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Category Archives: Pharmaceutical & Biotechnology

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On Tuesday, FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) announced a draft guidance titled “Innovative Approaches for Nonprescription Drug Products” that could aid drug manufacturers who want to sell, without a prescription, drugs that are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  The draft guidance would facilitate these prescription (Rx) to Over-The-Counter (OTC) switches by allowing

Updated EMA guidance on centrally authorised medicines raises new considerations for Brexit preparations

On 19 June 2018, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) published updates to its Brexit Q&A document for human and veterinary medicines authorised via the centralised procedure and to its practical procedural guidance on making Brexit related changes to the authorisations for those products. The updated version (“Rev 03”) of the EMA Q&A document includes new

European Commission proposes SPC waiver for EU biosimilars or generics manufactured solely for export from the EU

On 28 May 2018, the European Commission has published a draft regulation amending Regulation 469/2009 concerning the supplementary protection certificate for medicinal products[1]. This proposal is intended to modify the EU rules on Supplementary Protection Certificate (SPC) and allow EU generic and biosimilar companies to manufacture versions of medicinal products still protected by a SPC,

EMA provides guidance on the sponsor’s role in validating electronic systems used in clinical trials

The European Medicine Agency (EMA) has updated its Good Clinical Practice (GCP) Guideline[1] to clarify the level of validation/qualification that needs to be performed by a sponsor in a clinical trial setting when using an electronic system previously qualified by a vendor. The updated Guideline, issued in the form of a Q&A document, provides that

European Commission invites targeted stakeholders for consultation on duplicate marketing authorisations for biological medicinal products and biosimilars

The European Commission is seeking consultation on proposed clarifications for handling duplicate marketing authorisations from stakeholders. These include entities involved in the development, manufacture and/ or commercialisation of medicinal products for human use, in particular biological medicinal products and biosimilars, patient groups, healthcare professionals as well as insurance and procurement agencies. The objective of this

The EMA opens a draft guideline for handling and shipping of investigational medicinal products for human use for public consultation.

On 23 May 2018, the European Medicine Agency (EMA) launched a public consultation for a draft guideline concerning the responsibilities of trial sponsors for handling and shipping of investigational medicinal products for human use in accordance with Good Clinical Practice and Good Manufacturing Practice. The draft guideline provides the principles for the two step release

UK Government Responds to Brexit Life Sciences Regulatory Recommendations

The UK Government has published a response to the recommendations set out in the Health and Social Care Committee’s Report dated 21 March 2018 on “Brexit: medicines, medical devices and substance of human origin”, which considered the regulatory arrangements needed for the safe and effective supply of medicines and medical devices post-Brexit (see our blog

UK Parliamentary Report Published on the Impact of Brexit on the Pharmaceutical Sector

The Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee, a parliamentary select committee, has published a report on the consequences of Brexit on the UK pharmaceutical industry. The report examines the impact of different outcomes of the UK/EU negotiations, including a “no deal” scenario, on tariff barriers, non-tariff barriers (e.g. border delays), regulatory alignment, trade opportunities, skilled

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