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  • Washington Highlights

    NIH Seeks Feedback on Recommendations to Reduce Administrative Burden in Animal Research

    Stephen Heinig, Director, Science Policy

    The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Dec. 7 released a draft report on ways to reduce administrative burden in the care and use of animals in research. The report was developed in response to a requirement in the 21st Century Cures Act (P.L. 114-255), Section 2034(d).

    Specifically, the legislation mandated that certain federal agencies “complete a review of applicable regulations and policies for the care and use of laboratory animals and … identify ways to ensure such regulations and policies are not inconsistent, overlapping, or unnecessarily duplicative.” The report was developed by an interagency working group formed by the NIH Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Department of Agriculture.

    The draft report presents recommendations on reducing the administrative burden on investigators while maintaining the integrity and credibility of research findings and protection of research animals. The recommended steps include changes to protocol review, reporting requirements, and training opportunities, as well as increased coordination between federal agencies.

    The working group included in its review a 2017 report by the AAMC, the Federation of Associations for Experimental Biology, the Council on Governmental Relations, and the National Association for Biomedical Research on reforming animal research regulations. The AAMC June 7 submitted comments in response to an earlier request for information as the report was being formulated [see Washington Highlights, June 8].

    The NIH is seeking feedback on the draft report. The AAMC will submit comments, which are due by Feb. 5, 2019.