The AFL said on Thursday it had discussed with Essendon the introduction of a system which would provide players with independent medical advice.
Essendon, the league and the AFL Players' Association are yet to reach a firm agreement on the proposal.
Bombers' players would be provided with independent medical advice about the substances administered during the club's controversial supplements program in 2012.
A research institute would also be commissioned as part of a study of the substances the Bombers believe their players took.
"Nothing is settled yet, but there's been dialogue between the three parties," AFL spokesman Patrick Keane told the league's website.
"We've been working towards this and it's not far away."
AFL medical director Peter Harcourt has been heavily involved in the discussions.
The league in August 2013 handed down a series of penalties to Essendon including a $2 million fine, a ban from last season's finals series and a 12-month suspension for coach James Hird.
Since then the AFL has strengthened clubs' medical departments and how treatments are delivered to players, as well as requiring clubs to have medical practioners with appropriate qualifications administering injections.