(s) (PI) (Annex 3 of ZAF-23)
  • Signed joint declaration by sponsor/national PI (Annex 4 of ZAF-23)
  • Signed declaration by applicant
  • Signed declaration by national PI (See page 4 and Annex 3 (ZAF-23)
  • Signed declaration by sub-investigators (Annex 5 of ZAF-23)
  • CV(s) and signed declaration by regional monitor (Annexes 2 and 6 of ZAF-23)
  • Proof of application to register the trial on the South African National Clinical Trials Register (SANCTR) (ZAF-48)
  • Active insurance certificate for clinical trial
  • Proof of sponsor indemnity for investigators and trial site(s) (Annex 7 of ZAF-23)
  • Good Clinical Practice (GCP) Certificates (not more than three (3) years old)
  • Workload forms for investigators (Annex 8 of ZAF-23)
  • Proof of registration with professional statutory bodies
  • Proof of professional indemnity (malpractice insurance) of trialist(s)
  • Ethics committee (EC) approval letter or copy of letter submitted to EC
  • Study budget
  • Citations
  • Proof of payment
  • Certificate of good manufacturing practice (GMP) for manufacture of the investigational product(s) (IP(s))
  • Evidence of accreditation/certifications of the designated laboratories

In addition, as outlined in ZAF-23, a sponsor is required to include the following IP information in the clinical trial application:

  • Name(s) and details of IP(s)
  • Properties of IP, such as mechanism of action
  • Summary of pre-clinical findings
  • Summary of clinical findings
  • Name(s) and details of comparator product(s)
  • Name(s) and details of concomitant medication(s) including rescue medications required in the protocol
  • Registration status of IP
  • Estimated quantity of trial material (each drug detailed separately) for which exemption will be required
  • If any of the above drugs are available in South Africa, an explanation for not using what is available in South Africa
  • Details of IP supply management and accountability (e.g., receipt from supplier, storage, dispensing, packaging, and labelling)
  • Details of the manufacture, quality control, and stability of the IP; provide the GMP certificate
  • Details of intention to register and justify if registration is not planned
  • Previous studies using this IP that have been approved by SAHPRA and include SAHPRA approval number, title, protocol number, date of approval, national PI, PI, date(s) of progress report(s), and date of final report

See ZAF-36 for additional information on submissions. For phase IV trials of approved products, the applicant must notify SAHPRA following the instructions provided in ZAF-17.

ZAF-20 delineates the contents and requirements for submitting an application for protocol amendment to an approved clinical trial.

Per the G-CTAPHEmerg, SAHPRA states that during a public health emergency, new and experimental treatments may become necessary and clinical trials are essential to provide the evidence to develop appropriate policies for patient treatments. Under these circumstances, there may be limited information available. However, applications need to contain a certain minimum of information to enable a meaningful evaluation and regulatory decisions. To address this, SAHPRA provides an information grading system in the G-CTAPHEmerg wherein required information is labelled. Applicants must attempt to provide the information listed below and justify when this is not available. The required information is graded as follows:

  • Essential – Application will not be considered without this
  • Important – Necessary information that must be provided later and must be justified if not available
  • Not essential – May be omitted from this preliminary application

All incomplete information must be explained, justified, and provided to SAHPRA as a complete application (ZAF-23), when available. This means that repeat evaluations of an application may be necessary.

Ethics Committee Requirements

Each EC has its own application form and clearance requirements which can differ significantly regarding the number of copies to be supplied and application format requirements. However, the requirements list provided below is basically consistent across all South African ECs.

The following list was compiled from ZAF-24, ZAF-22, ZAF-45, ZAF-42, and ZAF-49, to exemplify the common elements shared by the various application forms:

  • Cover letter
  • Completed EC-specific application form
  • Protocol
  • Protocol synopsis
  • PIL(s) and ICF(s) and process for obtaining informed consent
  • Separate assent form required for adolescents/children under the age of 18 (See Children/Minors section for additional information)
  • IB and package insert(s) (if applicable)
  • SAHPRA approval letter or letter of application and notification
  • Approval letter from institution’s scientific committee (if applicable)
  • Copy of completed clinical trial application signed by all participating investigators
  • All questionnaires and diaries to be used in the study
  • Advertisement(s) (if applicable)
  • Trial site information (address, telephone numbers, PI names, etc.)
  • Trial payment schedule and budget schedule per site/draft financial contract and additional funding details
  • Proof of submission fees payment
  • Current investigator(s) CVs
  • GCP training certificates for PIs and subinvestigators
  • Information on registration with SANCTR (ZAF-48)
  • Declaration of trialists (PI and sub-investigators) in SAHPRA format
  • Insurance certificate

Further, per the MTA-Human, all the providers and recipients of human biological material for use in research or clinical trials under the auspices of ECs must use the “Material Transfer Agreement of Human Biological Materials” in MTA-Human. The agreement must be signed by the research institution’s authorized representative and the EC. (For additional details, see Specimens topic.)

Clinical Protocol

As delineated in ZAF-23 and the SA-GCPs, the clinical protocol should contain the following information (Note: the sources provide overlapping and unique elements so each of the items listed below will not necessarily be in each source.):

  • General information
  • Background information
  • Study rationale and motivation
  • Trial objectives, purpose, and endpoints (with justifications)
  • Trial design and methodology
  • IP information
  • Participant eligibility, selection, and withdrawal
  • Participant treatment
  • Efficacy assessment
  • Safety assessment
  • Statistics
  • Direct access to source data/documents
  • Quality control/quality assurance
  • Data and safety monitoring plan
  • Data handling/recordkeeping
  • Statistical measures
  • Financing/insurance
  • Publication policy

The protocol must also provide details on ethical and administrative issues, including how the following matters are addressed:

  • Compliance of multi-center/national trials with all South African regulatory requirements
  • The trial design must be customized appropriately for the local setting to ensure that local realities are considered and appropriately integrated into the design
  • For multi-national trials, whether a reasonable proportion of significant project team members, including scientists and health care professionals, are South African researchers, including those from previously disadvantaged backgrounds
  • If South Africa is selected as a clinical trial site but the country of origin or other high-income countries are not, an explanation and reason for this with a clear ethical justification

For detailed information on protocol elements, please refer to ZAF-23 and the SA-GCPs.

Cover page, 3, and Annexure A
2.6, 6.2, 7.1-7.16
Submission Documents

Clinical Trial Lifecycle > Timeline of Review

Last content review/update: September 26, 2022

Overview

Based on ZAF-23 and the SA-GCPs, the review and approval of clinical trial applications by the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) and an accredited ethics committee (EC) may be conducted in parallel. The applicant must notify each regulatory body of the other’s approval once it has been received.

Regulatory Authority Approval

In general, per ZAF-36, SAHPRA’s Clinical Trial Unit (CTU) aims to process new applications and issue a screening checklist within three (3) weeks of receipt. After that, the expert Clinical Trials Committee (CTC) recommendations will be sent within 10 weeks of submission due date. There are cases where this turnaround time might be prolonged, such as an unfamiliar investigational product which may be referred to external reviewers or other SAHPRA committees for input.

During the preliminary screening, the CTU screens the application and sends an official letter to the applicant with the outcome and follow-up questions on a screening checklist. The applicant receives the screening checklist within 15 working days after application submission. The applicant must respond within seven (7) working days after receipt of the screening review.

Next, the CTC reviews the proposed clinical trials. Per ZAF-9, the CTC meets on a 6-weekly basis and typically reviews approximately between 20-40 studies during each cycle (approximately 240 per year). ZAF-11 provides the dates of the 2022 CTC meetings and the SAHPRA submission due dates. It is advisable to submit clinical trial applications before these due dates. Once the reviewer approves the application, the CTC presents the committee’s/reviewer’s recommendations to the SAHPRA. ZAF-36 states that applicants receive a response within 10 working days from the CTC meeting, and they must send an answer within seven (7) working days after receipt of comments. If an applicant would like to request a meeting with the CTC, the request should be submitted through the SAHPRA Chief Executive Office pursuant to the procedures in the G-ConsultMtg.

Ethics Committee Approval

As earlier stated, an applicant must also submit the clinical trial application for review and approval by an accredited local EC. Review timelines vary per various EC procedures.

Governance

In addition, as described in the G-EthicsHR-ZAF and ZAF-6, all clinical trials must obtain site-specific provincial and/or hospital approval to assess the impact the clinical trial will have on the resources of the establishment hosting the trial.

5.5
4.4
Chapter 4 – South Africa (MCC, HREC, Provincial/Hospital) (full ebook only available for purchase)
5.1 (i)

Clinical Trial Lifecycle > Initiation, Agreements & Registration

Last content review/update: September 26, 2022

Overview

In accordance with the GRMRSA, the SA-GCPs, the G-EthicsHR-ZAF, and the NHAParticipants, a clinical trial can only commence in South Africa once an applicant receives approval from the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) and from an accredited local ethics committee (EC). There is no waiting period required following the applicant’s receipt of these approvals.

In addition, the principal investigator (PI) for each study site must be a South African-based scientist (resident of South Africa), and should have the appropriate qualifications, training, and experience to assume responsibility for the proper conduct of a trial. The trial must be conducted in compliance with the SA-GCPs, the G-EthicsHR-ZAF, and the GRMRSA. Also, per the SA-GCPs, all clinical trials must be conducted in a laboratory complying with Good Laboratory Practices (GLP). See ZAF-46 for the World Health Organization (WHO)’s handbook on GLPs.

Per the SA-GPPs, pharmacists must be involved in clinical trials, including for example, assisting in the development of protocols, overseeing medicine supplies, monitoring administration protocols, and maintaining registries.

Clinical Trial Agreement

According to the SA-GCPs, all parties involved in the conduct of a trial should be familiar with guidance in the International Council for Harmonisation's Guideline for Good Clinical Practice E6(R2) (ZAF-27) and other international guidelines. Before the trial begins, a sponsor must prepare a written agreement. The agreement must be signed by the sponsor and the PI, and any other parties involved (e.g., institutions and contract research organizations) with the trial to confirm the contract terms. Both the sponsor and the PI must commit to providing safety information between each other.

The sponsor should also obtain the investigator's agreement to:

  • Conduct the trial in compliance with the SA-GCPs, the SAHPRA requirements, ZAF-27, and the EC approved protocol
  • Comply with data recording/reporting procedures
  • Permit monitoring, auditing, and inspection
  • Retain the trial-related essential documents until the sponsor informs the investigator(s) and institution(s) that these documents are no longer needed

In addition, the financial aspects of the trial should be documented in the agreement. A declaration must be signed by the sponsor and PI stating that sufficient funds are available to complete the study. The sponsor is also responsible for securing agreements to ensure direct access to all trial-related sites, source data/documents, and reports for the purpose of monitoring and auditing by the sponsor, and inspection by domestic and foreign regulatory authorities.

Clinical Trial Registration

According to the SA-GCPs, NHAParticipants, and ZAF-32, the PI or the sponsor must enter the trial information in the South African National Clinical Trials Register (SANCTR) (ZAF-48). The SA-GCPs indicates that the National Department of Health (NDOH) then issues a unique SANCTR National Register Number. ZAF-32 has instructions for registering either online or via email.

ZAF-48 states that SANCTR fulfills the requirements of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) publication mandates and has a formal partnership with the Pan African Clinical Trials Registry (ZAF-50), which is recognized by the WHO.

4 and 5
Part 30 (2)
3
1.2, 2.6, 4.4, 6.1-6.2, 6.4, 6.9, 7.11, and 9.2
General Objectives and Requirements of Pharmaceutical Services

Clinical Trial Lifecycle > Safety Reporting

Last content review/update: September 26, 2022

Safety Reporting Definitions

In accordance with the SA-GCPs, the G-EthicsHR-ZAF, and the G-SafetyRpt, the following definitions provide a basis for a common understanding of South Africa’s safety reporting requirements:

  • Adverse Event/Experience (AE) – Any untoward medical occurrence that may present during treatment with a medicine, but which does not necessarily have a causal relationship with this treatment
  • Adverse Drug Reaction or Adverse Reaction (ADR) – A noxious and unintended response to a medicine in humans or animals, including lack of efficacy, and which occurs at any dosage and can also result from overdose, misuse, or abuse of a medicine
  • Serious Adverse Event (SAE) or Serious Adverse Drug Reaction (SADR) – Any untoward medical occurrence that at any dose: results in death, is life-threatening, requires patient hospitalization or prolongation of existing hospitalization, results in persistent or significant disability or incapacity, or is a congenital anomaly or birth defect
  • Unexpected Adverse Drug Reaction – One in which the nature, specificity, severity, and outcome is inconsistent with the applicable product information (i.e., with the approved package inserts for registered medicines, the investigator’s brochure, or other product information for unregistered medicines being used)

Furthermore, ZAF-30 provides clarification on the definition of a serious suspected unexpected adverse reaction (SUSAR), which is a reporting requirement in the updated G-SafetyRpt. Per ZAF-30, a SUSAR is an adverse reaction that is unexpected but suspected to be drug related. It must fulfil the criteria for “serious” as per the definition of SAEs. In addition, all SUSARs are SAEs but not all SAEs are SUSARs.

Per the G-EmergencyProc, all clinical trial sites must have an emergency standard operating procedure that should be available for inspection by the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA). In addition, each clinical trial site should have adequately trained investigators to manage medical emergencies. Further, there must be an emergency 24-hour contact number for trial participants who experience an unexpected AE.

Safety Reporting Requirements

Investigator Responsibilities

As specified in the SA-GCPs and the G-EthicsHR-ZAF, the principal investigator (PI) must inform the sponsor immediately, or within the time specified in the protocol, of any serious and/or unexpected AEs occurring during the study. The initial reporting form and any relevant follow-up information should be sent to the sponsor. The G-SafetyRpt directs the investigator to report AEs to the sponsor in a manner defined in the protocol. Per the SA-GCPs, AEs and/or laboratory abnormalities identified in the protocol as critical to safety evaluations must be reported to the sponsor in accordance with the reporting requirement and within the time periods specified in the protocol. In the case of participant deaths, the PI must supply the sponsor, the ethics committee (EC), and SAHPRA with any additional information, as requested. The initial and follow-up reports must identify the affected participants by the participant identification code.

Sponsor Responsibilities

As delineated in the GRMRSA and the G-EthicsHR-ZAF, the sponsor is required to report all expected or unexpected SAEs/SADRs on an expedited basis to all concerned parties, including the investigator(s) and institution(s), the SAHPRA, and the ECs. Pursuant to the G-SafetyRpt, the sponsor is required to submit the following safety reports to SAHPRA:

  • Reports of SUSARs occurring in the clinical trial using the SAHPRA SAE form (ZAF-19), CIOMS form (ZAF-15), or Annex B of G-SafetyRpt
  • Reports of all SUSAR and trends occurring with the investigational product (IP) in South Africa
  • Six-month progress report
  • Annual Development Safety Update Reports (DSURs)
  • Final Safety Report
  • Final Study Report

The SA-GCPs states that the sponsor is responsible for performing an ongoing safety evaluation of the IP and must promptly provide written notification to the investigator and SAHPRA of findings that may adversely affect the safety of participants or the conduct of the trial, and/or change the EC's approval to continue the trial. The commitment to provide safety information must be included in the clinical trial agreement signed between the sponsor and the investigator.

The G-SafetyRpt delineates the following reporting timeframes:

  • The sponsor should initially report all fatal or life-threatening SAEs in local reports within seven (7) calendar days after first knowledge, using CIOMS format (ZAF-15)/SAHPRA SAE form (ZAF-19). The follow-up report should be submitted within an additional eight (8) calendar days.
  • All fatal or life-threatening SAEs in foreign reports should initially be reported within 30 calendar days after first knowledge by the sponsor. The follow-up report should be submitted within an additional six (6) months as part of the progress report. If the SAEs result in premature study closure, the reporting times are shorter—seven (7) days for the initial report and within an additional eight (8) days for the follow-up report. These reports should be in a line listing format. Note that these reporting requirements also cover foreign reports of “special concern,” which is a significant safety issue defined for each clinical trial that requires urgent attention from the regulatory authority. An adverse reaction of special concern from a foreign jurisdiction should be based on the decision of its regulatory authority. A safety issue leading to international regulatory action is considered to be significant at all times and hence reportable.
  • Local reports of other serious events (unexpected, not fatal or life threatening) within 15 calendar days of the event and every six (6) months in the CIOMS format (ZAF-15)/SAHPRA SAE form (ZAF-19)
  • A line listing of all local reports—serious (unexpected and expected) AEs—and any other issues of special concern outside South Africa should be submitted every six (6) months (using the progress report form in ZAF-18).
  • An initial detailed report of new information impacting the risk-benefit profile of the IP or conduct of trial should be submitted within three (3) calendar days; a follow-up report should be submitted within an additional six (6) months.
  • An initial detailed report of other major safety concerns (e.g., changes in nature, severity, or frequency of risk factors) should be submitted within 15 days of knowledge of the concern; a follow-up report should be submitted within an additional six (6) months.
  • The annual DSURs must be submitted annually.

In addition, SAHPRA reserves the right to impose additional reporting timelines on an individual protocol basis, and it may require expedited reporting of AEs of special interest, whether serious or not.

See the G-SafetyRpt for details on the contents of the reports and other safety report requirements.

Form Completion & Delivery Requirements

Per the G-SafetyRpt and ZAF-19, the SAHPRA’s Safety Reporting During Clinical Trials Form (ZAF-19) should be used to complete SAE/ADR reports—for both initial and follow-up safety reports. The G-SafetyRpt indicates that the safety reports during a clinical trial should be reported to the Clinical Trial Unit of SAHPRA:

Chief Executive Officer
SAHPRA
CSIR Campus
Brummeria
Pretoria 0001
South Africa
Tel: (012) 842 7602/7606
E-mail:
ctcsaes@sahpra.org.za

Safety information for post-marketing studies must be sent to the Vigilance Unit of SAHPRA:

Chief Executive Officer
SAHPRA
CSIR Campus
Brummeria
Pretoria 0001
South Africa
Tel: (012) 842 7609/7610
E-mail:
adr@sahpra.org.za

Note, however, that ZAF-47 provides the following contact information for clinical trial pharmacovigilance:

Florah Matlala
SAHPRA
Cell: 083 387 3358
Telephone: 012 501 0497
Email:
mafora.matlala@sahpra.org.za

For submission of:

G-CTA-Electronic details the requirements for electronic submission of individual SAEs. All SAEs should be submitted to ctcsaes@sahpra.org.za with a cover letter detailing:

  • The title of the study
  • The SAHPRA reference number
  • Protocol number
  • Name of site
  • Patient study ID
  • Cause of SAE
  • Causality and SAE reporting form
  • Other applicable information

The email subject line should include the following information, SAE, protocol number, and SAHPRA database tracking number.

8
1, 2, and 6
4.5.1 and Appendix 1
4.1-4.2, 4.6-4.7, 5.2, 6.1-6.4, and 7.1-7.3
1 and 30(7)
5.12, 6.4, 6.9, and 12
Part B
Clinical Evaluation and Management (Pharmacovigilance)

Clinical Trial Lifecycle > Progress Reporting

Last content review/update: September 26, 2022

Interim and Annual Progress Reports

In accordance with the GRMRSA, the person authorized by the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) to conduct a clinical trial (i.e., the sponsor) must submit progress reports to the SAHPRA every six (6) months from the application approval date. The SA-GCPs requires the investigator to submit written progress reports to the ethics committee (EC) annually and to SAHPRA every six (6) months. ECs and SAHPRA may request reports more frequently.

Per the GRMRSA and the SA-GCPs, the six-month report (ZAF-18) must include the following (Note: the sources provide overlapping and unique elements so each of the items listed below will not necessarily be in each source):

  • SAHPRA database tracking number
  • Study title
  • Protocol number
  • Details of the sponsor
  • Progress to date or the outcome in case of completed research
  • Whether participant follow up is still active or has been completed
  • List of all active trial sites, addresses, and principal investigators (PIs)
  • Trial information, including date of approval of study, treatment hold (if applicable), and expected date of completion
  • Number of participants per site and current enrollment status
  • Sponsor comment on progress to date
  • Summary Data Safety Monitoring Board or Safety Committee recommendations and relevant safety data
  • Serious adverse events and suspected unexpected serious adverse reactions for all participants per site in South Africa
  • Any safety issues of special concern outside of South Africa
  • Line listing of all critical and major protocol violations/noncompliance and resolutions/actions taken at a site or conditions of approval
  • Principal investigator (PI) comment on other major safety concerns
  • Signature of the PI
  • Signature of the sponsor

Note that the SA-GCPs directs the investigator to promptly provide written reports to the sponsor/applicant, the EC and, where applicable, the institution on changes that significantly affect trial conduct and/or increase the risk of participant harm.

Final Report

The sponsor is required to submit a final progress report to the SAHPRA 30 days following the trial’s completion as stated in the GRMRSA and the G-SafetyRpt. Further, per G-SafetyRpt, a final study report should be submitted within 180 days of clinical trial completion or termination.

In addition, per the SA-GCPs, upon the trial’s end, the investigator must inform the institution (if applicable), the EC, and SAHPRA and provide them with a summary of the trial outcome and other required reports.

The SA-GCPs specifies that the sponsor must ensure that trial results and outcomes are reported to the investigators, SAHPRA, and the National Department of Health (NDOH) via the South African National Clinical Trials Register (SANCTR) (ZAF-48) within one (1) year of the study’s completion. The sponsor and the PI are responsible for appropriate dissemination of the trial findings.

6.1-6.2
Part 30 (6)
5.5, 5.11, 5.14, and 6.15

Sponsorship > Definition of Sponsor

Last content review/update: September 26, 2022

As defined in the SA-GCPs, a sponsor is the person or organization responsible for the initiation, management, or financing of a clinical trial. A sponsor can be a pharmaceutical company, the principal investigator (PI), a funding body, or an individual or organization designated by the funding body or academic institution. An applicant can be an individual, company, institution, or organization that acts on behalf of the sponsor to initiate and manage the trial as its local representative. In the case of an international sponsor, a local applicant designated by the sponsor is responsible for initiation and management of the trial in the local context.

Per the SA-GCPs, a sponsor may transfer any or all of his/her trial-related duties and functions to a contract research organization (CRO). However, he/she is always ultimately responsible for the study data quality and integrity. Further, per the G-Monitor, the sponsor is solely responsible for adequate oversight of clinical trial conduct, including the justification for and selection of monitoring methods. Any trial-related responsibilities transferred to and assumed by a CRO should be specified in writing. The sponsor retains those responsibilities not specifically transferred to and assumed by a CRO.

1
6

Sponsorship > Site/Investigator Selection

Last content review/update: September 26, 2022

Overview

As set forth in the SA-GCPs, the sponsor is responsible for using qualified individuals (e.g., biostatisticians, clinical pharmacologists, and physicians), as appropriate, throughout all stages of the trial process. Sponsors should select investigator(s) who are qualified by training and experience and have adequate resources to conduct the proposed clinical trial. Further, per the G-Monitor, the sponsor should consider previous experience with the investigator or site, workload of the investigator, and resource availability at the study site during investigator and site selection. Per the G-Capacity, clinical trial applications should include evidence and activity plans to build capacity at each study site as well as enhancing research activities and skills of professionals from historically disadvantaged groups. Mandatory training in Good Clinical Practice (GCP) forms a part of capacity building. To support transformation and capacity building, the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) states that the sponsor must have a policy on “Capacity Building and Transformation in Clinical Research in SA” in place, and preferentially select sites that are compliant. See G-Capacity, for detailed information on actions that will comply with this requirement and ZAF-16 for more information on investigator workload.

According to the SA-GCPs, the sponsor must also define and allocate all study related duties and responsibilities to the investigator prior to initiating the study.

In addition, per ZAF-21, to add or change investigators and/or for additional sites to an approved clinical trial, the sponsor must submit a signed application to SAHPRA. See ZAF-21 for details.

Per the G-CTInvestigators, SAHPRA will recognize and approve categories of investigators for trial leadership. The principal investigator (PI) must be a South Africa-based scientist, who has sole or joint responsibility for the design, conduct, delegation of trial responsibilities, analysis, and reporting. The PI is accountable to the sponsor and regulatory authorities. The PI can designate and supervise sub-principal investigator(s) (Sub-PI) of which at least one (1) must be a clinician and registered with the appropriate statutory entity to provide clinical oversight within his/her scope of practice. Further, the SAHPRA recognizes a category of co-principal investigator (co-PI), which allows for a team consisting of two (2) co-PIs to lead a study at a site. At least one (1) of the co-PIs must be a clinician registered with the appropriate statutory body and qualified to provide clinical oversight within his/her scope of practice. For multi-center studies, there must be a national PI appointed, who may or may not be a site PI. The national PI must have appropriate experience and expertise in that field and must be responsible for the application to the SAHPRA to conduct the study. The national PI must meet all other requirements to be a PI and sign a declaration accepting the responsibility as national PI and sign off on the clinical trial application. For more information on PI requirements, roles, and responsibilities, see the G-CTInvestigators.

Per the SA-GCPs, all parties involved in the conduct of a trial should be familiar with the guidance in the International Council for Harmonisation's Guideline for Good Clinical Practice E6(R2) (ZAF-27) and other international guidelines. Additionally, the investigator must agree to conduct the trial in compliance with the SA-GCPs, ZAF-27, SAHPRA requirements, and the ethics committee approved protocol. In the event of an interpretation conflict between the SA-GCPs and an international guideline, the SA-GCPs take precedence.

Foreign Sponsor Responsibilities

As required in the SA-GCPs, if South Africa is selected as a clinical trial site but the country of origin or other high-income countries are not, the sponsor must explain the reason(s) why and provide a clear ethical justification. Further, multi-national trials should ensure that a reasonable proportion of project team members are South African researchers, including scientists and health care professionals and those from previously disadvantaged backgrounds.

Data Safety Monitoring Board

Per the SA-GCPs, the sponsor may establish an independent Data Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) to assess the progress of a clinical trial, including safety data and critical efficacy endpoints at intervals, and to recommend to the sponsor whether to continue, modify, or stop a trial. The DSMB must have written standard operating procedures and must maintain written records of all its meetings.

Multicenter Studies

Per the SA-GCPs, if the trial is a multicenter and/or multi-country trial, any differences in trial designs between the South African and other sites must be clearly documented and explained in the trial protocol and/or related documents. In addition, international research groups must comply with South African regulatory requirements, and researchers must adapt the trial design and informed consent procedures to take into account local conditions and characteristics.

1 and 2
5
1.2, 5.9, 6.2, 6.4, and 7.12
1.25, 5.5, and 5.6

Sponsorship > Insurance & Compensation

Last content review/update: September 26, 2022

Insurance

As set forth in the G-Insurance and the SA-GCPs, all clinical trial sponsors and investigators must obtain adequate insurance and indemnity to cover any liability claims during the conduct of a clinical trial, in accordance with the responsibilities described in the SA-GCPs. As delineated in the SA-GCPs and G-Insurance, a sponsor must follow the principles set forth in the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry’s (ABPI) guidelines (ZAF-26 and ZAF-25) to comply with South Africa’s clinical trial insurance requirements. Per the SA-GCPs, research participants should not bear any financial cost to rectify harms that occur as a result of trial participation. The insurer pays the medical costs of necessary treatment to restore the participant to his/her previous position, if possible, when bodily or other injury is attributable to trial participation. Only bodily injuries of an enduring and disabling character (including exacerbation of an existing condition) and/or death are covered by the insurance. Temporary pain or discomfort or less serious or curable complaints are generally not regarded as trial-related, bodily injury. In the case of an in-utero injury due to the mother’s participation, payment for medical expenses proceeds as though the unborn child is a research participant. For additional details on limitations on liability, dispute resolution, weighting of risk factors, and insurance settlements, see the SA-GCPs. See ZAF-5 for an analysis of ethical considerations regarding payment of trial participants in South Africa.

Per the G-Insurance, the application to conduct a clinical trial must include evidence of comprehensive no fault insurance for serious injury and harm and/or death. In addition, the sponsor must provide indemnification for all investigators and trial sites involved in their clinical studies on compliance with the protocol requirements. In cases where the investigators/site staff were negligent and/or did not comply with the protocol requirements, personal malpractice insurance would apply.

As delineated in the G-Insurance and ZAF-23, an insurance certificate and indemnity must be included in the clinical trial application submitted to the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA). Per the G-Insurance, the sponsor must include details of the insurance, including the following:

  • Name and local address of the insurance company, including contact name and telephone number
  • Title and protocol number of the clinical trial
  • Date of commencement and termination of coverage
  • Liability limit – per occurrence and total per occurrence and total for the study. Note that the limit should be adequate enough to cover extended stay in an intensive care unit or hospital
  • Date of issuance of the insurance policy and expiry thereof
  • Original or electronic signature of the insurer
  • Special conditions if any. It is unacceptable to have special conditions which may invalidate or abate the clinical trial cover
  • Any additional coverage
  • Declaration of compliance with the SA-GCPs and ABPI guidelines on the certificate and in the patient information leaflet
  • Where the insurance is not provided by a local company, a local insurance vendor must be identified with full details
  • Insurance policy number
  • The amount insured

Compensation

Injury or Death

As set forth in the G-Insurance, all clinical trial sponsors and investigators must have adequate insurance to cover any liability claims during the conduct of a clinical trial, in accordance with the responsibilities as described in the SA-GCPs. As delineated in the SA-GCPs and G-Insurance, a sponsor must follow the principles set forth in the ABPI guidelines (ZAF-26 and ZAF-25) to comply with South Africa’s participant compensation and treatment requirements for trial-related injuries. The guidelines state that the sponsor should furnish written assurance to the investigator that he/she will agree to pay compensation to participants and/or his/her legal heirs in the event of trial-related injuries or death. The investigator, in turn, communicates this information to the relevant ethics committee.

The SA-GCPs and ZAF-26 provide several compensation principles to guide sponsors in fulfilling their obligations (Note: the sources provide overlapping and unique elements so each of the items listed below will not necessarily be in each source):

  • Compensation should be paid when it can be demonstrated that a causal relationship exists between a participant’s injury and his/her participation in a trial
  • Compensation should be paid when the injury results in permanent injury or disability to the participant
  • When there is an adverse reaction to a medicinal product under trial, and injury is caused by a procedure adopted to deal with that adverse reaction
  • Research participants should not bear any financial cost to rectify harms that occur as a result of trial participation
  • The insurer should pay the medical costs of necessary treatment to restore the participant to his/her previous position, if possible
  • In the case of an in-utero injury due to the mother’s participation, payment for medical expenses proceeds as though the unborn child is a research participant
  • In principle, only bodily injuries of an enduring and disabling character (including exacerbation of an existing condition) and/or death are covered by the insurance; temporary pain or discomfort or less serious or curable complaints are generally not regarded as trial-related, bodily injury
  • Payment for medical expenses is made without acknowledgement of any legal liability and is thus to be understood to be an ex-gratia payment
  • The provision of insurance cover and payment of medical expenses does not mean that an injured participant may not pursue legal action against the sponsor for loss or harm not covered by the insurance; however, an argument that pain and suffering, loss of income, and other possible claims should be paid for by the sponsor’s insurer is not sound in South African law and will not succeed
  • The likelihood of an adverse reaction, or the fact that the participant has freely consented (whether in writing or otherwise) to participate in the trial should not exclude him/her from being eligible for compensation.

According to the SA-GCPs and ZAF-26, the amount of compensation to be paid to the participant should be appropriate to the nature, severity, and persistence of the injury. The compensation should also be generally consistent with the amount of damages commonly awarded for similar injuries.

The amount paid in compensation should be abated, or in certain circumstances excluded, in light of the following factors (which will depend on the risk level the participant can reasonably be expected to accept):

  • The seriousness of the disease being treated
  • The degree of probability that adverse reactions will occur and any warning given
  • The risks and benefits of the established treatments relative to those known or suspected of the trial medicines

ZAF-26 provides that in any case where the sponsor agrees to pay the participant, but the two (2) parties differ on what is the appropriate level of compensation, it is recommended that the sponsor agree to seek, at his/her own cost, the opinion of a mutually acceptable independent expert. This opinion should then be made available to the participant(s), and the expert’s opinion should be given substantial weight by the sponsor in reaching a decision on the payment amount.

Additionally, any participant claims pursuant to ZAF-26 should be made to the sponsor, preferably via the investigator. The participant should include details on the nature and background of the claim, which the sponsor should review expeditiously. The review process may be delayed if the participant requests an authority to examine any medical records relevant to the claim.

Trial Participation

As specified in the G-TIECompensation and the SA-GCPs, the sponsor or his/her designated representative is responsible for providing compensation to research participants. The SA-GCPs state that before the clinical phase of the trial commences, the ethics committee must approve the documentation on participant compensation. Per the G-EthicsHR-ZAF, the SA-GCPs, and the G-TIECompensation, compensation should be based on time, inconvenience, and expenses. In addition, the G-EthicsHR-ZAF and the SA-GCPs also address researcher requirements to budget for participant travel and other expenses. (See the G-EthicsHR-ZAF for detailed information). See ZAF-5 for an analysis of ethical considerations regarding payment of trial participants in South Africa.

The G-TIECompensation guides sponsors of approved clinical trials and proposes a model for minimum compensation that can be paid. It is not intended as an exclusive approach and the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) reserves the right to request any additional information. In addition, G-TIECompensation is not applicable to Phase I clinical trials, which pose a higher risk for participants and should be compensated on a different scale.

Post-trial Access

The G-PostCTAccess guides sponsors on when to consider post-trial or continued access (PTA/CA) to the investigational product (IP) following the trial’s conclusion. Only those participants who derive benefit from the IP will be considered (this excludes participants on standard of care, placebo, and registered medicines). Where appropriate and available, the possibility of PTA/CA should be disclosed to and discussed with potential participants during the initial informed consent process or via a separate consent process. Where appropriate and/or available, details of potential PTA/CA should be included in the clinical trial application form, informed consent form, and patient information leaflet. Additional considerations include the following:

  • PTA/CA is not applicable for Phase I and II studies. However, PTA/CA may be necessary for particular diseases (e.g., cancer or rare diseases).
  • PTA/CA should be considered for Phase III studies when there is no registered and marketed standard of care in South Africa, provided that data from interim or final analyses shows that access is clinically justifiable.
  • PTA/CA is not applicable to Phase IV studies
  • A minimum of four (4) years after completion of the study is recommended as the acceptable time period to provide PTA/CA to the participants, unless there are compelling reasons for determining otherwise.
  • During the PTA/CA period, the sponsor must ensure monitoring and oversight of participants using the IP.
1-5 and 7
1.2, 2.7, 6.2, 7.14, 9.2, and 10.2
3 and 4
3.1.7
Cover, 1 and 2

Sponsorship > Risk & Quality Management

Last content review/update: September 26, 2022

Quality Assurance/Quality Control

Per the SA-GCPs, the sponsor is responsible for implementing a quality management system to manage quality throughout the design, conduct, recording, evaluation, reporting, and archiving of clinical trials. This quality management system should adopt a risk-based approach for risk identification, evaluation, control, communication, and reporting. The sponsor should focus on trial activities that promote human participant protection and reliability of trial results, which include using qualified individuals, designating qualified medical personnel to respond to trial-related medical questions, and ensuring all aspects of the trial are operationally feasible and avoiding unnecessary complexity, procedures, and data collection. With respect to quality assurance (QA) and quality control (QC), the sponsor is responsible for implementing and maintaining QA and QC systems with written standard operating procedures (SOPs) to ensure that trials are conducted and data are generated, documented (recorded), and reported in compliance with the protocol, good clinical practice, and the applicable regulatory requirement(s).

Per the G-Monitor, the responsibility for adequate oversight of the conduct of a clinical trial, including the justification for and selection of monitoring methods, remains that of the sponsor solely.

Per the SA-GCPs, all parties involved in the conduct of a trial should be familiar with guidance in the International Council for Harmonisation's Guideline for Good Clinical Practice E6(R2) (ZAF-27) and other international guidelines. Additionally, the investigator must agree to conduct the trial in compliance with the SA-GCPs, ZAF-27, South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) requirements, and the ethics committee (EC) approved protocol. In the event of an interpretation conflict between the SA-GCPs and an international guideline, the SA-GCPs take precedence.

Audit Requirements

In accordance with the SA-GCPs, the sponsor must conduct an independent audit to evaluate trial conduct and compliance with the protocol, procedures, good clinical practice, and the applicable regulatory requirements. The sponsor must appoint individuals who are independent of the clinical trials to conduct the audits and ensure that the auditors are qualified by training and experience to conduct audits properly. The sponsor's audit plan and procedures for a trial audit must be guided by the number of participants in the trial, the type and complexity of the trial, the level of risks to the trial participants, and any identified problem(s). Observations and findings of the auditors must be documented. The sponsor is responsible for obtaining agreement from all involved parties to ensure direct access to all trial related sites, source data/documents, and reports for monitoring and auditing purposes, and inspection by domestic and foreign regulatory authorities.

In addition, per the G-Monitor, the sponsor’s monitoring plan should include planned audits to ensure that monitoring activities are in accordance with the monitoring plan, applicable regulations, guidance, and sponsor’s plans and policies.

Premature Study Termination/Suspension

Per the SA-GCPs, if a trial is prematurely terminated or suspended for any reason, the investigator must promptly inform the trial participants and ensure appropriate therapy and follow-up for them. If the investigator, sponsor, institution, SAHPRA, or the EC terminate or suspend a trial, the investigator must promptly inform the other parties with a detailed written explanation for the termination or suspension.

The sponsor is also responsible for ensuring that the South African National Clinical Trials Register (SANCTR) (ZAF-48) is updated as well.

1 and 4
Introduction, 1.2, 5.10, 5.13, 6.1, 6.4, 6.12, and 6.15
1.65, 5.0, 5.1, 5.2, 5.5, 5.18, 5.19, 5.21, 5.23, 6.10, and 8

Sponsorship > Data & Records Management

Last content review/update: September 26, 2022

Electronic Data Processing System

Per the SA-GCPs, the sponsor must ensure that the electronic data processing system conforms to the specific documented requirements for completeness, accuracy, reliability, and consistency of intended performance, and that he/she maintains standard operating procedures for using these systems. In addition, the sponsor must:

  • Ensure that the systems are designed to document data changes without deleting previously entered data (i.e., maintain an audit trail)
  • Maintain a security system that prevents unauthorized access to the data
  • Maintain a register of persons authorized to make data changes
  • Maintain adequate data backup
  • Ensure that blinding, if any, is maintained during data entry and processing
  • Ensure the integrity and confidentiality of data, including any that describe the context, content, and structure of the data – especially when making changes to computerized systems
  • If data are transformed during processing, it must be possible to compare the original data and observations with the processed data
  • Use an unambiguous participant identification code that allows identification of all data reported for each participant
  • Report any transfer of ownership of the data to South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA)

Per the G-Monitor, when developing a study’s monitoring plan, the sponsor should consider how it uses electronic data capture (EDC) systems. EDC systems that are capable of assessing quality metrics in real time will help identify high-risk sites that need more intensive monitoring.

Records Management

As set forth in the SA-GCPs, the sponsor should inform the investigator(s) in writing of the need for record retention, and should notify these parties in writing when the trial related records are no longer needed. The sponsor, or other data owners, must retain all the sponsor-specific essential documents pertaining to the trial for not less than 10 years or until at least two (2) years have elapsed since the formal discontinuation of clinical development of the investigational product (IP).

4
Introduction, 1.2, 5.10, 6.4

Sponsorship > Personal Data Protection

Last content review/update: September 26, 2022

Responsible Parties

For purposes of data protection requirements, the POPIA provides that the “responsible party” is a public or private body or any other person that, alone or in conjunction with others, determines the purpose of and means for processing personal information.

Data Protection

Per the POPIA, participants have the right to privacy, which includes a right to protection against the unlawful collection, retention, dissemination, and use of personal information by public and private bodies. This right to privacy is subject to justifiable limitations that are aimed at protecting other rights and interests (e.g., the right of access to information). Additional information on the rights of data subjects is provided in the POPIA.

The POPIA states that the responsible party must protect the constitutional right to privacy by safeguarding personal information when it is processed. The law provides conditions under which personal information may be gathered and processed.

  • Accountability – The responsible party must ensure that the conditions and all the measures in the POPIA are complied with at the time of the purpose and means of processing is determined
  • Processing limitation – Personal information may only be processed in a fair and lawful manner and only with the consent of the data subject
  • Purpose Specification – Personal information may only be processed for specific, explicitly defined, and legitimate reasons
  • Further processing limitation – Personal information may not be processed for a secondary purpose unless that processing is compatible with the original purpose
  • Information quality – The responsible party must take reasonable steps to ensure that the personal information collected is complete, accurate, not misleading, and updated where necessary
  • Openness – The data subject whose information you are collecting must be aware that you are collecting such personal information and for what purpose the information will be used
  • Security safeguards – Personal information must be kept secure against the risk of loss, unlawful access, interference, modification, unauthorized destruction and disclosure
  • Data subject participation – Data subjects may request whether their personal information is held, as well as the correction and/or deletion of any personal information held about them

The POPIA establishes a duty requiring a public or private body to register its Information Officer with the Information Regulator (South Africa). Per the POPIA, the Information Officer is responsible for compliance with lawful processing of information and working with and responding to requests by the Regulator. Per the POPIA-Regs, the Information Officer has further responsibilities to:

  • Develop, implement, monitor, and maintain a compliance framework
  • Conduct a personal information impact assessment to ensure compliance with the conditions for the lawful processing of personal information
  • Develop, monitor, and maintain a manual; and make it available upon request by any person, provide copies of the manual to any person upon request and payment of a fee to be determined by the Information Regulator from time to time
  • Develop internal measures and systems to process requests for information or access
  • Conduct internal awareness sessions on protection of personal information requirements
  • Provide reasonable assistance free of charge to the data subject in objecting to processing of personal information (using Form 1 in the POPIA-Regs) and/or correcting or revising a record of personal information (using Form 2 in the POPIA-Regs)

The POPIA provides that records of personal information for research may be retained longer than is necessary for achieving the purpose for which the information was collected or processed if the responsible party has established appropriate safeguards against the records being used for any other purposes.

For additional guidance on processing personal data, including guidance on “special personal information” (e.g., health history) and personal information of children, see the Information Regulator website.

Consent for Processing Personal Data

Per the POPIA and the POPIA-Regs, personal information may only be processed if the data subject and/or his/her legal representative(s) or guardian(s) consents to the processing. The responsible party bears the burden of proof for the consent. The data subject and/or his/her legal representative(s) or guardian(s) may withdraw consent at any time if the lawfulness of the processing of personal information will not be affected.

Preamble, Chapter 1 (1-2), Chapter 2 (4-5), Chapter 3, and Chapter 5 (55-56)
2-4

Informed Consent > Documentation Requirements

Last content review/update: September 26, 2022

Obtaining Consent

In all South African clinical trials, a freely given, written informed consent is required to be obtained from each participant in accordance with the principles set forth in the NHA, the Declaration of Helsinki (ZAF-44), the SA-GCPs, and the International Council for Harmonisation's Guideline for Good Clinical Practice E6(R2) (ZAF-27).

As per the SA-GCPs, the G-EthicsHR-ZAF, and the G-GPHlthCare, the informed consent form (ICF) and patient information sheet(s) are essential documents that must be reviewed and approved by an accredited ethics committee (EC) based in South Africa and provided to the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) with the clinical trial application. (See the Required Elements section for details on what should be included in the form.) The principal investigator (PI), or a person designated by the PI, should provide research study information to the participant and/or his/her legal representative(s), or guardian(s). When drafting and presenting the ICF, special consideration must be taken with regard to the participant’s culture, traditional values, intelligence, and education. The informed consent document should be non-technical and understandable to the participant and in a participant’s preferred written language. The ICF content should be briefly and clearly presented, without coercion or unduly influencing a potential participant to enroll in the clinical trial.

The SA-GCPs directs that none of the oral or written information concerning the study, including the written ICF, should contain any language that causes the participant and/or his/her legal representative(s) or guardian(s) to waive or to appear to waive his/her legal rights, or that releases or appears to release the investigator(s), the institution, the sponsor, or his/her representatives from his/her liabilities for any negligence.

Re-Consent

The G-GPHlthCare-IC states that the participant must be informed of any relevant new findings over the course of the study, and be given the choice to continue to participate or withdraw from the study. Per the SA-GCPs, written informed consent documentation and other participant-related information should be revised when new information that may be relevant to a participant’s consent or to willingness to continue to participate in the trial becomes available. Any revisions must be submitted for ethics review and approval before implementation. Communication of the new information to participants must be documented.

Language Requirements

According to the SA-GCPs, the G-EthicsHR-ZAF, and the G-GenInfo, the ICF and any patient information sheet(s) should be written in English and in a vernacular language that the participant is able to understand. The G-GPHlthCare states that the researchers should provide information to the participants in a language that the participant understands and in a manner that takes into account the participant’s level of literacy, understanding, values, and personal belief systems.

Documenting Consent

As stated in the SA-GCPs, the G-EthicsHR-ZAF, and the G-GPHlthCare, the ICF should be signed by the participant and the PI, or the person designated by the PI. If the participant is incapable of giving an informed consent, his/her legal representative(s) or guardian(s) should sign the ICF. The original signed ICF and patient information sheet(s) should be retained by the investigator and a copy should be given to the participant for his/her record. The SA-GCPs requires an additional copy of the signed ICF and a source document identifying the study and recording the participation dates should be placed in the participant’s medical records. According to the SA-GCPs, the G-EthicsHR-ZAF, the G-GPHlthCare, and the G-GPHlthCare-IC, in all cases, written informed consent must be obtained. Where the participant is illiterate and/or his/her legal representative(s) or guardian(s) is illiterate, verbal consent should be obtained in the presence of and countersigned by a literate witness. The participant and/or the participant’s legal representative(s) or guardian(s), the PI or person designated by the PI, and if applicable, a literate witness must personally sign the ICF. Further, the SA-GCPs states that the participant should indicate willingness to participate by making a mark (either a cross or a fingerprint). The witness signs to affirm that the participant willingly consented to participate. The witness dates the mark and his/her signature.

Waiver of Consent

No information is currently available regarding waiver of consent requirements.

1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 1.6, 2.3, 3.1, 3.2, 4.3, and 5.2
2.4 and 2.5
3.4 and 6.3
11, 12.3, and 15.1.3
Chapter 9 (71)
2.5 and 5.9
3, 4.4, 4.8, and 6

Informed Consent > Required Elements

Last content review/update: September 26, 2022

Based on the informed consent essential elements in the SA-GCPs, the G-EthicsHR-ZAF, the G-GPHlthCare, and the NHAParticipants, the informed consent form (ICF) should include the following statements or descriptions, as applicable (Note: the regulations provide overlapping and unique elements so each of the items listed below will not necessarily be in each source):

  • The study involves research and an explanation of its nature and purpose
  • The procedures to be followed
  • Why the potential participant has been approached and their responsibilities
  • The aspects of the clinical trial that are experimental
  • Any foreseeable risks or discomforts to the participant, and when applicable, to an embryo, fetus, or nursing infant; information should include the probability and magnitude of the foreseeable risks of harm
  • Any benefits to the participant or to others that may reasonably be expected from the research; if no benefit is expected, the participant should also be made aware of this
  • A disclosure of appropriate alternative procedures or treatments, and their potential benefits and risks
  • The probability for random assignment to each treatment
  • Participation is voluntary, the participant may withdraw at any time, and refusal to participate will not involve any penalty or loss of benefits, or reduction in the level of care to which the participant is otherwise entitled
  • Compensation and/or medical treatment available to the participant in the event of a trial-related injury
  • The planned incentives, if any, to attract the participant and the planned reimbursements, if any, for time, inconvenience, and expenses
  • The extent to which confidentiality of records identifying the participant will be maintained, the possibility of record access by the sponsor, the ethics committee (EC), or South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA)
  • EC contact details for information and concerns regarding the trial participants’ rights
  • The sponsor’s identity
  • Potential conflicts of interest of the principal investigator (PI)
  • The consequences of a participant's decision to withdraw from the study
  • Information about approval from the EC and SAHPRA
  • The approximate number of participants in the research study, locally and globally
  • The expected duration of participation
  • An explanation of whom to contact in the event of research-related injury
  • Foreseeable circumstances under which the investigator(s) may remove the participant without his/her consent
  • The participant and/or his/her legal representative(s) or guardian(s) will be notified if significant new findings developed during the study which may affect the participant's willingness to continue

See the Vulnerable Populations and Consent for Specimen sections for further information.

2.3.6 and 3.3.6
6.3
5
1.2, 2.5, 5.9, and 6.2

Informed Consent > Participant Rights

Last content review/update: September 26, 2022

Overview

South Africa’s ethical standards promote respect for all human beings and safeguard the rights of research study participants. In accordance with the principles held forth in the Declaration of Helsinki (ZAF-44), the SA-GCPs, the G-EthicsHR-ZAF, the G-GPHlthCare, the G-GPHlthCare-IC, the NHAParticipants, and the International Council for Harmonisation’s Guideline for Good Clinical Practice E6(R2) (ZAF-27), a participant’s rights must be clearly addressed in the informed consent form (ICF) and during the informed consent process. Below are the basic rights for participants in clinical research studies. (See the Required Elements and Vulnerable Populations sections for additional information regarding requirements for participant rights.)

The Right to Participate, Abstain, or Withdraw

According to the NHA and the NHAParticipants, everyone has the right to participate in any decision affecting their health or treatment, including research. The participant and/or his/her legal representative(s) or guardian(s) should be informed that participation is voluntary, that he/she may withdraw from the research study at any time, and that refusal to participate will not involve any penalty or loss of benefits to which the participant is otherwise entitled.

The Right to Information

According to the G-GPHlthCare-IC, a potential research study participant has the right to be fully informed on the nature and purpose of the research study, its anticipated duration, the sponsor and investigator(s), any potential benefits or risks, study procedures, any compensation for participation, injury and/or treatment, and any significant new information regarding the research study. (See the Required Elements section for a more detailed list.)

Per POAIA, a participant may seek access to their clinical trial records, pursuant to their constitutional right of access to any information held by the State or by another person.

The Right to Privacy and Confidentiality

Per the G-GPHlthCare-IC, participants have the right to privacy and confidentiality, and the ICF must provide a statement identifying this right. It is the responsibility of the investigator to safeguard the confidentiality of research data to protect the identity and records of research participants.

The Right of Inquiry/Appeal

Per the G-GPHlthCare-IC, the research participant and/or his/her legal representative(s) or guardian(s) should be provided with contact information for the investigator(s), and the ethics committee to address clinical trial-related queries, in the event of any injury and/or to appeal against a violation of his/her rights. It is also required that the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) address and contact information be provided. (See the Required Elements section for more detailed information regarding participant rights.)

The Right to Safety and Welfare

The SA-GCPs and ZAF-44 clearly state that research participants have the right to safety and well-being, which must take precedence over the interest of science and society. The NHA and the NHAParticipants safeguard the rights of all South Africans including vulnerable populations.

1.1, 2.3, and 3.1
2, 3, 4, and 6
1, 2, and 3
Chapter 1 (2), Chapter 2 (8 and 11), and Chapter 9 (71)
2 and 5
Act, Preamble, and Chapter 2
2.4-2.5 and 4.3

Informed Consent > Emergencies

Last content review/update: September 26, 2022

The NHA and the G-EthicsHR-ZAF make provisions to protect the rights of a research participant during the informed consent process when the procedure is complicated by medical emergencies. As per the G-EthicsHR-ZAF, the ethics committee (EC) may approve a delay in obtaining informed consent for emergency medical research if:

  • Inclusion in the trial is not contrary to the interests of the patient
  • The research poses no more risk than is inherent to the participant’s condition, or would be caused by alternative treatments
  • The participant, his/her next of kin, and/or legal representative(s) or guardian(s) will be informed as soon as is reasonably possible of the participant’s inclusion in the study, and have the option to withdraw from the study at any time
  • The research is based on valid scientific hypotheses, and offers a realistic possibility of benefit over standard care

Per the G-CTAPHEmerg, the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) states that during a public health emergency, informed consent and the patient information sheet(s) remain essential documents that must be reviewed and approved by an EC and provided to the SAHPRA with the clinical trial application.

11.5-11.6 and Annex 1
3.1, 3.2, and 3.4
Chapter 2 (7, 8, and 9)

Informed Consent > Vulnerable Populations

Last content review/update: September 26, 2022

Overview

The NHA, the SA-GCPs, the G-EthicsHR-ZAF, the G-GPHlthCare, and the NHAParticipants require special considerations for vulnerable populations, and characterize them by limited education, limited economic resources, inadequate protection of human rights, discrimination due to health status, limited ability to provide informed consent, limited availability of health care and treatment options, or an inadequate understanding of scientific research. Vulnerable populations include children/minors, mentally and physically disabled, pregnant women, substance abusers, prisoners, armed forces, the homeless, the elderly, members of a group with a hierarchical structure, patients with incurable diseases, persons in nursing homes, unemployed or impoverished persons, patients in emergency situations, ethnic minority groups, nomads, refugees, and other vulnerable groups such as persons in dependent relationships.

The SA-GCPs state that ethics committees (ECs) must pay special attention to protecting participants from vulnerable populations. The ECs may impose additional measures such as imposing additional protective measures for the informed consent process or requiring increased monitoring and interim reporting on the participants’ welfare. As per the NHAParticipants, research with vulnerable participants must comply with the following requirements:

  • Involve vulnerable persons only when non-vulnerable persons are not appropriate for inclusion
  • Not systematically avoid inclusion of vulnerable participants because it is unfairly discriminatory, and would prevent this population from benefiting from relevant research
  • Be responsive to health needs and priorities of vulnerable persons, and
  • Provide special attention in the ethical review to ensure research-related risks are assessed and minimized, and appropriate consent procedures are followed

See the Children/Minors; Pregnant Women, Fetuses & Neonates; Prisoners; and Mentally Impaired sections for additional information about these populations.

Persons in Dependent Relationships or Hierarchical Situations

As indicated in the SA-GCPs and the G-EthicsHR-ZAF, participants whose proposed involvement in research arises from dependent or hierarchical relationships need additional attention, and particular attention should be given to ensuring that their consent is both adequately informed and voluntary. In addition, per the NHAParticipants, research is appropriate when research-related risks of harm are minimized. These types of relationships include, but are not limited to, those who are in junior or subordinate positions in hierarchically structured groups, such as prisoners and prison authorities, older persons and their caregivers, and patients and healthcare professionals.

Persons Highly Dependent on Medical Care

Per G-EthicsHR-ZAF, participants who are highly dependent on medical care may have a limited capacity to provide informed consent due to the gravity of their medical condition. In addition, their medical condition may require invasive measures resulting in greater risk. There may also be a perception of coercion if a participant is reluctant to refuse consent for fear that it may compromise his/her medical treatment. The EC may approve a delay in obtaining informed consent for research participants highly dependent on medical care if the following conditions are met:

  • the research is based on valid scientific hypotheses that support a reasonable possibility of more benefit than that offered by standard care
  • participation is not contrary to their medical interests
  • the research interventions pose no more risk of harm than that inherent in the participant’s condition or alternative methods of treatment
  • the research is based on valid scientific hypotheses that support a reasonable possibility of more benefit than that offered by standard care
  • as soon as reasonably possible, the participant must be informed and give delayed consent and advised of the right to withdraw from the research without any reduction in quality of care

Persons with Physical Disabilities

As described in the G-EthicsHR-ZAF, recruitment strategies for research participation in general should be sensitive to the possibility that persons with physical disabilities may wish to volunteer and therefore should ensure that there are no unintended barriers to such participation (e.g., the absence of ramps or a lift for wheelchair-bound potential participants). Research involving participants with physical disabilities should anticipate possible barriers and include measures to minimize them.

Elderly Persons

As per the G-GPHlthCare, research involving elderly persons requires consent to be provided by the participant’s legal representative(s) or guardian(s) on that person's behalf. Because of their vulnerability, the elderly should not be included in research unless the research is necessary to promote the health of this population and unless this research cannot instead be performed on legally competent persons.

Research Involving Collectivities

Per the G-EthicsHR-ZAF, a collectivity is a distinct group characterized by common beliefs, values, social structures, and other features identifying them as a separate group. Investigators are required to obtain EC approval for research involving a collectivity when any of the following conditions apply:

  • Property or information private to the group as a whole is studied or used
  • Research requires the permission of people occupying positions of authority, or involves members acknowledged as representatives to participate
1.3, 2.3, 3.1, 3.2, 3.4, and 4.5
1, 2.4.6, 3.1, 4.1.2, 4.1.3, and 6.3
Chapter 1 (2(c)(iv)), Chapter 2 (7, 8, and 11), and Chapter 9 (70(2)(d) and 71)
1 and 4
1.2, 3.1, 3.4, 6.2, and 12

Informed Consent > Children/Minors

Last content review/update: September 26, 2022

The SA-GCPs stipulate that minors are younger than 18 years old and are regarded as vulnerable persons due to their lack of legal capacity. The G-GPHlthCare-IC states that a person over the age of 18 years is an adult and is legally competent to decide on all forms of treatment and medical procedures. However, a child who is 12 years of age and older is legally competent to consent to a proposed investigation if the child is of sufficient maturity and is able to understand the benefits, risks, social, and other implications of the research. A minor's/child’s refusal to participate in research must be respected.

Per the SA-GCPs, documented permission from the legal representative(s) or guardian(s) must be obtained in advance prior to approaching the minor to request participation. According to the NHA, the G-EthicsHR-ZAF, the SA-GCPs, the G-GPHlthCare, and the G-GPHlthCare-IC, consent for minors/children to participate in research must be obtained from:

  • The legal representative(s) or guardian(s) in all but exceptional circumstances (such as emergencies)
  • The minor/child where he/she is competent to make the decision
  • Any organization or person required by law (defined in the NHA)
  • Where the minor/child is not competent, assent from the minor/child and consent from the legal representative(s) and/or guardian(s)

According to the NHA, where research or experimentation is to be conducted on a minor for therapeutic purposes, the study may only be conducted when:

  • It is in the best interests of the minor/child
  • It is carried out in such manner and on such conditions as may be prescribed
  • The consent of the minor’s parent or guardian is provided

Where research or experimentation is to be conducted on a minor for non-therapeutic purposes, the NHA, the NHAParticipants, the SA-GCPs and the G-MinisterConsent state that a study may only be conducted when:

  • It is carried out in such manner and on such conditions as may be prescribed
  • The consent of the Minister of Health is provided, or, where appropriate, consent from a delegated authority
  • The consent of the minor’s parent or guardian is provided
  • The consent of the minor is provided when he or she is capable of understanding

See the NHAParticipants for detailed application requirements.

In addition, the Minister of Health may not give consent if any of the following circumstances apply:

  • The study objective(s) can also be achieved if conducted on an adult
  • The research is unlikely to significantly improve scientific understanding of the minor’s/child's condition, disease or disorder to such an extent that it will result in significant benefit to the minor(s)/child(ren)
  • The reasons for the consent to the research by the parent or guardian and, if applicable, the minor/child, are contrary to public policy
  • The research poses a significant risk to the health of the minor
  • The risk to the health or well-being of the minor is not significantly outweighed by the potential benefit

For more information on ministerial consent for non-therapeutic health research with minors, see the operational guidelines at the G-MinisterConsent.

As delineated in the G-EthicsHR-ZAF and the NHAParticipants, the following additional criteria must be met to conduct clinical trials with minors/children:

  • The research study presents minimal risk
  • The research study presents more than minimal risk, but potentially direct or anticipated benefit for the participant outweighs the risk
  • The research presents more than minimal risk (minor increase), and may not have a direct benefit to the participant, but has a high probability of producing important and relevant information, and that benefit may outweigh the risk
  • Adults are not appropriate participants for the research

In all cases, there should be sufficient reasons to justify why minors/children should be included as participants.

Assent Requirements

The SA-GCPs and the G-EthicsHR-ZAF require the ethics committee (EC) to ensure that adequate steps outlined in the clinical protocol are used to obtain a minor’s assent when, in the EC’s judgment, the minor is capable of providing such assent. When the EC determines that assent is required, it must also indicate whether and how such assent should be documented. A minor’s/child’s assent should not be assumed simply because he/she fails to object during the informed consent process. It is necessary for the minor/child and his/her legal representative(s) or guardian(s) to be in agreement on participation. The minor’s/child’s refusal to participate is final.

Consent for Processing Personal Data

Per the POPIA, there is a general prohibition on the processing of personal information of children. However, a responsible party may process personal information concerning a child for research purposes to the extent that:

  • The purpose serves a public interest, and the processing is necessary for the purpose; or
  • It appears to be impossible or would involve a disproportionate effort to ask for consent, and sufficient guarantees are provided to ensure that the processing does not adversely affect the individual privacy of the child to a disproportionate extent.
3.2
5, 6.3, and 8.5
8.5
1-6 and Appendices 1-3
Chapter 9 (71)
4 and 7
Chapter 3 (35)
1.2, 2.5, 3.2, and 6.2

Informed Consent > Pregnant Women, Fetuses & Neonates

Last content review/update: September 26, 2022

As per the NHA and the G-EthicsHR-ZAF, any research studies involving pregnant women, women who may become pregnant, or fetuses, require additional safeguards to ensure the research conforms to appropriate ethical standards and upholds societal values. The ethics committee (EC) must provide particular attention to these participants due to potential for additional health concerns that may arise during pregnancy, and the need to avoid unnecessary risk to the fetus.

The SA-GCPs stipulates that pregnant women, women planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding women are usually excluded from human clinical trials where a new chemical entity (NCE) or medicines with no information on safety in pregnancy/lactation are investigated for treatment of a particular disease/condition or disorder. However, when safety and other relevant information is available, pregnant or breastfeeding women should be included in clinical trials to ensure that appropriate knowledge about NCEs for this group is developed.

3.2
Chapter 1 (2(c)(iv)), Chapter 2 (7, 8, and 11), Chapter 9 (70(2)(d) and 71), and Chapter 11 (90(1)(s) and 90(2))
1.2, 6.2, and 10.7

Informed Consent > Prisoners

Last content review/update: September 26, 2022

According to the NHA, the G-EthicsHR-ZAF, and the NHAParticipants, a prisoner may not, even with his/her consent, participate in any scientific experimentation, research study, or clinical trial except under limited conditions. Per the G-EthicsHR-ZAF, prisoners are considered a vulnerable class of persons because of the potential effect of incarceration on the voluntariness of the decision to participate in research. Neither coercion nor undue influence is acceptable in the informed consent process. Researchers should pay attention to whether their intended participants are prisoners who are awaiting trial or are convicted as different ethical issues arise for each group. The recruitment strategy design must pay careful attention to how coercion and undue influence will be avoided. Similarly, persons administering questionnaires or conducting interviews must be conscious of environmental factors that may influence voluntariness. The ethics committee (EC) should include, at least on an ad-hoc basis, a member with experience and knowledge of working with prisoners when deliberating on the protocol.

Research should be conducted on prisoners only if:

  • Their participation is indispensable to the research
  • The research cannot be conducted with non-prisoners
  • The research concerns a problem of relevance to prisoners
  • Sound informed consent processes can be ensured
  • Engagement with relevant role players about the proposed research has occurred

Generally, it is unlikely that independent consent by minor prisoners will be justifiable.

3.2
Chapter 2 (7, 8, and 11) and Chapter 9 (71)
4

Informed Consent > Mentally Impaired

Last content review/update: September 26, 2022

According to the NHA, the SA-GCPs, the G-EthicsHR-ZAF, the G-GPHlthCare, and the NHAParticipants, sufficient justification must be provided for any research or treatment involving a participant who has a mental or intellectual impairment or substance abuse related disorder, and the research must be relevant to the mental disability or substance abuse disorder.

Per the G-EthicsHR-ZAF, research involving these populations must conform to the following requirements:

  • The research, including observational research, is not contrary to the best interest of the participant
  • The research, including observational research, places the incapacitated adult at no more than minimal risk
  • The research involves greater than minimal risk but provides the prospect of direct benefit for the incapacitated adult; the degree of risk must be justified by the potential benefit
  • The research, including observational research, involves greater than minimal risk, with no prospect of direct benefit to the incapacitated adult, but has a high probability of providing generalizable knowledge
  • The legally appropriate person gives permission for the person to participate
  • Where appropriate, the person will assent to participation (Note that the incapacitated person’s refusal or resistance to participate, as indicated by words or behavior, takes precedence over permission by a proxy)

The G-EthicsHR-ZAF and the G-GPHlthCare state that research involving unconscious persons requires consent to be provided by the participant’s legal representative(s) or guardian(s) on that person's behalf. Unconscious persons should not be included in research unless the research is necessary to promote the health of the population represented and unless this research cannot instead be performed on legally competent persons.

2.3 and 3.2
4 and 6.3
Chapter 2 (7, 8, and 11), and Chapter 9 (71)
4
1.2, 3.3, and 6.2

Investigational Products > Definition of Investigational Product

Last content review/update: September 26, 2022

As delineated in the SA-GCPs and the PIC-S-GMP-Guide (which South Africa adopted pursuant to the SA-GMPs), an investigational product is defined as a pharmaceutical form of an active ingredient or placebo being tested or used as a reference in a clinical trial. This includes:

  • A product with a marketing authorization when used or assembled (formulated or packaged) in a different way from the approved form
  • When used for an unapproved indication
  • When used to gain further information about an approved use
Annex 13
1.2, 6.2, and 12
2

Investigational Products > Manufacturing & Import

Last content review/update: September 26, 2022

Manufacturing

According to the SA-GMPs and the GRMRSA, the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) is responsible for authorizing the manufacture of investigational products (IPs) in South Africa. As delineated in the G-ManuImpExp, a manufacturer’s license for IPs is required for both total and partial manufacture, and for the various processes of dividing up, packaging, or presentation, in accordance with the MRSA. To obtain a license, the application form (ZAF-55) should be emailed to SAHPRA at gmplicensing@sahpra.org.za, accompanied by the following information:

  • Proof of payment
  • Existing SAHPRA license for renewal and amendment applications
  • Cover letter
  • Site Master File
  • Signed declaration
  • SAHPRA inspection resolution
  • Intellectual property documentation
  • Department of Health premises license
  • Registration of responsible pharmacist
  • South Africa Pharmacy Council (SAPC) Record of a Pharmacy
  • SAPC Record of a Pharmacy Owner
  • Municipal Approval/Zoning Certificate

The license is valid for five (5) years and the application to renew the license must be submitted at least 180 days before the expiration of the current license.

In addition, per ZAF-23, a clinical trial application to SAHPRA must include a certificate of good manufacturing practice (GMP) for manufacture of the IP(s). The SA-GCPs also states that the sponsor must ensure that the IP (including active comparator and placebo, if applicable) is manufactured in accordance with applicable GMP standards.

Pursuant to the SA-GMPs, South Africa adopted the PIC-S-GMP-Guide for the manufacturing of therapeutic goods. The PIC-S-GMP-Guide includes requirements for a Certificate of Analysis to be issued by the manufacturer for all IPs to be used in a clinical trial. For GMP agreements with competent international regulatory authorities, the SA-GMPs states that these agreements do not permit automatic acceptance but may be used to enhance regulatory oversight and compliance. SAHPRA may request additional documentation and/or schedule an inspection to ensure GMP compliance. The following conditions demonstrate GMP compliance:

  • The site has been approved by a recognized regulatory authority (RA) within the previous three (3) years
  • The dosage form of the IP within the application is within the same dosage form grouping as the dosage form approved by the RA
  • The product type applied for is the same as the product type approved by the recognized RA
  • The activities applied for by the applicant are the same activities that have been approved by the recognized regulator

Import

The SA-GCPs states that IPs may be imported into South Africa only after approval of the protocol by SAHPRA. Samples of the IP to be imported before trial approval require a SAHPRA license under MRSA. The sponsor must ensure that the IP (including active comparator and placebo, if applicable) is manufactured in accordance with any applicable GMP standards. Per G-ManuImpExp to import an IP, the applicant must submit an application form (ZAF-55) to SAHPRA.

Per the G-ImprtPorts, SAHPRA’s Regulatory Compliance Unit is responsible for ensuring that health products at ports of entry meet importation requirements under MRSA, including for IPs. Imported IPs must be accompanied by the certificate of registration that proves authorization under the MRSA.

Please note: South Africa is party to the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit-sharing (ZAF-8), which may have implications for studies of IPs developed using certain non-human genetic resources (e.g., plants, animals, and microbes). For more information, see ZAF-34.

1.1 and 3.1.2, and Appendices 1-2
23
21 and 22C
Annex 13
1.2, 5.7, 6.2, and 6.6
2

Investigational Products > Quality Requirements

Last content review/update: September 26, 2022

Investigator’s Brochure

In accordance with the SA-GCPs, the sponsor is responsible for ensuring an up-to-date Investigator’s Brochure (IB) is available to the investigator; investigators must provide it to the responsible ethics committee (EC). In the case of an investigator-sponsored trial, the sponsor-investigator must determine whether an IB is available from the commercial manufacturer.

The SA-GCPs states that the IB should contain the following sections, each with literature references where appropriate:

  • Table of Contents
  • Summary: A brief summary (preferably not exceeding two (2) pages) to highlight the significant physical, chemical, pharmaceutical, pharmacological, toxicological, pharmacokinetic, metabolic, and clinical information available that is relevant to the stage of clinical development of the investigational product (IP)
  • A brief introductory statement with the chemical name (and generic and trade name for an approved product) of the IP, all active ingredients in the IP, its pharmacological class and expected position within this class (e.g., advantages), the rationale for conducting research with the IP, and the anticipated prophylactic, therapeutic, and/or diagnostic indications. Describe the general approach to be followed in evaluating the IP
  • Physical, chemical, and pharmaceutical properties and formulation parameters
  • Pre-clinical studies (pharmacology, pharmacokinetics, toxicology, and metabolism profiles)
  • Effects of IP in humans (pharmacology, pharmacokinetics, metabolism, and pharmacodynamics; safety and efficacy; regulatory and postmarketing experiences)
  • Summary of data and guidance for the investigator(s)

Quality Documentation

As defined in the SA-GCPs, the sponsor must ensure that IPs are manufactured in accordance with good manufacturing practices (GMPs), including the requirements in Annex 13 of the PIC-S-GMP-Guide (which South Africa adopted pursuant to the SA-GMPs). (See Product Management section for additional information on IP supply, storage, and handling requirements). As indicated in ZAF-23, the following information must be furnished in the clinical trial application:

  • IP name(s) and details (e.g., formulation(s) and strength(s))
  • Comparator product(s) name(s) and details
  • Concomitant name(s) and details including rescue medications
  • Estimated quantity of trial material (each drug detailed separately) for which exemption will be required
  • Explanation for use of imported drugs when the same product is available in South Africa
  • Details of receiving the drugs from supplier including storage, dispensing, and packaging of drugs
  • Date South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) registration applied for or envisioned date of application for trial medication; explain if registration is not envisioned
  • Registration status of entity, for the indication to be tested in this trial, in other countries

See ZAF-23 for detailed instructions on IP submission requirements.

Per the PIC-S-GMP-Guide (which South Africa adopted pursuant to the SA-GMPs), Certificates of Analysis (CoA) should be issued for each batch of intermediate or active pharmaceutical ingredient, on request. CoAs should be dated and signed by authorized personnel of the quality unit(s) and should show the name, address, and telephone number of the original manufacturer. See the PIC-S-GMP-Guide for additional CoA requirements.

11.4 and Annex 13
1.2, 5.7, 6.2, 6.5, 6.7, and 8
2

Investigational Products > Labeling

Last content review/update: September 26, 2022

Investigational product (IP) labeling in South Africa must comply with the requirements set forth in the SA-GCPs, the GRMRSA, MRSA, and the PIC-S-GMP-Guide (which South Africa adopted pursuant to the SA-GMPs). The GRMRSA states that for an IP to be used in a clinical trial, it must be properly labeled in English and at least one (1) other official language, and should appear in clearly legible and indelible letters. As set forth in the PIC-S-GMP-Guide, the following labeling information must be included on both the outer packaging and the immediate container:

  • The name, address, and telephone number of the sponsor, contract research organization (CRO), or investigator
  • The pharmaceutical dosage form, route of administration, quantity of dosage units, and in the case of open trials, the name/identifier and strength/potency
  • The batch and/or code number to identify the contents and packaging operation
  • A trial reference code allowing identification of the trial, site, investigator, and sponsor (if not given elsewhere)
  • The trial participant identification number/treatment number and where relevant, the visit number
  • The investigator name (if not already included above)
  • Directions for use (reference may be made to a leaflet or other explanatory document intended for the trial participant or person administering the product)
  • “For clinical trial use only” or similar wording
  • The storage conditions
  • The period of use (use-by date, expiration date, or re-test date as applicable), in month/year format and in a manner that avoids any ambiguity
  • “Keep out of reach of children” except when the product is for use in trials where the product is not taken home by the participant

In addition, precautions against mislabeling should be intensified by trained staff (e.g., label reconciliation, line clearance, and in-process control checks by appropriately trained staff).

Regarding packaging, the PIC-S-GMP-Guide indicates that IPs are normally packed individually for each participant in the clinical trial. The number of units to be packaged should be specified prior to the start of the packaging operations, including units necessary for carrying out quality control and any retention samples to be kept. Sufficient reconciliations should take place to ensure the correct quantity of each product required has been accounted for at each stage of processing. During packaging, the risk of product mix up must be minimized by using appropriate procedures and/or, specialized equipment as appropriate and relevant staff training. The packaging must ensure that the IP remains in good condition during transport and storage at intermediate destinations. Any opening or tampering of the outer packaging during transport should be readily discernible.

In addition, the SA-GCPs state that the IP be coded and labeled in a manner that protects the blinding, if applicable. The IPs must also be suitably packaged in a manner that will prevent contamination and unacceptable deterioration during transport and storage.

10 and 30 (9)
35
Annex 13
1.2 and 6.6
2

Investigational Products > Product Management

Last content review/update: September 26, 2022

Supply, Storage, and Handling Requirements

As defined in the SA-GCPs, the sponsor is responsible for supplying a sufficient quantity of the investigational product (IP) after the sponsor obtains study approvals from the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) and the ethics committee (EC). The sponsor must ensure that written procedures include instructions and relevant documents for the investigator to follow for handling and storage of the IP for the trial. The procedures must address adequate and safe receipt, handling, storage, dispensing, retrieval of unused product from participants, and return of unused IP to the sponsor (or alternative disposition if authorized by the sponsor and in compliance with the SAHPRA-approved protocol). In addition, the sponsor must:

  • Ensure timely delivery of the IP to the investigator
  • Maintain records that document shipment, receipt, disposition, return, and destruction of the IP
  • Maintain a system for retrieving the IP and then documenting such retrieval (e.g., for deficient product recall, reclaim after trial completion, and expired product reclaim)
  • Maintain a system for disposal of unused IP and for its documentation
  • Take steps to ensure that IP is stable over the period of use
  • Maintain sufficient quantities of the IP used in the trials to reconfirm specifications, if necessary, and maintain records of batch sample analyses and characteristics; to the extent that IP stability permits, samples should be retained until analyses of trial data are complete or as required by the applicable regulatory requirement(s), whichever is longer
  • Provide and maintain a system for retrieving and disposing of trial-related waste (e.g., syringes and needles)

Per the SA-GCPs, the sponsor should determine acceptable temperatures, conditions, times for IP storage, reconstitution fluids/procedures, and devices for product infusion, if any, that comply with the SA-GPPs. The sponsor must inform all parties involved (e.g., monitors, investigators, pharmacists, storage managers) of these determinations.

The SA-GCPs specify that in blinded trials, the IP(s) coding system should include a mechanism that permits rapid IP(s) identification in case of a medical emergency, but does not permit undetectable breaks of the blinding. If significant formulation changes are made in the IP(s) or comparator product(s) during the course of clinical development, the results of any studies of the newly formulated product(s) should be available prior to its use in the clinical trial. Refer to the SA-GCPs for detailed sponsor-related IP requirements.

Record Requirements

Per the SA-GCPs, the sponsor, or other data owners, must retain all essential documents pertaining to the trial for not less than 10 years or until at least two (2) years have elapsed since the formal discontinuation of clinical development of the IP. In addition, the sponsor should obtain the investigator’s agreement to retain trial-related essential documents until the sponsor informs the investigator/institution that these documents are no longer needed.

1.2, 5.7, 6.2, 6.6-6.7, and 8.1-8.2

Specimens > Definition of Specimen

Last content review/update: September 26, 2022

In South Africa, the NHARegMicroLabs refers to a specimen as a “diagnostic specimen,” and defines it as any human or animal material, including excreta, secreta, blood and its components, tissue or tissue fluids, that is to be used for the purpose of diagnosis, but does not include live infected animals. The G-EthicsHR-ZAF, in turn, refers to a specimen as a “biological specimen,” and defines it as material from a person including blood and blood products, DNA, RNA, blastomeres, polar bodies, cultured cells, embryos, gametes, progenitor stem cells, small tissue biopsies, and growth factors.

The term “specimen” appears to be used interchangeably with “biological material” in South Africa. The NHABiol and the MTA-Human follow the G-EthicsHR-ZAF definition of biological specimen, defining “biological material” as material from a human being including DNA, RNA, blastomeres, polar bodies, cultured cells, embryos, gametes, progenitor stem cells, small tissue biopsies, and growth factors from the same. The G-EthicsHR-ZAF defines “human biological materials” with the same definition as is used for “biological specimen.”

In addition, the NHABloodCells generally refers to substances of human origin as biological substances.

Please refer to the G-EthicsHR-ZAF, the NHABiol, the NHA, the NHABloodCells, the NHATissue, and the NHAStemCell for more specific definitions of selected terms including blood, cultured cells, embryonic tissue, human tissue, plasma, stem cell, and genetic material.

Chapter 3 (3.3) and Appendix 1
2.9
1
1
1
1
1
1

Specimens > Specimen Import & Export

Last content review/update: September 26, 2022

Import/Export

Per the NHA, the MTA-Human, the NHABloodCells, the NHARegMicroLabs, the NHATissue, and the NHAStemCell, a permit must also be obtained from the National Department of Health (NDOH) Director General to import or export biological substances. Both the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) approval letter and the NDOH import/export permit must be included with each biological substance shipment. See also the Submission Content section for information on completing a clinical trial application.

As set forth in the NHA, the NHABloodCells, the NHARegMicroLabs, the NHATissue, and the NHAStemCell, the NDOH Director-General, as delegated by the NDOH Minister, is responsible for establishing regulations related to the import and export of biological substances. In addition, only the Minister can authorize an institution or hospital to import or export biological substances for research purposes.

In accordance with the NHA, the NHABloodCells, the NHARegMicroLabs, the NHATissue, and the NHAStemCell, the NDOH Director-General reviews and approves all import or export requests by an institution or hospital. These requests must be submitted in writing using the application forms that may be obtained by contacting the NDOH Permit Programme at importexportpermit@health.gov.za. The forms also appear as Annexures 1-6 in the NHABloodCells and Form 1 in the NHARegMicroLabs.

Upon review of the application, the Director-General will issue a permit or certificate authorizing the import or export request if he/she is satisfied that the submission meets the NHA, the NHABloodCells, the NHARegMicroLabs, the NHATissue, and the NHAStemCell requirements, as applicable. The permit will contain an expiration date for the approved biological substance(s).

General Import/Export Requirements for Biological Substances

The NHABloodCells states that each biological substance to be imported into South Africa must be accompanied by a certificate from the supplier stating that the substance has been exported in terms of the originating country’s applicable laws and regulations.

As per the NHABloodCells and ZAF-7, export permits for biological substances may only be issued by the Director-General to a Southern African Development Community (SADC) member state or to a South African citizen, provided that the country’s market requirements have been met. An applicant must also be registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) and operating in South Africa in order to apply for a permit to import or export biological substances. The applicant must also provide the Director-General with written information on stock levels for this substance along with the export application.

Applicants to whom a permit has been issued must keep a record of the import or export and submit this information using the register forms listed in Annexures 4, 5, and 6 of the NHABloodCells. The forms must be submitted to the Director-General annually before the end of February, for the preceding calendar year.

Import/Export Requirements for Specific Biological Substance Categories

The NHABloodCells provides details on unique application requirements for specific types of biological substances as outlined below:

  • Import of tissues being used for therapeutic purposes: application must be accompanied by donor health status
  • Export of tissues or gametes: application must include written proof that the donated biological substance complies with the NHA requirements
  • Import or export of placenta tissue, embryonic or fetal tissue, embryonic, fetal or umbilical stem cells: applications will only be approved with the Minister’s written consent
  • Import or export of blood or blood products: applications must be accompanied by a national blood transfusion service certificate and test results. If no documentation is included, the applicant must submit a letter to the Director-General explaining the reason. The Director-General will decide whether tests must be conducted, and the Minister is authorized to determine whether the applicant’s institution can be exempted from these requirements.

Material Transfer Agreement

Per the MTA-Human, all the providers and recipients of human biological material for use in research or clinical trials under the auspices of ethics committees (ECs) must use the “Material Transfer Agreement of Human Biological Materials” in MTA-Human. The agreement must be signed by the research institution’s authorized representative and the EC. The EC’s obligations are to:

  • Review and approve research proposals and protocols that require the transfer of human biological materials
  • Review and approve the material transfer agreement and ensure it adequately safeguards human biological material and ethical requirements
  • Review and approve all secondary use research if the material is to be transferred

The EC must be the last party to sign the agreement after all the provisions of MTA-Human have been satisfied.

Cover page, 3, 4.1, and Annexure A
Chapter 8 (54, 57, 60, and 68)
2, 3, 4, 5, and 7, and Annexures 1-6
2-13 and Forms 1 and 2
1 and 2
1, 3, and 16

Sources > Requirements

(Legislation) Children’s Act 38 of 2005 (ChildrensAct) (Effective April 1, 2010)
Parliament
(Legislation) Medicines and Related Substances Act (Act No. 101 of 1965) (MRSA) (Amended 2015)
Parliament
(Legislation) National Health Act, 2003 (Act No. 61 of 2003): Regulations Relating to Research with Human Participants (No.R.719) (NHAParticipants) (September 19, 2014)
Parliament
(Legislation) National Health Act, 2003 (Act No. 61 of 2003): Regulations Relating to the Registration of Microbiological Laboratories and the Acquisition, Importation, Handling, Maintenance and Supply of Human Pathogens (No.R.178) (NHARegMicroLabs) (March 2, 2012)
Parliament
(Legislation) National Health Act, 2003 (Act No. 61 of 2003) (NHA) (July 23, 2004)
Parliament
(Legislation) Promotion of Access to Information Act (Act No. 2 of 2000) (POAIA) (February 3, 2000)
Parliament
(Legislation) Protection of Personal Information Act, 2013 (Act No. 4 of 2013) (POPIA) (November 19, 2013)
Parliament
(Regulation) Fees Payable in Terms of the Provisions of the Medicines and Related Substances Act, 1965 (Act No. 101 of 1965) (No. R. 1379) (MRSA-Fees) (December 22, 2020)
National Department of Health
(Regulation) Material Transfer Agreement of Human Biological Materials (MTA-Human) (July 20, 2018)
National Department of Health
(Regulation) Medicines and Related Substances Act, 1965 (Act No. 101 of 1965): General Regulations (No. 859) (GRMRSA) (Effective Date: May 2, 2003; Latest Amendment: August 25, 2017)
National Department of Health
(Regulation) National Health Act, 2003 (Act No. 61 of 2003): Regulations Regarding the General Control of Human Bodies, Tissue, Blood Products, and Gametes: Amendment (NHASpecAmend) (April 26, 2017)
National Department of Health
(Regulation) National Health Act, 2003 (Act No. 61 of 2003): Regulations Relating to Stem Cell Banks (R.183) (NHAStemCell) (March 2, 2012)
National Department of Health
(Regulation) National Health Act, 2003 (Act No. 61 of 2003): Regulations Relating to the Import and Export of Human Tissue, Blood, Blood Products, Cultured Cells, Stem Cells, Embryos, Foetal Tissue, Zygotes and Gametes (No.R.181) (NHABloodCells) (March 2, 2012)
National Department of Health
(Regulation) National Health Act, 2003 (Act No. 61 of 2003): Regulations Relating to the Use of Human Biological Materials (No.R.177) (NHABiol) (March 2, 2012)
Parliament
(Regulation) National Health Act, 2003 (Act No. 61 of 2003): Regulations Relating to Tissue Banks (R.182) (NHATissue) (March 2, 2012)
National Department of Health
(Regulation) Regulations Relating to the Protection of Personal Information, 2018 (No.R.1383) (POPIA-Regs) (December 14, 2018)
Department of Justice and Constitutional Development
(Guidance) Application to Conduct a Clinical Trial - Guidance in Conditions of a Public Health Emergency (G-CTAPHEmerg) (Version 2) (Effective June 1, 2022)
South African Health Products Regulatory Authority
(Guidance) Capacity Building and Transformation in Clinical Research in South Africa (G-Capacity) (July 2019)
South African Health Products Regulatory Authority
(Guidance) Clinical Guideline (G-Clin) (Version 3) (August 2022)
South African Health Products Regulatory Authority
(Guidance) Clinical Trial Investigators (G-CTInvestigators) (Version 2) (May 2019)
South African Health Products Regulatory Authority
(Guidance) Electronic Submission of Clinical Trial Documents (Amendments, Bioequivalence Studies, Responses, Notifications, and Serious Adverse Events) (G-CTA-Electronic) (Version 3) (September 5, 2022)
South African Health Products Regulatory Authority
(Guidance) Emergency Procedures for Clinical Trial Sites (G-EmergencyProc) (Version 3) (August 2022)
South African Health Products Regulatory Authority
(Guidance) Ethics in Health Research: Principles, Processes and Structures (G-EthicsHR-ZAF) (2nd Edition) (2015)
National Department of Health
(Guidance) General Information (G-GenInfo) (Version 10) (July 2019)
South African Health Products Regulatory Authority
(Guidance) Good Pharmacy Practice in South Africa (SA-GPPs) (2018)
South African Pharmacy Council
(Guidance) Guideline for Clinical Trial Participant Time, Inconvenience & Expense (TIE) Compensation Model (G-TIECompensation) (Version 2) (Effective August 1, 2022)
South African Health Products Regulatory Authority
(Guidance) Guideline for Post Clinical Trial Access (PTA)/Continued Access (G-PostCTAccess) (Version 4) (August 2022)
South African Health Products Regulatory Authority
(Guidance) Guideline for Release of Import Health Products at Ports of Entry (G-ImprtPorts) (Version 2) (June 2022)
South African Health Products Regulatory Authority
(Guidance) Guideline for the Procedure of Consultation Meetings with Clinical Trial Applicants (G-ConsultMtg) (Version 2) (August 3, 2022)
South African Health Products Regulatory Authority
(Guidance) Guideline on How to Apply for a License to Manufacture, Import, and/or Export Medicines and Scheduled Substances (G-ManuImpExp) (Version 3) (June 2022)
South African Health Products Regulatory Authority
(Guidance) Guideline on the Payment of Fees to SAHPRA (G-SAHPRAFees) (Version 6) (May 2021)
South African Health Products Regulatory Authority
(Guidance) Guidelines for Good Practice in the Health Care Professions: General Ethical Guidelines for Health Researchers, Booklet 13 (G-GPHlthCare) (September 2016)
Health Professions Council of South Africa
(Guidance) Guidelines for Good Practice in the Health Care Professions: Seeking Patients’ Informed Consent: The Ethical Considerations, Booklet 4 (G-GPHlthCare-IC) (September 2016)
Health Professions Council of South Africa
(Guidance) Liability Insurance for Clinical Trials (G-Insurance) (Version 3) (August 2022)
South African Health Products Regulatory Authority
(Guidance) Ministerial Consent for Non-therapeutic Health Research with Minors: Operational Guidelines (G-MinisterConsent) (2015)
National Health Research Ethics Council, National Department of Health
(Guidance) Oversight and Monitoring in Clinical Trials (G-Monitor) (Version 4) (August 2022)
South African Health Products Regulatory Authority
(Guidance) PIC/S Guide to Good Manufacturing Practice for Medicinal Products, PE009-14 (PIC-S-GMP-Guide) (May 1, 2021)
The Pharmaceutical Inspection Co-operation Scheme
(Guidance) SA Guide to Good Manufacturing Practice for Medicines (SA-GMPs) (Version 7) (July 2019)
South African Health Products Regulatory Authority
(Guidance) Safety Reporting During Clinical Trials in South Africa (G-SafetyRpt) (Version 4) (August 2021)
South African Health Products Regulatory Authority
(Guidance) South African Good Clinical Practice: Clinical Trial Guidelines (SA-GCPs) (3rd edition) (2020)
National Department of Health
(Proclamation) Proclamation No. 20 of 2017: Commencement of Medicines and Related Substances Amendment Act, 2008 (Act No. 72 of 2008) (Proc20of2017) (May 22, 2017)
President

Sources > Additional Resources

(Guidance) Clinical Trial Compensation Guidelines (ZAF-26) (2014)
Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry, United Kingdom
(Guidance) Insurance and Compensation in the Event of Injury in Phase I Clinical Trials (ZAF-25) (2nd Edition) (June 2012)
Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry, BioIndustry Association, and Clinical Contract Research Association, United Kingdom
(Article) Human Tissue Legislation in South Africa: Focus on Stem Cell Research and Therapy (ZAF-3) (August 2015)
M S Pepper, South African Journal of Bioethics and Law
(Article) Payment of Trial Participants in South Africa: Ethical Considerations for Research Ethics Committees (ZAF-5) (2012)
National Health Research Ethics Council
(Document) A Comprehensive and Practical Guide to Clinical Trials (ZAF-6) (2017)
The Clinical Research Centre at the University of Cape Town
(Document) Biological Substances Export/Import Permits (ZAF-7) (Date Unavailable)
TNT and South African Clinical Research Association (SACRA)
(Document) Clinical Trials Committee Meeting and Submission Dates for 2022 (ZAF-11) (Date Unavailable)
South African Health Products Regulatory Authority
(Document) Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit-sharing (ZAF-8) (2011)
Convention on Biological Diversity, United Nations
(Document) Safety Reporting in Clinical Trials (ZAF-30) (November 2019)
Ruff, Paul, University of the Witwatersrand, Member of SAHPRA Clinical Trials Committee
(Document) Strategic Plan for the Fiscal Years 2018/19 - 2022/23 (ZAF-9) (March 2018)
South African Health Products Regulatory Authority
(Document) Who or What is SAHPRA? (ZAF-10) (May 8, 2019)
Talent 360
(International Guidance) Declaration of Helsinki (ZAF-44) (October 19, 2013)
World Medical Association
(International Guidance) Handbook - Good Laboratory Practice (GLP): Quality Practices for Regulated Non-clinical Research and Development (ZAF-46) (2nd Edition) (January 1, 2009)
World Health Organization
(International Guidance) Integrated Addendum to ICH E6(R1): Guideline for Good Clinical Practice E6(R2) (ZAF-27) (Step 4 Version) (November 9, 2016)
International Council for Harmonisation of Technical Requirements for Pharmaceuticals for Human Use
(Webpage) Clinical Trials Ethics in South Africa (ZAF-51) (Current as of September 26, 2022)
South African Clinical Research Association
(Webpage) Clinical Trials (ZAF-36) (Current as of September 26, 2022)
South African Health Products Regulatory Authority
(Webpage) Country Profile: South Africa (ZAF-34) (Current as of September 26, 2022)
Access and Benefit-sharing Clearing-house, Convention on Biological Diversity, United Nations
(Webpage) Ethics Office (ZAF-49) (Current as of September 26, 2022)
South African Medical Research Council
(Webpage) Ethics Resources (ZAF-42) (Current as of September 26, 2022)
Pharma-Ethics Independent Research Ethics Committee
(Webpage) Fees (ZAF-37) (Current as of September 26, 2022)
South African Health Products Regulatory Authority
(Webpage) National Health Research Ethics Council (ZAF-52) (Current as of September 26, 2022)
Department of Health
(Webpage) Pan African Clinical Trials Registry (ZAF-50) (Current as of September 26, 2022)
Pan African Clinical Trials Registry
(Webpage) South African Health Products Regulatory Authority - About Us (ZAF-39) (Current as of September 26, 2022)
South African Health Products Regulatory Authority
(Webpage) South African Health Products Regulatory Authority - Contact Us - Head Office (ZAF-35) (Current as of September 26, 2022)
South African Health Products Regulatory Authority
(Webpage) South African Health Products Regulatory Authority - Contact Us - Key Contacts (ZAF-47) (Current as of September 26, 2022)
South African Health Products Regulatory Authority
(Webpage) South African National Clinical Trial Register - How to Register (ZAF-32) (Current as of September 26, 2022)
National Department of Health
(Webpage) The SAHPRA Board (ZAF-38) (Current as of September 26, 2022)
South African Health Products Regulatory Authority
(Webpage) The South African National Clinical Trials Register (ZAF-48) (Current as of September 26, 2022)
South African National Clinical Trials Register

Sources > Forms

(Form) Annual Report Form for Human Research Ethics Committees Registered with the National Health Research Ethics Council (ZAF-54) (Version 2.21) (May 13, 2021)
National Health Research Ethics Council
(Form) Application for Additional Investigator(s) or Change of Investigator(s) and Application for Additional Sites (ZAF-21) (Version 4) (GLF-CEM-CT-01D) (September 2022)
South African Health Products Regulatory Authority
(Form) Application for Protocol Amendment to Approved Trial (ZAF-20) (Version 4) (GLF-CEM-CT-01C) (September 2022)
South African Health Products Regulatory Authority
(Form) Application to Conduct a Clinical Trial (ZAF-23) (Version 7) (GLF-CEM-CT-01A) (June 2022)
South African Health Products Regulatory Authority
(Form) Application to Register a Human Research Ethics Committee (ZAF-53) (Version 2.21) (May 13, 2021)
National Health Research Ethics Council
(Form) Application to the Human Research Ethics Committee: (Medical) - For Clearance of Research - For Pharmaceutical/Grant/Donor Sponsored Clinical Trials Involving Drugs/Devices (ZAF-45) (Version 9.1) (2019)
Human Research Ethics Committee, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg
(Form) Biomedical Research Ethics Committee Application Form (ZAF-24) (Version 2) (2017)
Biomedical Research Ethics Committee, University of Kwazulu-Natal
(Form) CIOMS Form I (ZAF-15) (Date Unavailable)
Council for International Organizations of Medical Sciences
(Form) Clinical Trial Investigator Workload Form (ZAF-16) (Version 3) (April 2020)
South African Health Products Regulatory Authority
(Form) License Application to Manufacture, Import, or Export (HCR) Medicines and Scheduled Substances Including Contract Testing Laboratories (ZAF-55) (Effective August 26, 2022)
South African Health Products Regulatory Authority
(Form) Notification Studies: Phase IV (ZAF-17) (Version 4) (Effective September 5, 2022)
South African Health Products Regulatory Authority
(Form) Research Ethics Committee Application Form (ZAF-22) (Version 3) (January 2022)
Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), South Africa
(Form) Six Monthly Progress Report Form for Clinical Trials (ZAF-18) (Version 4) (June 2022)
South African Health Products Regulatory Authority
(Form) Safety Reporting During Clinical Trials Form (ZAF-19) (Version 3) (April 2020)
South African Health Products Regulatory Authority
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Announcement

Country Announcement

Details on the most recent South Africa updates are available here.

South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) Updates 

The ClinRegs team will review and incorporate the updated form and guidelines into the South Africa profile where appropriate.

COVID-19 Guidance

The South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) has issued the following guidelines related to clinical trials during the COVID-19 pandemic:

African regulatory agencies, ethics committees to expedite COVID-19 clinical trial reviews (April 20, 2020)

This message was reviewed on November 30, 2022