21st Century Cures

The 21st Century Cures Act (P.L. 114-255) is landmark, bipartisan legislation that was signed into law on Dec. 13, 2016, and touches virtually all aspects of biomedical research, medical product development and the regulatory approval process. Read what FasterCures has said about 21st Century Cures over the years.

FasterCures worked closely with Congress, federal agencies and the advocacy community throughout the legislation’s journey to the president’s desk. In February 2017, we debuted the 21st Century Cures Tracker to track the implementation of the 100+ sections in Division A, which include the key provisions relevant to biomedical research and innovation. (Other divisions of the law pertain to mental health and Medicare; since those are not areas of focus for FasterCures, we will not be actively tracking them here.) Learn more about how to use the tracker with our FAQs page.

A few examples of the issues we will be tracking include the impact of changes to the National Institutes of Health’s administrative requirements for grantees, how the Food and Drug Administration implements new changes designed to enhance patient engagement and how the Department of Health and Human Services is using its new authorities to promote health information technology interoperability.

Many external factors will affect the progress of these initiatives, including policies related to hiring freezes and uncertain funding levels. This tracker is not meant to be a pass/fail report card, but rather a snapshot in time that can help explain impact and identify where progress is needed.

Please keep coming back, as we will be updating the information regularly. Use the button below to send us feedback on the value of the information we are presenting, and the usability of this new resource.

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FasterCures' 21st Century Cures Act Tracker (P.L. 114-255)

Status Section Tracked Deadlines and Requirements Update Date of Update Tags
fa fa-2x fa-long-arrow-right Sec. 2034. Reducing administrative burden for researchers. 12/13/2017: directs OMB to establish of the Research Policy Board.
12/13/2018: requires HHS review and revision of regulations and policies to reduce the administrative burden on researchers.
12/13/2018: requires HHS and USDA review and revision of regulations and policies for the care and use of laboratory animals to reduce administrative burden on researchers.
12/13/2018: requires submission of a Research Policy Board report to the White House and Congress containing formal recommendations on harmonization of policies to reduce administrative burden on researchers.
12/13/2020: requires publication of GAO report on the Research Policy Board's activities.

FasterCures will periodically assess this item as appropriate.

20161213 12/13/2016 FDA, GAO, HHS, NIH, Research
fa fa-2x fa-long-arrow-right Sec. 2041. Task force on research specific to pregnant women and lactating women. 3/13/2017 (90 days): requires establishment of a "Task Force on Research Specific to Pregnant Women and Lactating Women;" 18 months after establishment of task force (by 6/13/18 ) -- requires Task Force submission of a report to Congress.

12/13/2018: requires HHS to update regulations and guidance, as appropriate, regarding the inclusion of pregnant women and lactating women in clinical research.

2/27/2018: February 26 & 27, 2018 PRCG hosted meeting with full meeting materials provided. 

11/7/2017: November 6 & 7, 2017 PRGLAC hosted the second meeting and supplied full meeting materials for public consumption. 

10/2/2017: An updated notice was published for the meeting of the Task Force on November 6-7, 2017

8/22/2017: On August 21 & 22, 2017, Task Force on Research Specific to Pregnant Women and Lactating Women (PRGLAC) hosted it's first meeting and supplied full meeting materials for public consumption. 

4/18/2017: the Federal Register published a meeting notice for the Task Force which will be August 21 & 22, 2017 and a second meeting will be November 6-7, 2017 

3/21/2017: the NIH formally announced the establishment of the task force within the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. NICHD has reported to us that it is now in the process of compiling the slate of nominees to serve on the taskforce for the Secretary’s consideration.

1/18/2017: The Secretary of HHS delegated authority to the NIH to establish this task force.

20180227 02/27/2018 CDC, FDA, Guidances, NIH, Regulatory Affairs, Reports, Research
fa fa-2x fa-long-arrow-right Sec. 2052. Compliance activities reports. 12/13/2018: requires issuance of a Report On Activities To Encourage Compliance describing education and outreach, guidance, enforcement, and other activities undertaken to encourage compliance with section 402(j) of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 282(j)).
Not later than 2 years after the final compliance date under the final rule implementing section 402(j) of the Public Health Service Act, and every 2 years thereafter for the next 4 years, issuance of a Report on Clinical Trials

FasterCures will periodically assess this item as appropriate.

20161213 12/13/2016 Clinical Trials, FDA, NIH, Reports, Research
fa fa-2x fa-long-arrow-right Sec. 2054. Consultation. 3/13/2017 (90 days): requires HHS to consult with relevant Federal agencies, including the Food and Drug Administration, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, and the National Institutes of Health, as well as other stakeholders (including patients, researchers, physicians, industry representatives, and developers of health information technology) to receive recommendations with respect to enhancements to the clinical trial registry data bank under section 402(j) of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 282(j)), including with respect to usability, functionality, and search capability.

6/1/2017: NLM rolled out the first in a series of changes to ClinicalTrials.gov
3/16/2017: in a letter responding to several organizations who expressed interest in ensuring the requirements of this provision be fulfilled, the Director of the NIH highlighted a new partnership between NIH and technical experts at 18F to make enhancements to ClinicalTrials.gov.
2/28/2017: the Secretary of HHS delegated the authority to fulfill the requirements of this Section to the NIH.
2/1/2017: a new beta version of ClinicalTrials.gov was released and is available here."

20170601 06/01/2017 Clinical Trials, Data Sharing, FDA, NIH, ONC, Research
fa fa-2x fa-long-arrow-right Sec. 2062. Tick-borne diseases. Requires HHS to establish the "Tick-Borne Disease Working Group." (And subsequent sun-setting of the working group 6 years after enactment of the act.)
12/13/2018 (and every 2 years thereafter): delivery of a summary of tick-born disease research, treatment, and epidemiological studies.

7/17/2017: HHS announced the establishment the Tick-Borne Disease Working Group and launched the group's website.

20170717 07/17/2017 CDC, FDA, HHS, NIH, Reports, Research
fa fa-2x fa-long-arrow-right Sec. 2063. Accessing, sharing, and using health data for research purposes. 12/13/2017: requires HHS issuance of guidance clarifying that remote access of health data by researchers (under appropriate circumstances) is not forbidden by regulation.
12/13/2017: requires HHS issuance of guidance clarifying requirements for the authorized disclosure of protected health information for research.
12/13/2017: requires HHS establishment of a "Working Group on Protected Health Information for Research" to study and, within 1 year of establishment, report on whether the uses and disclosures of protected health information for research purposes should be modified.
12/13/2017: requires submission of a report to the HHS Secretary

FasterCures will periodically assess this item as appropriate.

20161213 12/13/2016 CDC, Data Sharing, FDA, Guidances, HHS, NIH, Regulatory Affairs, Reports, Research
fa fa-2x fa-long-arrow-right Sec. 3023. Protection of human research subjects. 12/13/2018: requires HHS to submit a report to Congress describing progress being made to harmonize differences between the human subject regulations under the Common Rule and the Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act.

12/13/2019: requires harmonization of these rules is to be completed.

9/25/2017: FDA issued guidance entitled, "Minutes of Institutional Review Board (IRB) Meetings - Guidance for Institutions and IRBs" consistent with the goal of rule harmonization set forth in this section of 21st Century Cures. Further context for this guidance was laid out in the Federal Register Notice

20170925 09/25/2017 Clinical Trials, FDA, Health Citizenship, HHS, NIH, Research
fa fa-2x fa-binoculars Sec. 3024. Informed consent waiver or alteration for clinical investigations. Gives FDA the flexibility to waive or alter informed consent requirements for clinical trials with minimal risk.

7/24/2017: FDA announced its intent to revise its informed consent regulations to add a waiver or alteration for minimal risk clinical investigations, under appropriate human subject protection safeguards, to the two existing exceptions from informed consent. FDA also issued guidance, informing sponsors, investigators, and IRBs on FDA's approach to such investigations in the interim until the final regulations are issued.

20170724 07/24/2017 Clinical Trials, FDA, Research

 

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