FDA Proposes Informed Consent Waivers for Low-Risk Trials

November 28, 2018

Researchers in low-risk clinical trials could experiment on patients without obtaining informed consent if they meet at least four conditions, the FDA proposed Tuesday in a new rulemaking notice.

The agency will grant waivers if researchers can prove:

  • A trial “involves no more than minimal risk” to humans;
  • The waiver won’t negatively affect patients’ health or rights;
  • A trial can’t “practicably be carried out” unless a waiver is granted; and
  • Patients are given study details and findings after a trial wraps up.

The proposed rules firm up a 2017 guidance that laid out the same conditions for informed consent waivers. FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said the move would help sponsors conduct low-risk trials “that may be important to addressing significant public health needs without compromising the rights, safety or welfare of human subjects.”

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