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Category Archives: Pharmaceutical & Biotechnology

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The European Commission Is Considering Opening an Antitrust Probe for Parallel Imports in the Pharmaceutical Sector

The European Commission is looking into several parallel imports cases, including in the life sciences industry, with a view to opening formal antitrust investigations, which may eventually lead to fines being imposed. The pharmaceutical sector is understood to be under scrutiny in at least one of the current informal investigations, according to a leak in

New version of EMA’s pre-authorisation procedural advice for the centralised procedure released

On 4 May 2018, the European Medicines Agency (“EMA”) published another updated version of the guidance document on pre-authorisation for users of the centralised procedure. The document contains revisions regarding the EMA marketing authorisation application numbers. It also includes changes related to oral explanations during the assessment procedure of the marketing authorisation application. Background The

FDA Shows that it Means Business in Stopping Stem Cell Clinics that Put Patients at Risk

On Wednesday, FDA announced that it filed two complaints in federal court seeking injunctions to stop marketing efforts of unapproved stem cell treatments by US Stem Cell Clinic of Sunrise, Florida, and California Stem Cell Treatment Center, alleging the treatments seriously harmed patients. Both lawsuits follow up on prior actions that FDA initiated against these

The evolution of CBD in South Africa

During the past several decades, the advances made in the life sciences and health care industries have been astounding, not to mention revolutionary. A presently obscure and experimental treatment may, in a day or week or years’ time, become a miraculous cure. Imagine the ridicule faced by Peyton Rous when he suggested that cancers have

Belgian sunshine rules – Submissions required by 31 May 2018 at the latest

On 27 December 2016, the Belgian Law of 18 December 2016 concerning various health-related matters (“the Sunshine Act”) was adopted by the Belgian Ministry for Public Health. The Sunshine Act provides that life sciences companies must publically disclose information concerning all pecuniary advantages or benefits in kind granted, directly or indirectly from Belgium or elsewhere,

Boost for digital health in Germany – restrictions on remote treatment could be overturned in May 2018

At the next Annual General Meeting of the German Medical Association (Deutscher Ärztetag), the current restrictions on remote treatment by German physicians will most likely be overturned. Until now, physicians in Germany were only allowed to offer follow-up treatment by telemedicine (e.g. video consultation) if the patient had already been treated in their practice before.

Clinical trials: Digital technology for recruitment, consent, and data capture

The conduct of clinical trials still relies heavily on the use of paper documents. Of course, electronic case report forms (eCRF) have been commonly used for many years – the medical information on a patient that is transferred from the clinical trial sites (hospitals/HCPs) to the sponsor (i.e. pharma or device company) is transmitted in electronic form.

New UK-Wide Model Clinical Trial Agreements Published

An updated Model Clinical Trial Agreement (mCTA) has been published for industry-sponsored clinical trials involving patients in National Health Service (NHS) or Health and Social Care (HSC) hospitals in the UK. The mCTA is a standard form contract which is intended to be used by clinical trial sponsors and NHS/HSC organisations without modification. Previously, under

EMA’s pre-authorisation procedural advice for the centralised procedure updated

The European Medicines Agency (“EMA”) has published an updated version of the guidance document on pre-authorisation for users of the centralised procedure. The update relates to a new question concerning the preparation of the dossier. Background The EMA’s guidance document helps applicants for marketing authorisations in the European Union (“EU”) to prepare correct and timely

European Commission released GMP Guidelines for Investigational Medicinal Products

On 8 December 2017, detailed EU guidelines on good manufacturing practices (“GMP”) for investigational medicinal products for human use were adopted by the European Commission under the EU Clinical Trials Regulation. The document supplements the EU Delegated Regulation adopted in 2017 setting out GMP obligations for investigational medicinal products. The Delegated Regulation establishes a  pharmaceutical

The Crackdown Continues:  FDA Takes Action Against Company And Its Autologous Stem Cell Product, Alleging Significant Safety Concerns

Yesterday, FDA published a January 3, 2018 Warning Letter issued to American CryoStem for marketing Atcell—an adipose tissue derived stem cell product—without FDA approval and for several drug current Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) violations observed during FDA’s  July 2017 inspection of American CryoStem’s New Jersey facility.  In a related press release, the agency cited the

Italy approves new provisions on informed consent and advance decision of medical treatments – Why it matters for clinical trials in emergency situations

On December 14th, 2017, the Italian Senate passed a long-awaited bill (DDL no 2801) governing the informed consent to medical treatments, which also allows individuals to express their wishes on medical treatments in the future (so-called advanced decision, sometimes also referred to as living will, and translated as “Biotestamento” in Italian ). Advanced decision of

Draft Fee Regulations – Attempts to Address Incentivising Loopholes

Section 18A of the South African Medicines Act (the “Medicines Act“) prohibits the supply of any medicine, medical device or in-vitro diagnostic device, according to a bonus system, rebate system or any other incentive scheme. Although no definitions in respect of these prohibited activities have been included in the Medicines Act, considerable guidance as to

New Legislation Increases Access to Medical Products for Military Applications

Today, the President signed new legislation that gives the Department of Defense (DoD) new opportunities to advocate to FDA for expedited development, review, and Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for medical products that could help protect and treat U.S. military forces.  The legislation was developed as an alternative to a provision in the National Defense Authorization