Proposed Rule Re Submitting Clinical Trial Registration and Results, Including Adverse Event Information, To Database

As mentioned on our Health Industry Washington Watch blog, the National Institutes of Health has released a proposed rule designed to provide clarity on the requirements surrounding the submission of information to, as mandated by the Food and Drug Administration Amendments Act of 2007.

Among the proposed requirements is summary results submission for clinical trials involving all pharmaceuticals, medical devices and biological products, regardless of whether they have been approved, licensed or cleared by the Food and Drug Administration, timetable restrictions for the registration of a clinical trial and submission of summary results, and guidelines for the reporting of adverse events.

The proposed rule will officially be published on November 21, 2014, and comments will be accepted for 90 days thereafter.

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New HHS Federal Research Conflict of Interests Regulations

On September 26, 2011, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services ("HHS") issued new regulations governing the disclosure by faculty members and research staff of significant financial interests related to certain federal grants, and the reporting of "financial conflicts of interest" to certain federal agencies by colleges and universities that receive funding for Public Health Service ("PHS")-sponsored research. See 42 C.F.R. § 50.601 et seq.

The new regulations significantly expand the coverage of 1995 HHS regulations on the same subject. Colleges and universities that receive research funding from a PHS "Awarding Component," including the National Institutes of Health ("NIH"), must be in compliance with the new regulations by no later than August 24, 2012.

To learn more, read the full alert written by Lane Kneedler and Pakapon Phinyowattanachip available on Reed Smith's Global Regulatory Enforcement Law Blog.

The Legal Duties of Clinical Trial Sponsors

In an article entitled, "The Legal Duties Of Clinical Trial Sponsors," published by on July 11, 2011, Reed Smith attorney Kevin Lohman addresses the risks involved in human clinical trials and the responsibilities between the clinical study investigator and the manufacturer/sponsor.  Although the unique roles and responsibilities of entities involved with clinical trials are clearly defined, plaintiffs oftentimes attempt to assign legal duties to the wrong entity — sometimes suing the clinical trial sponsor as if it were directly providing medical services to the participant — or attempt to create novel legal duties. Case law that has addressed this issue has consistently held that this is not appropriate. When faced with this scenario, it is important to clearly identify the role that the manufacturer/sponsor played in the clinical trial to determine whether they owed any legal duty to the plaintiff.

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Increasing Clinical Trial Enrollment; Comments Requested

On January 13, 2009, the FDA published a notice seeking comments on issues related to the enrollment of certain populations in clinical drug trials. This request is related to FDA's implementation of the Food and Drug Administration Amendments Act of 2007 (FDAAA) section 901, which requires the FDA to report to Congress on best practice approaches to increasing participation of elderly populations, children, racially and ethnically diverse communities, and medically-underserved populations in clinical drug trials. FDA requests comments from medical product manufacturers, IRBs, patient groups, researchers, and other interested parties on possible approaches to increasing participation of these groups in clinical drug trials. Comments will be accepted until February 27, 2009.

Certifications of Clinical Trial Registry/Results Submissions; Final Guidance

The FDA has released final guidance on “Certifications To Accompany Drug, Biological Product, and Device Applications/Submissions: Compliance with Section 402(j) of The Public Health Service Act, Added By Title VIII of The Food and Drug Administration Amendments Act of 2007.” The guidance describes the FDA’s current thinking regarding the types of applications and submissions that sponsors, industry, researchers, and investigators submit to FDA and accompanying certifications under the FDAAA related to the submission of required information to the clinical trials data bank,

Under Construction: The Medicare Clinical Trial Policy

A lesser-known provision in the Medicare Program allows payment for "reasonable and necessary" items or services provided through clinical trials. At the same time, even for traditional reimbursement, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) increasingly is demanding evidence of effectiveness in the Medicare population, rather than simply in the general population, to support a coverage decision. The federal government has sought, often without much success, to increase participation by Medicare recipients in clinical trials, because Medicare recipients traditionally have been underrepresented in research populations--meaning the very evidence CMS seeks for traditional reimbursement often does not exist. Developments regarding these reimbursement policies by CMS are the subject of an informative and timely article for the FDLI UPDATE by Reed Smith attorney Kathleen McGuan.