Archives: November 2015

The Common Rule NPRM Blog Series: Part 2 – Single IRB Review

To rely or not to rely? Under the recent Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”) issued by the Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) and fifteen other federal agencies outlining changes to their existing human subject protection regulations (the “Common Rule”), this would generally no longer be a question in the U.S. Part 2 of our Academic and Clinical Research Group (“ACRG”) blog series on the Common Rule NPRM addresses the NPRM’s proposal to require U.S. institutions engaged in domestic cooperative research to rely on a “single IRB” to provide review of the research on their behalf in most circumstances. This proposal remains a constant from the Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“ANPRM”) that was published in 2011, despite comments from the regulated community suggesting that HHS take steps to encourage various types of IRB reliance arrangements but stop short of a mandate. We expect that many institutions may be planning to comment again on whether single IRB review should become a mandate and on the associated relative burdens and benefits of such review (whether it is mandatory or permissive). This blog post does not comment on logistical implementation issues or on the cost assumptions provided by HHS in support of the proposal. Rather, we outline below some additional questions and issues that organizations may wish to consider or address in submitting comments on the proposal.

Thanks to a just-granted 30-day extension of the public comment period for the NPRM, comments on the NPRM are now due to HHS by January 6, 2016. The ACRG has prepared an unofficial redline of the proposed changes against the existing regulations and a set of decision charts to assist with navigating the proposed changes.

ACRG Rapid Rundown: Six Things You Need to Know ... read more

Breaking News – 30 Day Extension to Common Rule NPRM Comment Period!

Earlier this morning, Health and Human Services and the fifteen other federal departments and agencies with which it is collaborating on the Common Rule Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”) announced that the NPRM comment period, which was scheduled to end on December 7th, will be extended for 30 days. The new deadline for comments is January 6, 2016. A copy of the notice can be found here. Another reason to be grateful this Thanksgiving!

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The Common Rule NPRM Blog Series: Part 1 – Biospecimens

As we previously announced, sixteen federal agencies, including the Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”), recently published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”) in the Federal Register outlining changes to the existing regulations protecting human subjects (the “Common Rule”). The Common Rule NPRM is the latest development since the Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“ANPRM”) was published on July 26, 2011. The Academic and Clinical Research Group (“ACRG”) will be publishing a series of topic-specific blogs in the coming weeks to assist institutions in digesting various aspects of the proposed regulations, preparing to submit any comments by the December 7, 2015 deadline, and grappling with implementation changes once the final rule issues. We have also prepared an unofficial redline of the proposed changes against the existing regulations and a set of decision charts to assist with navigating the proposed revisions.

In this installment, we discuss the NPRM’s proposed changes to biospecimens research. The NPRM did not back down from one of the more controversial aspects of the ANPRM, proposing a fundamental shift in the applicability of the human subjects protection framework to non-identified biospecimens research. However, once the shock of the new definition of “human subject” wears off, the reality is that most of the changes codify how the research community has tried to apply the existing Common Rule to the challenging arena of biobanking, secondary research, and genomic and other “omics” research. That said, many of the carve-outs (i.e., exclusions and exemptions) intended to balance this shift are more restrictive than at first they seem. ... read more