August 2011

Alleviating the burden of compliance

With regard to human subject protections, FASEB encouraged HHS to exempt research from the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act Privacy Rule, a statute that has impeded biomedical research significantly while doing little to improve protections for human research participants. At a minimum, FASEB recommended that HHS harmonize the Privacy Rule with the Common Rule, the department’s comprehensive framework for reviewing and conducting research with human beings, so as to eliminate inconsistencies that hamper research.

FASEB is hopeful that the Obama administration’s interest in streamlining federal regulations will result in changes that allow investigators to devote more time to their research, enhance scientific productivity, and speed the generation of new knowledge related to human health and disease. FASEB will continue to press for these changes, and we welcome input from the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology community as we continue our advocacy efforts in this critical area.

Jennifer A. Hobin ( is director of science policy in FASEB’s office of public affairs.


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