Recruiting Phone Calls Are Legal, FCC Clarifies
Calls made to a residential phone line for the purpose of seeking an individual’s participation in a clinical trial are exempt from the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) restricting prerecorded calls, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) says.
In a declaratory ruling issued on Jan. 15, the FCC’s Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau agreed with Acurian, a research organization that matches eligible people for trials, that such calls should be exempt from the TCPA because they were not made for a commercial purpose. Acurian filed a petition with the FCC in 2014.
The declaratory ruling indicated that the FCC was moved by the argument that drugs involved in trials have typically not received FDA approval and therefore are not products that can legally be marketed or sold and as such cannot be a “product or service” typically sold by telemarketers. The FCC also said it recognized the importance of trials, especially during the pandemic, adding that some consumers may welcome calls to participate in trials.
The FCC’s clarification took immediate effect.
Read the FCC’s declaratory ruling here: https://bit.ly/39o8eNm.