Rigorous review by research ethics committees can:

• provide a powerful preventative measure in tackling research misconduct;

• provide a culture in which it is more difficult for research misconduct to flourish;

• help prevent less good research practice and protect patients and the public against harm from research and researchers;

• encourage a culture in which good quality, well-justified, well-planned, and appropriately designed biomedical research can flourish;

• facilitate ethically acceptable attempts to identify new and better treatments from which all may potentially benefit.

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