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    Patient Groups, Industry Seek Changes to Rare Disease Drug Guidance

    Patient groups, drugmakers and other organizations are calling for changes to the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) recently revised draft guidance on developing drugs to treat rare diseases.   The 24-page draft guidance was revised last February after first being published in 2015. The revision included updates to the agency’s approach to natural history studies, a discussion of issues for evaluating biomarkers for consideration as surrogate endpoints and a ne...
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    Drug Sampling and Testing: EMA Releases 20 Year Report, Will Expand Program to Biosimilars

    The European Medicines Agency (EMA) and European Directorate for the Quality of Medicines and Healthcare (EDQM) on Thursday released a report detailing findings from EMA’s drug sampling and testing program over the last 20 years.   EMA says it plans to extend the program to include biosimilars and that it will expand the generic sampling and testing program first launched in 2011 to include products authorized via the mutual recognition and decentralized procedures. ...
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    ICH Advances Revised Guideline on Elemental Impurities

    The internationally harmonized guideline for a risk-based approach on assessing and controlling elemental impurities in drug products entered the final implementation phase. ICH Q3D(R1) Guideline for Elemental Impurities, developed via the International Council for Harmonisation (ICH), reached the fourth out of five steps in ICH’s process of regulatory harmonization last week, moving toward implementation of the revised guideline. The guideline was first recommended for...
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    FDA Finalizes Guidance on Nonclinical Drug Development for Serious Hematologic Disorders

    The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Thursday finalized guidance on the nonclinical studies drugmakers should conduct when developing products to treat severely debilitating or life-threatening hematologic disorders (SDLTHDs).   FDA classifies SDLTHDs as hematologic conditions that cause shorter life expectancy or greatly diminished quality of life even with available treatments.   FDA notes that the guidance does not apply to hematologic cancers and covers...
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    FDA to Survey Healthcare Professionals on Prescription Drug Marketing

    The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Friday announced it will go ahead with a survey of healthcare professionals (HCPs) on how they are impacted by prescription drug promotion aimed at a professional audience.   The announcement comes after the agency consulted on its plans for  the survey in March 2018 and follows two earlier surveys that looked at HCPs’ attitudes toward direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising. The survey will also include questions about HCPs’...
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    WHO Consults on QMS Guideline for Regulators

    The World Health Organization (WHO) in January released for consultation a draft of its upcoming guideline on implementing quality management systems (QMS) for national regulatory authorities (NRAs).   Specifically, the 96-page draft guideline is meant to fill the gaps for NRAs looking to implement a QMS based on the International Organization for Standardization’s (ISO) 9001:2015 Quality Management Systems – Requirements standard, as other existing QMS guidelines do n...
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    FDA Touts Quality Office’s Achievements in 2018

    The US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Office of Pharmaceutical Quality (OPQ) on Thursday released its 2018 annual report touting its accomplishments in a year that saw record numbers of new and generic drug approvals.   OPQ is the office responsible for quality assessments for investigational new drug applications (INDs) and all marketing applications reviewed by the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER), including new drug applications (NDAs), abbreviat...
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    Continuous Manufacturing: FDA Drafts Quality Guidance

    The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Tuesday issued draft guidance laying out quality considerations for continuous manufacturing (CM) for new and generic drugs.   The 27-page draft guidance is part of FDA’s effort to encourage the adoption of continuous manufacturing and covers quality considerations for solid oral small molecule drugs and builds on feedback from a public consultation launched in 2017.   According to FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb and C...
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    FDA Defends its Efforts to Ensure Generic Drug Quality

    The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Friday sought to quell a series of media reports raising questions with the agency’s declining inspectional work around the globe and concerns with the agency’s oversight of generic drugs. FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb and FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research Director Janet Woodcock wrote in an extended statement that recent press reports inaccurately raised questions with the quality of the US drug supply and wron...
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    FDA Drafts Guidance on Developing Drugs for Rare Chronic Digestive Disorder

    The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued draft guidance on Wednesday to aid sponsors in the clinical development of drugs and biologics for the treatment of eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE). The 13-page draft guidance document describes the agency’s clinical trial recommendations for EoE drugs. These relate to trial population and design, safety and efficacy considerations, clinical outcomes assessments, as well as pediatric considerations. The clinical developmen...
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    ICH Seeks to Harmonize Generic Drug Standards

    With an aim to harmonize the technical and scientific standards for generic drugs across borders, the International Council on Harmonization (ICH) on Wednesday released a reflection paper outlining an approach to begin supporting such efforts. The reflection paper offers recommendations to develop a series of ICH guidelines on standards for demonstrating bioequivalence for non-complex and more complex dosage forms and products. It also describes the remit of the Informa...
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    House E&C Questions Insulin Manufacturers

    The House Committee on Energy and Commerce (E&C) on Wednesday sent letters to the three insulin manufacturers serving the US: Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk and Sanofi, seeking more information on the root causes of the rising cost of insulin. First discovered more than 100 years ago, average insulin prices nearly tripled between 2002 and 2013 and then nearly doubled between 2012 and 2016, with patients bearing the brunt of those price spikes. Now, just a day after two moth...