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Human Subjects Research Regulations

Ethical Principles

Ethical Principles for Human Research Protections

Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Regulations

About the HHS Regulations

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and fifteen other Federal Departments and Agencies have issued final revisions to the Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects (the Common Rule). These revisions became effective in 2018, so although the general compliance date was advanced to January 21, 2019, the regulations are referred to as the "Pre-2018 Requirements" and the "2018 Requirements."

As the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not yet revised its regulations, and the Department of Justice (DOJ) has not signed onto the revised Common Rule, the Pre-2018 Requirements currently apply to research that is FDA-regulated or DOJ-supported.

The general compliance date for the Revised Common Rule is January 21, 2019.

2018 Requirements

2018 Requirements: 45 CFR 46 - Protection of Human Subjects

The term "2018 Requirements" refers to the Common Rule as published in the July 19, 2018 edition of the e-Code of Federal Regulations. The 2018 Requirements were originally published on January 19, 2017 and further amended on January 22, 2018 and June 19, 2018. The 2018 Requirements may also be referred to as the "2018 Rule" and the "revised Common Rule."

Excerpts from Subpart A:

Pre-2018 Requirements

Pre-2018 Requirements: - 45 CFR 46 - Protection of Human Subjects

The term "pre-2018 Requirements" refers to subpart A of 45 CFR 46 (i.e., the Common Rule) as published in the 2016 edition of the Code of Federal Reulations. The pre-2018 Requirements were originally promulgated in 1991, and subsequently amended in 2005. The pre-2018 Requirements may also be referred to as the "pre-2018 Rule" and the "pre-2018 Common Rule."

Excerpts from Subpart A

45 CFR 46, Subparts B, C and D

The 2018 revisions have been made to Subpart A only. Subparts B, C and D remain in effect for all applicable protocols approved before, on or following January 21, 2019. (For more information see: How do the updates to the Common Rule affect the HHS subparts?)

Food & Drug Administration (FDA) Regulations

State Regulations