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    House, Senate Hearings Address Pharmaceutical Prices

    The House Oversight Committee and the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday held hearings addressing the rising cost of prescription drugs, with both committees featuring mothers of insulin-dependent children, including one whose daughter died because of rationing due to the cost of insulin. Senate Finance Chair Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and others stressed the need for an investigation into the rising cost of insulin. “We need to continue to have a strong research engine ...
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    Democrats, Republicans Unveil Drug Pricing Bills

    As a new Congressional term kicks off, Democrats and Republicans in Congress, as well as the Trump administration, are pushing policies to lower prescription drug prices.   On Wednesday, Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) introduced a bill, dubbed the Safe and Affordable Drugs from Canada Act of 2019, that would allow for Americans to import drugs from Canada. The bill mirrors the bill by the same name championed by the late Sen. John McCain (R-AZ...
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    FDA's Record Year: A Look at 2018 New Drug Approvals

    The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) set an all-time record for new drug approvals in 2018 with 59 novel drugs and biologics approved by the agency's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER).   The number of new molecular entities (NMEs) and biologics approved by CDER surpassed the agency's previous record of 53 approvals in 1996 and is a significant jump over the 46 new drugs approved in 2017 . Those figures do not include products approved by FDA's Center...
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    Health Canada Details Medical Device Action Plan

    Health Canada issued a new action plan on Thursday, detailing a three-part strategy intended to improve safety, oversight and quality in the Canadian medical device ecosystem.   The move follows on the heels of an International Consortium of Investigative Journalists investigation into patient harm linked to surgically implanted medical devices. The investigation  prompted  the Canadian Minister of Health to call on Health Canada to address premarket approval processes...
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    Patient Experience Data: FDA Drafts Guidance

    Thanks to the 21st Century Cures Act , the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Thursday published new draft guidance to help stakeholders submit a proposed draft guidance on patient experience data. The 12-page draft guidance, which provides information in a Q&A format, addresses questions relating to both guidance development and other potential pathways for contributing patient experience data. “Today’s guidance document is part of our commitment to advance p...
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    Woodcock Lays Out Top CDER Priorities for 2019

    While noting that the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) has reached some important milestones in 2018, CDER Director Janet Woodcock also unveiled the center’s priorities for 2019 at the CMS/FDA Summit in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday. “We’ve generally accomplished what we set out to do” in 2018, she said, noting that in the generic drug space, “we’ve reached a steady state,” while in the new molecular entity (NME) space...
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    EMA Recommends When Drugmakers Should Consult With Pediatric Research Network

    The European Medicines Agency (EMA) on Monday released recommendations from its European network of pediatric research (Enpr)-EMA working group on opportunities during various stages of development to consult with pediatric research groups.   “Enpr-EMA suggests that all companies consider using these opportunities in a spirit of shared learning about the best way to collaborate during [pediatric investigation plan] planning,” EMA writes, noting that companies can benef...
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    Updated: FDA Flags Pfizer’s Hospira Plant in Kansas Over Repeat 483 Citations

    A US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) inspection at the McPherson, KS plant of Pfizer’s Hospira business revealed seven repeat FDA Form 483 citations dating back to 2012. FDA investigators conducted an inspection of the human sterile drug manufacturing site from late July to early August 2018, with the agency posting the Form 483 to its website Friday. The latest 483 comes after Hospira’s Kansas plant drew an FDA warning letter last year, with significant violations...
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    Generic Drug Prices ‘Strongly Predictive’ of Shortages, Study Finds

    How a generic drug is priced may be the difference between whether it experiences a shortage or not, a new study published in Value in Health found. The study of commonly used outpatient generic drugs from 2008 to 2014 found that the prevalence of shortages decreased from a peak in 2011-2012 to less than 4% of the overall sample by the end of 2014. Generic drug prices “were strongly predictive of drug shortages,” the researchers found. But competition and market si...
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    GAO Raises Questions on FDA’s Orphan Drug Designation Process

    The Government Accountability Office (GAO) announced Friday that it has found that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not always ensure that all information is consistently recorded and evaluated when making orphan drug designation determinations. The missing of these critical steps by the agency in some cases means that FDA reviewers do not fully understand the context of a drug’s intended use for the rare disease, GAO said. “The Commissioner of FDA shou...
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    CDRH’s Case for Quality Pilot Gains Momentum

    The pilot program led by the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH) aimed at manufacturing and product quality has gained momentum this year, with dozens of waived post-approval and risk-based inspections among participating firms.   The pilot program is collectively run by CDRH and the FDA-funded public-private partnership Medical Device Innovation Consortium (MDIC) and the CMMI Institute under CDRH’s 2014 Case for Qua...
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    FDA Spotlights Recent Spike in Drug Shortages

    The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is not just seeing an increase in drug shortages but also a spike in the intensity and duration of shortages, according to agency presentations at an FDA/Duke Margolis Center for Health Policy event on Tuesday. Matthew Rosenberg, an economics staffer at FDA, looked at drug shortages in terms of occurrence, duration, intensity and public health impact. Combining data from FDA archives and IQVIA national sales database, Rosenbe...