Every clinical trial is a partnership built on trust. Pfizer honors that trust by sharing the policies that govern our clinical research.

These policies help ensure that every clinical trial is planned, conducted and reviewed according to the highest scientific, ethical and clinical standards. As we work to develop new medicines for the patients we serve, our strict standards of moral and ethical conduct are guided with the help and oversight of institutional review boards, regulatory authorities, and industry association guidelines governing ethical clinical trial conduct and research integrity as well as our own Bioethics Advisory Panel.

Policies, Positions, & Case Studies


All Pfizer-sponsored interventional studies are conducted in accordance with applicable laws and regulations, as well as principles derived from relevant international standards including:

  • the Council for International Organizations of Medical Sciences (CIOMS) International Ethical Guidelines,
  • the International Council for Harmonisation of Technical Requirements for Pharmaceuticals for Human Use (ICH) E6 guideline for Good Clinical Practice,
  • PhRMA’s Principles on Conduct of Clinical Trials and Communication of Clinical Trial Results,
  • the Declaration of Helsinki, and
  • the United States Belmont report.

We strive to maintain the highest ethical, scientific, and clinical standards in all our clinical research around the world. We regularly review our science policies to align them with Pfizer's vision, values, and goals, and with our stakeholders' evolving priorities.


Pfizer’s Bioethics Advisory Panel is an external group of ethicists, clinical researchers, patient advocates and academics who provide Pfizer with independent, expert perspectives on globally complex issues at the crossroads of research, medicine, and ethics. The panel’s guidance on emerging issues and scientific trends helps inform Pfizer’s R&D planning, as well as other policies across our portfolio and the lifecycle of our medicines, ensuring that the interests of the patient and the public remain at the core of our activities. The panel addresses a broad range of topics including conducting clinical research in vulnerable patient populations; the use, privacy and security of patient data; compassionate access and emerging therapies, and our relationships with academic, research, and patient communities. The BAP is sponsored by Pfizer’s Chief Medical Officer.

Bioethics Advisory Panel Members 

  • Ames Dhai, MBChB, FCOG (S.A.), LLM. Head of the Bioethics University of the Witwatersrand Medical School, Director of the Steve Biko Centre for Bioethics, Durban, South Africa
  • Bartha Knoppers, PhD, MA, LLB/BCL, Professor and Director of the Centre of Genomics and Policy, Faculty of Medicine, Human Genetics, McGill University, Montreal (Quebec), Canada
  • James Lavery, PhD, Professor and Hilton Chair in Global Health Ethics Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, US
  • Doris C. Schmitt, Doctor-Patient-Communication Consultant and Trainer, Medical Journalist, Board member Breast Cancer Biobank Foundation PATH, Konstanz, Germany