Frequently Asked Questions

The FDA regulations exempt an emergency use of a test article from prospective IRB review, however, "... any subsequent use of the test article at the institution is subject to IRB review." What does the phrase "subsequent use" mean?

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IRB: General

FDA regulations allow for one emergency use of a test article in an institution without prospective IRB review, provided that such emergency use is reported to the IRB within five working days after such use. An emergency use is defined as a single use (or single course of treatment, e.g. multiple doses of antibiotic) with one subject. "Subsequent use" would be a second use with that subject or the use with another subject.

In its review of the emergency use, if it is anticipated that the test article may be used again, the IRB should request a protocol and consent document(s) be developed so that an approved protocol would be in place when the next need arises. Despite the best efforts of the clinical investigator and the IRB, a situation may occur where a second emergency use needs to be considered. FDA believes it is inappropriate to deny emergency treatment to an individual when the only obstacle is lack of time for the IRB to convene, review the use and give approval.