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Category Archives: Pharmaceutical & Biotechnology

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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

The FDA now offers cGMP Declarations

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) Export Certificate office, introduced a new online application. The online application makes it possible to request a cGMP Declaration (Current Good Manufacturing Practice). A cGMP Declaration can be issued by the FDA to a foreign regulator, such as the competent

UK MHRA consults on no-deal Brexit legislation

The UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has initiated a consultation on the legislation and regulatory processes for medicines, medical devices and related clinical trials that would need to be amended in the event of a “no deal” scenario, i.e. if the UK leaves the EU on 29 March 2019 without the framework

HMA-EMA’s work programme on availability of authorised medicines for human and veterinary use includes measures for Brexit

On 23 August 2018, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the Heads of Medicines Agencies (HMA), the network of the National Competent Authorities in the European Economic Area (EEA), published the work programme of their joint task force regarding the availability of authorised medicines for human and veterinary use. The HMA-EMA task force was created

FDA publishes internal policy on prioritizing surveillance inspections for drug manufacturing sites

Earlier today, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., made publicly available for the first time FDA’s internal policy (MAPP 5014.1) for how drug manufacturing facilities are prioritized and scheduled for surveillance inspections.  According to the press release, in 2017, approximately 5,063 drug establishments were subject to routine surveillance inspection; out of these approximately 5,063 eligible drug

U.S. Senate passes bill requiring prescription drug ads to include prices (updated)

Update (9/18/2018): Last week, as the U.S. House of Representatives was reconciling its spending bill for the Health and Human Services Department (HHS) with the amendment package passed by the U.S. Senate that is discussed below, House Republicans declined to adopt S.Amdt. 3964, which would have provided HHS with $1 million to issue rules requiring pharmaceutical companies to list prices

New EU draft guidelines on clinical trials with ATMPs open for consultation

The European Commission, together with the EMA and the expert group of the competent authorities of the EU Member States, has developed draft guidelines (the “Guidelines”) governing good clinical practice specific to advanced therapy medicinal products (“ATMPs”). The purpose of the Guidelines is to adapt existing good clinical practice rules (“GCPs”) to ATMPs. This step

FDA launches Biosimilars Action Plan to spur biologics competition, finalizes labeling guidance

On July 18, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., announced the release of FDA’s Biosimilars Action Plan (BAP), saying it would help enable a path to competition for biologics from biosimilars, while preserving incentives for innovators to invest in further research.  On July 19, FDA also published the guidance “Labeling for Biosimilar Products,” finalizing an April

MDR and IVDR: MedTech Europe calls for an extension of the transitional provisions

On 27 July 2018, the European trade association representing the medical technology industries, MedTech Europe, issued a position paper in which the association requests the European Commission, the European Parliament and all EU Member States to have an urgent discussion concerning the timelines for the application of the Medical Devices Regulation (MDR) and In Vitro

FDA proposes new ways for prescription drugs to become available over-the-counter

On Tuesday, FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) announced a draft guidance titled “Innovative Approaches for Nonprescription Drug Products” that could aid drug manufacturers who want to sell, without a prescription, drugs that are currently available only by prescription.  The draft guidance would facilitate these prescription (Rx) to Over-The-Counter (OTC) switches by allowing