Common Rule Infographic

by Jim Gearhart

Quorum Review’s Top Ten Blog Posts of 2015

The end of the year presents an opportunity for reflection, on what has happened over the year, what we’ve accomplished, and what remains undone (for me, that last category always seems to have the most in it).

It’s also a great time for Top Ten lists.

It has been a busy year for clinical research and IRB/ethical committees. It has been a year of many new guidance documents, new policy proposals, and new technologies that all could alter clinical research. It was a great time to track what was happening and to share what we noticed. And here at the end of 2015, we went through our online articles from the past 12 months to see which ones attracted the most attention.

The list represents what we found, the ten most popular Quorum postings of 2015. We think it provides an interesting review of what happened this year, and what we all thought was important.

10. Possible Next Steps for 21st Century Cures Act
(August; 854 views)
When the House of Representatives passed its 21st Century Cures Act with near unanimity, many looked to see what would happen in the Senate. At the peak of the 21st Century Cures Act enthusiasm, Senator Lamar Alexander effused over a report from the Bipartisan Policy Center that contained numerous recommendations for improving clinical research. But now, as summer passed to fall and fall passed to winter, the Senate’s version of the 21st Century Cures Act still waits for its moment.

9.What Does the Common Rule Have to do With CIA Interrogation?
(February; 855 Views)
According to a December 2014 report from the Senate Intelligence Committee, the CIA had determined that assessing the effectiveness of enhanced interrogation techniques such as sleep deprivation and water boarding would violate research ethics and the Common Rule.

8. Sponsors/CROs and Sites: How to Find the Best Match
(April, 898 Views)
Tips and suggestions for finding the right sites for the right study.

7. Clinical Trial Recruitment Using Social Media is Growing
(March, 1,344 Views)
Social media topics accounted for four of Quorum’s top ten articles in 2015. This first one looked at who is using social media for recruiting study participants, and whether it is working.

6. Setting up a Strong Social Media Recruitment Program for Clinical Trials
(June, 1,389 Views)
The next most popular social media article  considered what issues are important now, even as the regulations and official guidance around social media recruitment continue to develop.

5. 21st Century Cures Act: Proposal for All Aspects of Research
(July, 1,525 Views)
Summer optimism may have helped bring both sides of the House together to pass a roster of changes to clinical research. The House of Representatives proposal suggested more money for research at the National Institutes for Health (NIH); new ways to oversee research; and an easy way to pay for it all (the government’s strategic oil reserve).  The Senate’s version has not engendered the same enthusiasm or bipartisan backing.

4. Webinar Recording: Embracing Social Media Research
(June, 1,920 Views)
Here was a third piece of guidance about social media recruiting.

3. NIH Considers Central IRB Review; Researchers Respond
(August, 2,571 Views)
Here’s how the research community responded to an NIH proposal that all NIH-funded multi-site studies use a central IRB.

2. Using Facebook to Improve Recruitment and Retention in Clinical Trials
(March, 2,663 Views)
People clearly are eager to hear about social media and clinical research. This was the fourth article about social media recruiting that showed up in the Top Ten, and the second most popular blog of the year.

And the Number One, most viewed article from Quorum this year was…

1. NPRM 2015 Summary post
(September, 7,041 Views)
Come on, at least pretend to be surprised. Over 7,000 readers wanted to see what Quorum had to say about the wide-ranging changes proposed for the Common Rule. From creating a new category of research (exclusions) to decreasing requirements for continuing review to building new protections about biological samples, the NPRM sought solutions to the ethical challenges of research in the 21st century.  We’re humbled that so many checked with us to learn about them, and we hope that we added to the conversation.

And that’s the list. Thanks for joining us this year. While the end of the year is an opportunity to look back, it also presents a chance to look ahead. These topics show what captured everyone’s attention in 2015, and they suggest what will pique our curiosity in 2016. We’re excited to see what’s in store.

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