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Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988 Waiver Applications

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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 collections of information associated with Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988 waiver applications.


Submit either electronic or written comments on the collection of information by November 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.

Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments Waiver Applications—(OMB Control Number 0910-0598)—Extension

Congress passed the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) (Pub. L. 100-578) in 1988 to establish quality standards for all laboratory testing. The purpose was to ensure the accuracy, reliability, and timeliness of patient test results regardless of where the test took place. CLIA requires that clinical laboratories obtain a certificate from the Secretary of Health and Human Services (the Secretary), before accepting materials derived from the human body for laboratory tests (42 U.S.C. 263a(b)). Laboratories that perform only tests that are “simple” and that have an “insignificant risk of an erroneous result” may obtain a certificate of waiver (42 U.S.C. 263a(d)(2)). The Secretary has delegated to FDA the authority to determine whether particular tests (waived tests) are “simple” and have “an insignificant risk of an erroneous result” under CLIA (69 FR 22849, April 27, 2004).

On January 30, 2008, FDA published a guidance document entitled “Guidance for Industry and FDA Staff: Recommendations for Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988 (CLIA) Waiver Applications for Manufacturers of In Vitro Diagnostic Devices” ( This guidance document describes recommendations for device manufacturers submitting to FDA an application for determination that a cleared or approved device meets this CLIA standard (CLIA waiver application). The guidance recommends that CLIA waiver applications include a description of the features of the device that make it “simple”; a report describing a hazard analysis that identifies potential sources of error, including a summary of the design and results of flex studies and conclusions drawn from the flex studies; a description of fail-safe and failure alert mechanisms and a description of the studies validating these mechanisms; a description of clinical tests that demonstrate the accuracy of the test in the hands of intended operators; and statistical analyses of clinical study results.

The total number of reporting and recordkeeping hours is 143,200 hours. FDA bases the burden on an Agency analysis of premarket submissions with clinical trials similar to the waived laboratory tests. Based on previous years' experience with CLIA waiver applications, FDA expects 40 manufacturers to submit one CLIA waiver application per year. The time required to prepare and submit a waiver application, including the time needed to assemble supporting data, averages 780 hours per waiver application for a total of 31,200 hours for reporting.

Based on previous years' experience with CLIA waiver applications, FDA expects that each manufacturer will spend 2,800 hours creating and maintaining the record for a total of 112,000 hours. The total operating and maintenance cost associated with the waiver application is estimated at $66,200. The cost consists of specimen collection for the clinical study (estimated $23,500); laboratory supplies, reference testing and study oversight (estimated $26,700); shipping and office supplies (estimated $6,000); and educational materials, including quick reference instructions (estimated $10,000).

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

Table 1—Estimated Annual Reporting Burden 1

ActivityNumber of respondentsNumber of responses per respondentTotal annual responsesAverage burden per responseTotal hoursTotal operating and maintenance costs
CLIA waiver application4014078031,200$66,200
1 There are no capital costs associated with this collection of information.

Table 2—Estimated Annual Recordkeeping Burden

ActivityNumber of recordkeepersNumber of records per recordkeeperTotal annual recordsAverage burden per recordkeepingTotal hours
CLIA waiver records401402,800112,000

Dated: August 30, 2012.

Leslie Kux,

Assistant Commissioner for Policy.

[FR Doc. 2012-22660 Filed 9-13-12; 8:45 am]