Regulatory Flexibility For COVID-19 Research

Abstract [from journal]

Clinical research is critical to combatting COVID-19, but regulatory requirements for human subjects protection may sometimes pose a challenge in pandemic circumstances. Although regulators have offered some helpful guidance for research during the pandemic, we identify further compliance challenges regarding institutional review board (IRB) review and approval, informed consent, emergency research, and research involving incarcerated people. Our proposals for regulatory flexibility in these areas seek to satisfy the goals of protecting participants and promoting the development of high-quality evidence to improve patient care. These recommendations may have relevance beyond the COVID-19 pandemic to enhance the efficiency of research oversight and participant protection more broadly.