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Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Guidance on Informed Consent for In Vitro Diagnostic Device Studies Using Leftover Human Specimens That Are Not Individually Identifiable

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The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is announcing an opportunity for public comment on the proposed collection of certain information by the Agency. Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (the PRA), Federal Agencies are required to publish notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information, including each proposed extension of an existing collection of information, and to allow 60 days for public comment in response to the notice. This notice solicits comments on the guidance on informed consent for in vitro diagnostic device studies using leftover human specimens that are not individually identifiable.


Submit either electronic or written comments on the collection of information by August 13, 2012.


Submit electronic comments on the collection of information to Submit written comments on the collection of information to the Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852. All comments should be identified with the docket number found in brackets in the heading of this document.


Daniel Gittleson, Office of Information Management, Food and Drug Administration, 1350 Piccard Dr., PI50-400B, Rockville, MD 20850, 301-796-5156,


Under the PRA (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), Federal Agencies must obtain approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for each collection of information they conduct or sponsor. “Collection of information” is defined in 44 U.S.C. 3502(3) and 5 CFR 1320.3(c) and includes Agency requests or requirements that members of the public submit reports, keep records, or provide information to a third party. Section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the PRA (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)) requires Federal Agencies to provide a 60-day notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information, including each proposed extension of an existing collection of information, before submitting the collection to OMB for approval. To comply with this requirement, FDA is publishing notice of the proposed collection of information set forth in this document.

With respect to the following collection of information, FDA invites comments on these topics: (1) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of FDA's functions, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of FDA's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques, when appropriate, and other forms of information technology.

Guidance on Informed Consent for In Vitro Diagnostic Device Studies Using Leftover Human Specimens That Are Not Individually Identifiable—(OMB Control Number 0910-0582)—Extension

FDA's investigational device regulations are intended to encourage the development of new, useful devices in a manner that is consistent with public health, safety, and with ethical standards. Investigators should have freedom to pursue the least burdensome means of accomplishing this goal. However, to ensure that the balance is maintained between product development and the protection of public health, safety, and ethical standards, FDA has established human subject protection regulations addressing requirements for informed consent and institutional review board (IRB) review that apply to all FDA-regulated clinical investigations involving human subjects. In particular, informed consent requirements further both safety and ethical considerations by allowing potential subjects to consider both the physical and privacy risks they face if they agree to participate in a trial.

Under FDA regulations, clinical investigations using human specimens conducted in support of premarket submissions to FDA are considered human subject investigations (see 21 CFR 812.3(p)). Many investigational device studies are exempt from most provisions of 21 CFR part 812, Investigational Device Exemptions, under 21 CFR 812.2(c)(3), but FDA's regulations for the protection of human subjects (21 CFR parts 50 and 56) apply to all clinical investigations that are regulated by FDA (see 21 CFR 50.1; 21 CFR 56.101, 21 U.S.C. 360j(g)(3)(A), and 21 U.S.C. 360j(g)(3)(D)).

FDA regulations do not contain exceptions from the requirements of informed consent on the grounds that the specimens are not identifiable or that they are remnants of human specimens collected for routine clinical care or analysis that would otherwise have been discarded. Nor do FDA regulations allow IRBs to decide whether or not to waive informed consent for research involving leftover or unidentifiable specimens.

In a level 1 guidance document, entitled “Guidance on Informed Consent for In Vitro Diagnostic Device Studies Using Leftover Human Specimens That Are Not Individually Identifiable,” issued under the Good Guidances Practices regulation, 21 CFR 10.115, FDA outlines the circumstances in which it intends to exercise enforcement discretion as to the informed consent regulations for clinical investigators, sponsors, and IRBs.

The recommendations of the guidance impose a minimal burden on industry. FDA estimates that 700 studies will be affected annually. Each study will result in one annual record, estimated to take 4 hours to complete. This results in a total recordkeeping burden of 2,800 hours (700 × 4 = 2,800).

FDA estimates the burden of this collection of information as follows:

Table 1—Estimated Annual Recordkeeping Burden 1

Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act sectionNumber of recordkeepersNumber of records per recordkeeperTotal annual recordsAverage burden per recordkeepingTotal hours
520(g) (21 U.S.C. 360j(g))700170042,800
1 There are no capital costs or operating and maintenance costs associated with this collection of information.

Dated: June 7, 2012.

Leslie Kux,

Assistant Commissioner for Policy.

[FR Doc. 2012-14228 Filed 6-11-12; 8:45 am]