Last week the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced that the federal government is contemplating various ways of enhancing the regulations overseeing research on human subjects. Before making changes to the regulations – which have been in place since 1991and are often referred to as the Common Rule – the government is seeking the public’s input on an array of issues related to the ethics, safety, and oversight of human research.

The changes under consideration can be found in an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM), Human Subjects Research Protections: Enhancing Protections for Research Subjects and Reducing Burden, Delay, and Ambiguity for Investigators,” published in the July 25 Federal Register.  Find out how to submit comments and get additional information on the website of the Office for Human Research Protections.  The public comment period closes at 5 p.m. Monday, Sept. 26, 2011.