Reading time: 4 – 7 minutes
Last week, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), which proposes regulations to implement reporting requirements for clinical trials that are subject to Title VIII (Clinical Trial Databases) of the Food and Drug Administration Amendments Act of 2007 (FDAAA). The proposed rule clarifies requirements to clinical researchers for registering clinical trials and submitting summary trial results information to ClinicalTrials.gov, a publicly accessible database operated by the National Library of Medicine, part of the National Institutes of Health. The NIH also announced a proposal to apply the proposed requirements to all NIH-funded clinical trials, whether subject to FDAAA or not. The proposed policy would require that all NIH-funded clinical trials be registered in ClinicalTrials.gov and that summary results be posted to the database in a timely matter. Both documents are open for a 90-day public comment period, and comments will be taken into consideration before final regulations and a final NIH Policy are issued.
NIH Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., said:
Medical advances would not be possible without participants in clinical trials. We owe it to every participant and the public at large to support the maximal use of this knowledge for the greatest benefit to human health. This important commitment from researchers to research participants must always be upheld.
ClinicalTrials.gov currently contains registration information for more than 178,000 clinical trials and summary results for more than 15,000. These numbers include trials that are not subject to FDAAA. Among the primary benefits of registering and reporting results of clinical trials, including both positive and negative findings, is that it helps researchers prevent unnecessary duplication of trials, particularly when trial results indicate that a product under study may be unsafe or ineffective, and it establishes trust with clinical trial participants that the information from their participation is being put to maximum use to further knowledge about their condition.
Developed by NIH in close coordination with the FDA, the proposed rule details procedures for meeting the requirements established by FDAAA to improve public access to clinical trial information. FDAAA and the proposed rule apply to certain interventional studies of drugs, biological products, and devices that are regulated by the FDA, but, generally, not to phase 1 trials of drugs and biological products and small feasibility studies of devices. The proposed rule specifies how data collected and analyzed in a clinical trial would be required to be submitted to ClinicalTrials.gov. It would not affect requirements for the design or conduct of clinical trials or for the data that must be collected during clinical trials.
FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D., said:
This proposed rule would close an important gap, making additional information about clinical studies of investigational drugs, medical devices and biological products available to the public. It would help eliminate unnecessary duplicative trials, advance biomedical innovation, and provide the public with a much richer understanding about the clinical trials for these products.
Notable changes from current requirements and practice that are outlined in the proposed rule include:
- A streamlined approach for determining which trials are subject to the proposed regulations and who is responsible for submitting required information.
- Expansion of the set of trials subject to summary results reporting to include trials of unapproved products.
- Additional data elements that must be provided at the time of registration (not later than 21 days after enrolling the first participant) and results submission (generally not later than 12 months after completion).
- Clarified procedures for delaying results submission when studying an unapproved, unlicensed, or uncleared product or a new use of a previously approved, licensed, or cleared product and for requesting extensions to the results submission deadline for good cause.
- More rapid updating of several data elements to help ensure that users of ClinicalTrials.gov have access to accurate, up-to-date information about important aspects of a clinical trial.
- Procedures for timely corrections to any errors discovered by the responsible party or by the Agency as it processes submissions prior to posting.
Read a summary of the proposed changes: http://www.nih.gov/news/health/nov2014/od-19_summary.htm.
Request for public comments: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-15-019.html
HHS values the public’s participation in clinical trials and the knowledge gained by their participation; considers it an obligation to support the maximal use of this knowledge for the greatest benefit to human health; and strongly supports sharing of clinical trial data in a manner that both protects participant privacy, and allows the broader scientific research community to validate and build upon initial clinical trial findings.
The Office of the Director, the central office at NIH, is responsible for setting policy for NIH, which includes 27 Institutes and Centers. This involves planning, managing, and coordinating the programs and activities of all NIH components. The Office of the Director also includes program offices which are responsible for stimulating specific areas of research throughout NIH. Additional information is available at http://www.nih.gov/icd/od.
Source: NIH News