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    Drugmaker Petitions FDA to Revoke Sublocade Orphan Designation

    A citizen petition filed last week by law firm Goodwin Procter on behalf of Pennsylvania-based drugmaker Braeburn calls on the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to revoke the orphan designation granted to Indivior’s opioid use disorder treatment Sublocade (buprenorphine extended-release injection).   “Sublocade is not now, nor was it ever a bona fide orphan drug, particularly since more than two million Americans currently are afflicted by opioid addiction,” the pe...
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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and other organizations are calling for changes to the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) recently revised draft guidance on developing drugs to treat rare diseases.   The 24-page draft guidance was revised last February after first being published in 2015.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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    EMA on Brexit: Risk for Drug Shortages Decreases

    As the UK and EU agreed to extend the Brexit deadline, the European Medicines Agency’s (EMA) Management Board said following its first meeting in Amsterdam that the prospect for centrally authorized products to be at risk of shortage “continues to decrease.”   The board said the risk has gone down because more companies have taken the necessary steps to ensure that their medicines can remain on the market. EMA last September said the number of centrally authorized me...
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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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    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...
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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...