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Category Archives: Regulation

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What comes out, must go back in: Court sides with FDA on “same surgical procedure” and “homologous use” definitions governing human cell and tissue products

FDA authority to crack down on illegally marketed stem cell treatments confirmed On Monday, a federal District Court in Florida issued a decisive blow against US Stem Cell Clinic, LLC, granting the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) motion for summary judgment, and stopping the clinic from offering its stem cell therapy to patients. The

FDA’s ‘Project Facilitate’ Pilot to Collect Metrics on Sponsor Expanded Access Denials

This morning, FDA announced it launched its new expanded access pilot called “Project Facilitate,” a concierge call center under the Oncology Center of Excellence (OCE) to facilitate the Single Patient IND (SPI) request process for oncologists.  Under the new program, FDA staff will help guide physicians through the process of applying for expanded access by

NHTSA, FMCSA release advanced notices of proposed rulemaking regarding autonomous driving systems

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) today each issued an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) regarding the removal of regulatory barriers to the safe introduction of automated driving systems (ADS) on public roads. I. NHTSA’s ANPRM NHTSA’s ANPRM focuses on how to amend its crash avoidance

Update on FCC 5.9 GHz band rule-making

On May 14, 2019, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai announced plans to open a rule-making to take a “fresh look” at the 5850-5925 megahertz (MHz) (5.9 gigahertz (GHz)) spectrum band. Initial reports suggested that the FCC would take the issue up in June, but the 5.9 GHz rule-making was not included on the

FDA Chief of Staff: OTC reform remains “top priority” for FDA

Speaking Tuesday, May 21, at the Consumer Health Products Association Regulatory, Scientific, and Quality Conference, FDA Chief of Staff Lauren Silvis emphasized that over-the-counter (OTC) monograph reform remains a “top priority” for FDA.  Based on these comments, FDA is clearly not giving up on monograph reform: FDA has long engaged in this effort, and we will

FDA guidance may ease path to biosimilar interchangeability

On Friday, FDA published the final guidance, “Considerations in Demonstrating Interchangeability With a Reference Product,” which is intended to assist sponsors in demonstrating that a biosimilar product is interchangeable with a reference product.  Even as some of the details remain to be hashed out, the guidance makes clear FDA’s desire to minimize the burdens of

FDA Doubles Down on MUsT Studies for Sunscreens and Issues Final Guidance on Absorption Studies that Will Likely Be Needed for Continued Marketing

On May 10, 2019, FDA published a notice of availability for a final guidance document on Maximal Usage Trials (MUsT studies) for topically applied active ingredients being considered for OTC drug monographs, including sunscreens.  As FDA has previously explained, the guidance states that MUsT studies can identify the potential for the systemic exposure for a

FDA publishes final guidance on ANDA/505(b)(2) NDA pathways

On Thursday, FDA published the final guidance document, “Determining Whether to Submit an ANDA or a 505(b)(2) Application” that contains minor revisions to the October 2017 draft guidance.  The final guidance contains no significant substantive changes to the draft version, but here are a few interesting tidbits: FDA will respond to comments seeking clarification on

New FDA draft guidance on voluntary recalls highlights importance of recall initiation plans

On April 23, FDA issued draft guidance entitled “Initiation of Voluntary Recalls Under 21 CFR Part 7, Subpart C,” which aims to clarify how firms in a product distribution chain should prepare to facilitate timely initiation of a voluntary recall, respond to an indication of a problem with a distributed product, and initiate a voluntary

With the Statutory Deadline Approaching, FDA Issues a Proposed Sunscreens Rule

On February 26, FDA published the proposed rule, “Sunscreen Drug Products for Over-the-Counter Human Use,” which describes the conditions under which Over-the-Counter (OTC) sunscreen monograph products are generally recognized as safe and effective (GRASE) and not misbranded.  Primarily, the proposed rule seeks additional information on sunscreen ingredients so that FDA can evaluate their GRASE status

FDA’s Bendeka decision reverses approvals of Treanda generics

Yesterday, FDA released a letter stating how the agency intends to implement the scope of orphan drug exclusivity awarded to Eagle Pharmaceuticals’ Bendeka (bendamustine HCl) by the D.C. Circuit Court in Eagle Pharmaceuticals, Inc. v. Azar, No. 16-790, ECF No. 64 (D.D.C.) (Jun. 8, 2018).  At issue following the Eagle decision was whether the exclusivity

FDA to consider patent listing, therapeutic equivalence, and other Orange Book issues; agency will issue draft guidance documents, seek public comment

FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D. recently announced four steps FDA will be taking to ensure that the Orange Book (FDA’s publication of Approved Drug Products with Therapeutic Equivalence Evaluations) provides the greatest benefit to patients and providers, and (perhaps in particular) generic drug developers.  The Commissioner’s announcement addresses several important issues, including patent listing standards

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

Small Business Runway Extension Act of 2018 Becomes Law: Increases Revenue Look-back Period to Five Years for Small Business Size Eligibility Determinations

On December 17, 2018, the Small Business Runway Extension Act of 2018 (“Act”) (H.R. 6330) was passed by President Trump into law. The new law amends the Small Business Act at 15 USC 632 to require that the size of a federal contractor for purposes of determining small business eligibility be measured based on the

No-deal Brexit: the future of consumer rights in the UK

Notwithstanding the fact that a draft deal has been agreed between the EU and the UK at a technical level, the developments of recent days and weeks have made it clear that significant obstacles will need to be overcome before any deal can be finalised and ratified. In light of this uncertainty, there remains a

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 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