Registering with

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). A table comparing the Final Rule to FDAAA is found at this link.

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. A table comparing the new NIH policy to the Final Rule is found at this link.

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.


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:

  • Interventional Trials of Drugs and Biologics, other than phase 1 drug studies
  • Interventional Trials of Devices, other than device feasibility studies
  • Pediatric Post-Market Surveillance Studies

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

  • Contact Protocol Registration System (PRS) Administrator to request a PRS account:

Elizabeth Massey Gendel, PhD


"Organization"= UTexas_Houston

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

  • Change your temporary password. 

  • Click "New Record" on the top left corner of the main page and then follow the prompts for creating your record.
  • The Responsible Party (i.e., the PI of the study) is responsible for entering trial information, ensuring that it is correct, and updating the registry in a timely manner and as required by federal law.
  • Once you have completed all sections, click "Complete."
  • The PI, as Responsible Party, will then "Approve" and "Release" the record (i.e., submit the record to for review).
  • Records are made available to the public through the website within 2 to 5 days of release, following system validation and quality assurance review.

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.

  • ICMJE gives a definition of a clinical trial at this link:
    • "ICMJE defines a clinical trial as any research project that prospectively assigns people or a group of people to an intervention, with or without concurrent comparison or control groups, to study the cause-and-effect relationship between a health-related intervention and a health outcome. Health-related interventions are those used to modify a biomedical or health-related outcome; examples include drugs, surgical procedures, devices, behavioural treatments, educational programs, dietary interventions, quality improvement interventions, and process-of-care changes. Health outcomes are any biomedical or health-related measures obtained in patients or participants, including pharmacokinetic measures and adverse events."

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

last modified October, 2013
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