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Category Archives: Pharmaceutical & Biotechnology

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Pharma Companies May Benefit from Proposed Patent Law Changes in China; Public Comment Invited

On January 4, China’s National People’s Congress (NPC) released draft amendments to the Chinese Patent Law, proposing expanded and enhanced protections that may provide real benefits to companies that develop new drugs.  A potentially important condition to one of the key proposed changes specific to new drugs is that it would be available only for

Likely FDA Impact of the Government Shutdown: Regulatory Submission Reviews, Inspections, and Research Projects

The U.S. government shutdown that began December 22, 2018 affected only about a quarter of federal agencies, because most had already been funded for FY 2019.  Unfortunately, FDA is one of the agencies with at least some functions shut down, as was announced yesterday.  Among other things, FDA has furloughed 42% of its employees, according

Effects of Brexit on reimbursement decisions concerning medicinal products in Poland

The President of the Office for the Registration of Medicinal Products, Medical Devices, and Biocidal Products (URPL) estimates that approximately 20% of all the 10,000 medicinal products registered in Poland will be affected by the effects of Brexit. Out of this number, according to media reports, new reimbursement decisions will need to be issued for

EMA publishes draft Guideline on clinical investigation of haemophilia B medicinal products

Introduction The EMA has published a draft Guideline on clinical investigation of recombinant and human plasma-derived factor IX products.[1] The purpose of this guideline is to provide applicants and regulators with harmonised requirements for applications for marketing authorisation of haemophilia B medicinal products. In July, a similar guideline was adopted concerning haemophilia A medicinal products.

FDA Finalizes Data Integrity Guidance, With Some Noteworthy Changes

Earlier today, FDA published its finalized Data Integrity Guidance.  The Final Guidance is entitled “Data Integrity and Compliance With Drug CGMP: Questions and Answers,” and updates the agency’s April 2016 Draft Guidance covering the design, operation, and monitoring of systems and controls to maintain data integrity to comply with current good manufacturing practice (cGMP) for

Four new FDA guidances and proposed rule advance biosimilars policy framework

Today, FDA released a series of guidances that aim to advance the agency’s biosimilars policy framework, along with a proposed rule on the definition of a “biological product,” which incorporates changes made by the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act of 2009 (BPCI Act).  The guidances include a final guidance and a draft Q&A on

China Takes Significant Steps to Consolidate Generic Drug Industry and Lower Prices

With the opportunity for global pharmaceutical companies to gain new access to the Chinese market presenting itself like never before (see our previous blog posts here and here), significant news broke on December 7, 2018, regarding a newly implemented pilot centralized drug procurement program (the “program”) that will have significant ramifications for global pharmaceutical companies. 

EMA publishes draft guideline on the quality of water for pharmaceutical use

Introduction The EMA has published a draft Guideline on the quality of water for pharmaceutical use. The draft is intended to provide guidance to the industry. It concerns the pharmaceutical use of different grades of water in the manufacture of active substances and medicinal products for human and veterinary use. New methods that are equivalent

The EMA launches a public consultation on eSource Direct Data Capture in clinical trials

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has published a draft qualification Opinion[1] concerning the use of eSource Direct Data Capture (DDC) in the conduct of clinical trials in the EU. The draft Opinion was adopted by the Agency’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP). It presents CHMP’s views on the “regulatory acceptability” of eSource

EMA launches public consultation on the use of patient disease registries for regulator purposes

Introduction On 5 November 2018, the EMA published a discussion paper concerning the use of patient disease registries for regulator purposes. The discussion paper was published within the context of the EMA’s Patient Registries Initiative (PRI). The consultation period is open to stakeholders until 29 June 2019. It has been published to allow stakeholders to

The EMA has adopted new guidelines on good pharmacovigilance practices in paediatric populations

Introduction The EMA Good Pharmacovigilance Practices consist of several chapters of the Notice to Applicants that are regularly updated. A new GVP Considerations Chapter (IV) regarding specific considerations for the paediatric population came into effect on 8 November 2018. The Considerations Chapter addressed pharmacovigilance issues that frequently arise with the paediatric population and related pharmacovigilance

The EMA publishes a reflection paper on the use of extrapolation in the development of medicinal products for paediatrics

The reflection paper and extrapolation The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has published a reflection paper regarding the use of extrapolation when developing medicinal products for paediatric use. The main focus of the reflection paper is to provide a framework and guidance for the use of extrapolation in the development of medicinal products in paediatric patients.

FDA introduces new standardized inspection protocols for sterile drug manufacturers to modernize and strengthen oversight

On November 9, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., announced that the agency launched new inspection protocols for aseptic processing of sterile drugs to be used by FDA investigators during surveillance and pre-approval inspections.  The protocols were developed through the agency’s New Inspection Protocol Project (the “NIPP”), initially launched in 2014.  The NIPP is intended to

FDA and DoD strengthen collaboration for medical products with military applications that could also be expanded to the general population

On November 2, FDA and the Department of Defense’s (DoD) Office of Health Affairs signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that formally establishes the framework under which the DoD and FDA will implement  Public Law 115-92, which was enacted in 2017.  The law gives the DoD new opportunities to advocate to FDA for expedited development,

FTC takes on deceptive stem cell therapy claims for blindness cure and autism treatment

On October 18, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced it settled charges against California-based Regenerative Medical Group, Telehealth Medical Group, and the founder of both companies, Dr. Bryn Jarald Henderson, based on deceptive stem cell therapy claims.  In its complaint, the FTC alleged Henderson and the companies made unsupported claims, including that “amniotic stem cell

12 Years Later: Court Prohibits Marketing of Prescription Versions of OTC Drug

In a big win for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the D.C. Circuit of the United States Court of Appeals reinforced FDA’s position on what constitutes a “meaningful difference” between prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) versions of a drug product.  Under FDA’s longstanding interpretation, section 503(b) of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA) “does

FDA aims to harmonize its human subject protection regulations with Common Rule

On October 12, FDA published guidance for sponsors, investigators, and IRBs titled “Impact of Certain Provisions of the Revised Common Rule on FDA-Regulated Clinical Investigations.”  The guidance outlines FDA’s expectations for clinical research that is subject to both the FDA’s human subject protection regulations and DHHS’ recently revised Common Rule, which takes effect in January

Trump touts “historic” plan to overhaul Medicare payments, create International Pricing Index

President Trump today touted “bold” plans to lower drug prices in unspecific terms.  Simultaneously, CMS issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANRPM), describing options to test Medicare reimbursement based on an “International Pricing Index” (IPI), under which U.S. drug prices would be benchmarked against 16 other countries that reportedly have lower drug prices.  This

FDA Shuts Down OTC Drug Manufacturer with Longstanding and Pervasive cGMP and Labeling Issues

On Tuesday, FDA announced the entry of a consent decree of permanent injunction against Keystone Laboratories, Inc. of Memphis, Tennessee for manufacturing OTC hair care and skin care products in violation of Current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) requirements and for failing to include required labeling.  Under the 24-page decree, a federal court enjoined the defendants,

A broader definition of “unmet needs” has been proposed to support the development of anti-bacterial medicinal products

The concept paper The EMA has published a “Concept paper on preparation of a revised guideline on the evaluation of medicinal products indicated for treatment of bacterial infections.” In the Concept Paper, the EMA proposes to merge the “Guideline on the evaluation of medicinal products indicated for treatment of bacterial infections (CPMP/EWP/558/95 Rev 2)” with

CMS proposes requiring drug prices in TV ads

On October 15, CMS released a proposed rule titled “Medicare and Medicaid Programs: Drug Pricing Transparency,” which would require direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertisements for prescription drugs covered by Medicare or Medicaid to include the Wholesale Acquisition Cost (WAC).  This proposed rule resembles a rejected Senate amendment to the FY-2019 Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill (analyzed here) that would

The new Belgian Biobank legislation will apply on 1 November 2018: are you ready?

The new Belgian Royal Act of 9 January 2018 on Biobanks will apply on 1 November 2018. The Royal Act implements Article 22 of the Belgian Law of 19 December 2008 on the procurement and use of human body material for human medical applications or for scientific research purposes. Scope and requirements The biobank legislation

The European Parliament adopted a report on the Commission Proposal for a Regulation on Health Technology Assessment

On 4 October 2018, the European Parliament adopted its Report on the Commission Proposal for a Regulation on Health Technology Assessment (HTA). HTA is a multidisciplinary process or tool to analyse issues related to the use of a health technology. HTA is applied to assess the added value of a given health technology compared to