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USA | Draft FDA Guidance: Key Information and Facilitating Understanding in Informed Consent

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USA | Draft FDA Guidance: Key Information and Facilitating Understanding in Informed Consent2024-03-10T15:31:54+00:00

Real World Evidence (RWE) 101 – The Common Rule

RWE 101 – The Common Rule

The Common Rule plays a significant role in the governance of observational studies. The Common Rule refers to a set of regulations and ethical principles designed to protect human subjects participating in research studies conducted or supported by federal agencies in the United States. It sets the standards for the ethical conduct of research and ensures the protection of individuals involved in research studies.

Observational studies, which are a type of study design used in RWE research, involve the collection and analysis of data from participants in their real-world settings. These studies aim to assess outcomes and associations between various factors, such as treatments, interventions, or exposure to certain conditions, without any intervention or manipulation by the researcher.

The Common Rule establishes the following key principles and requirements:

Informed Consent: The Common Rule emphasizes the importance of obtaining informed consent from individuals participating in research studies. Researchers must provide participants with clear and understandable information about the study, its purpose, risks, potential benefits, and any other relevant details. Informed consent ensures that participants have the necessary information to make an informed decision about their participation.

Institutional Review Board (IRB) Oversight: The Common Rule requires that all research involving human subjects undergo review by an IRB. The IRB evaluates the study’s ethical implications, safeguards the rights and welfare of participants, and ensures that the research adheres to the Common Rule’s principles. IRBs play a critical role in assessing the risks and benefits of observational studies and determining whether they meet ethical standards.

Privacy and Confidentiality: Observational studies often involve the collection of sensitive data from participants, such as medical records or personal information. The Common Rule mandates that researchers take appropriate measures to protect the privacy and confidentiality of individuals involved in the study. This includes implementing safeguards to prevent unauthorized access, use, or disclosure of participant data.

Balancing Risks and Benefits: The Common Rule requires researchers to conduct a thorough risk-benefit analysis of the observational study. They must assess the potential risks associated with data collection and analysis and weigh them against the potential benefits of the research. This analysis helps ensure that the benefits of the study justify any potential risks to the participants.

By adhering to the Common Rule, researchers can ensure that observational studies in RWE are conducted ethically, with proper safeguards for participant rights, welfare, and privacy. The Common Rule helps maintain the integrity of research and promotes public trust in the scientific community’s ability to generate reliable and valuable real-world evidence.

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Real World Evidence (RWE) 101 – The Common Rule2023-08-07T13:58:31+00:00
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