January 25, 2000
BIRMINGHAM, AL — The vast majority of federally funded UAB projects with currently enrolled patients have continued uninterrupted. These are all cases in which participation in the studies is justified by benefit to the patient. The Institutional Review Board worked throughout this past weekend, and continues working diligently, to process these requests from physicians and investigators. Requests of this type are being handled as they are received and there is no backlog awaiting approval.
Beginning today UAB is accepting materials on projects that are eligible for expedited reviews; these projects will be restarted promptly. This will allow a large number of projects in which there is no actual treatment of patients to continue.
UAB officials expect to start re-reviewing projects that require a full IRB review later this week.
UAB has already revised its guidelines for investigators and made them available to investigators. Projects previously scheduled for review in the near future will be reviewed under the new guidelines, incorporating the procedural changes required by OPRR.