Report on Research Compliance

News and Analysis for Colleges, Universities and Teaching Hospitals

Big Drop in OHRP Letters, Open Cases Raise Questions of Agency Commitment

In 2010, the Office for Human Research Protections issued and posted 16 determination letters, the lowest number in its 11-year history and less than half the number issued in each of the previous five years. Since  2007, the office has averaged 35 letters a year, down from a peak of 146 in 2002 and another high of 86 in 2006.

The number of determination letters is tied to the number of cases OHRP opens, and during the recent past, that number has also declined, RRC has learned, tumbling to an all-time low of six in 2009. Some tie the decline in activity to the arrival of Jerry Menikoff, whose tenure as OHRP director began in the late fall of 2008.

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