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Clinical Trials Resource Center

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Changes to Requirements Effective 1/18/2017

On 9/16/2016, the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) released a Final Rule and NIH released a new policy that describe changes to their requirements for clinical trial registration and results submission.

The Final Rule describes the legal requirements for clinical trial registration and results submission and replaces the legal requirements described by Section 801 of the Food and Drug Amendments Act of 2007 (FDAAA). View a table comparing the Final Rule to FDAAA.

The new NIH policy is in most ways similar to the Final Rule, except that NIH now requires that all NIH-funded clinical trials register and submit results, whether or not the trial is required to register the Final Rule. Thus, the NIH policy now covers more types of trials than the law, including phase 1 studies, small feasibility studies, and trials that do not involve any FDA-regulated product, such as trials involving only behavioral interventions. View a table comparing the new NIH policy to the Final Rule.

Final Rule Compliance Dates: The Final Rule will become effective on 1/18/2017, and trials that are required by law to be registered (i.e., “applicable clinical trials”) must be in compliance with the Final Rule by 4/18/2017. The new registration requirements described in the Final Rule will apply to trials initiated on or after 1/18/2017, and the new results submission requirements of the final rule will apply to trials that reach their primary completion date on or after 1/18/2017. Trials initiated before 1/18/17 will follow the registration requirements in place before the Final Rule went into effect (that is, the requirements set forth by FDAAA), and trials that reach their primary completion date before 1/18/2017 will follow the results submission requirements of FDAAA.

NIH Policy Compliance Dates: The new NIH policy applies to applications submitted on or after 1/18/2017 for clinical trials initiated on or after 1/18/17, as well as to competing renewal applications that include a new clinical trial (i.e., a clinical trial initiated on or after the effective date of the policy). Compliance will be a term and condition of NIH awards. This policy does not apply to: 1) NIH-funded clinical trials initiated before the effective date of 1/18/17, 2) clinical trials that use NIH-supported infrastructure but do not receive NIH funds to support their conduct, or 3) clinical trials of ongoing, non-competing awards.


Checklist tool for determining if a study must be registered

Paper describing changes to law enacted by the Final Rule

Table comparing old requirements under FDAAA to new requirements under Final Rule

3 free webinars on changes to law enacted by the Final Rule

Summary of Final Rule and NIH policy

Table comparing Final Rule to NIH policy

News release on Final Rule and NIH policy

Which Trials Must be Registered and Submit Results by Law?

Studies that must be registered and submit results by law are called “Applicable Clinical Trials," which are defined at this link. The Final Rule and FDAAA have the same definition of Applicable Clinical Trial. These trials most generally include:

Who is Responsible for Registration and Results Submission by Law?

The entity responsible for registering is the "Responsible Party,” defined at this link. The Final Rule and FDAAA have the same definition of Responsible Party. For UTHealth PI-initiated studies, the UTHealth PI is designated the Responsible Party and is responsible for registration and results submission. For industry-sponsored trials or multi-site trials, the industry sponsor or lead site is responsible for registration and results submission. Note that only one record should be created for a trial. 

Steps for Registering Your Clinical Trial at

Elizabeth Massey Gendel, PhD


"Organization"= UTexas_Houston

Your User ID is generally your first initial immediately followed by your last name.

Results Submission Requirements by Law

The Responsible Party must post results to the record no later than one year after the study's Primary Completion Date, which is the "date that the final subject was examined or received an intervention for the purposes of final collection of data for the primary outcome, whether the clinical trial concluded according to the pre-specified protocol or was terminated."

Registration and Publication in Medical Journals

Medical journals following the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) guidelines require registration as a condition of publication. Note that the ICMJE guidelines require registration of trials of all intervention types, including trials that do not involve any FDA-regulated product, such as trials involving only behavioral interventions. Additionally, phase 1 drug studies and device feasibility studies must be registered per the ICMJE guidelines. The ICMJE guidelines do not require results submission.

Related Links



Center for Clinical and Translational Sciences

Clinical Trials Resource Center (CTRC)
7000 Fannin Street, Suite 795

Houston, Texas 77030
phone 713-500-3622
fax 713-500-0334