• Regulatory NewsRegulatory News

    Bill Would Close Loopholes Now Preventing Some Generic Drugs From Being Approved

    A new bill introduced last week would seek to limit the use of safety programs required by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to delay and even prevent the introduction of generic drugs into the market. Background REMS were first introduced under the 2007 Food and Drug Administration Amendments Act (FDAAA) , and were meant to act as a regulatory hedge against potentially risky products. REMS typically include the following elements: A communication plan, Medicat...
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    Pfizer Launches Expanded Access Program for Breast Cancer Drug

    The US Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) expanded access program, sometimes referred to as its "Compassionate Use" program, has frequently been in the news as of late, as dozens of patients have taken to social media in an attempt to pressure companies into allowing them access to clinical trials they believe might save their lives. But while many companies have seemed reluctant to grant access to those trials, pharmaceutical giant Pfizer is taking a markedly differen...
  • Regulatory NewsRegulatory News

    Senators Want Detailed Data on FDA's Compassionate Use Program, Including Potential Improvements

    Three Republican legislators are pressing the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to provide them with information about its application of its expanded access regulations, saying they are in the midst of performing "oversight" over the program. Background FDA's expanded access regulations, sometimes referred to as its "compassionate use" program, allow patients to access clinical trials they otherwise might not be eligible for. The program is meant to offer ho...
  • FDA Launches Long-Awaited Expedited Approval Program Aimed at High-Need Devices

    The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released a long-awaited draft guidance document outlining an expedited approval pathway that can be used by sponsors of medical devices intended to treat life-threatening or "irreversibly debilitating" diseases or conditions. Background: EAP Basics The guidance, which for months has been rumored to be near completion , introduces the "Expedited Access Premarket Approval" program, or EAP for short. Regulatory officials said ...
  • In Wake of Compassionate Use Debate, New Bill Promises Wider Access to Drugs and Devices

    New legislation introduced in the US House of Representatives this week would allow for the import, manufacture and sale of investigational drugs and devices meant to treat terminally ill patients. Overview and Background The bill, H.R. 4475, the Compassionate Freedom of Choice Act of 2014, comes in the midst of a long-running debate over whether current regulatory structures-and in particular FDA's Compassionate Use exemption process -is sufficient to treat termi...
  • UK Formally Launches Early Access Pathway for Neediest Patients

    The UK's Medicines and Healthcare products Agency (MHRA) has announced that it had formally opened a new regulatory program intended to allow severely ill consumers earlier access to potentially lifesaving medicines. Background The program, known as the Early Access to Medicines Scheme (EAMS), was first announced in March 2014. As described by the UK's Department of Health, EAMS is intended to make the UK "one of the best countries in the world to capitalize on breakthr...
  • Data Show Varied Use, Success of FDA's Expanded Access Program

    In recent years, much attention has been focused on the pharmaceutical industry and its use-and non-use-of the US Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) expanded access program. But how much success has it had? Background That program, sometimes referred to as the "compassionate use" program, allows patients to access experimental treatments they might otherwise not be eligible to receive. For a full explanation of the program, please see our Regulatory Explainer on ...
  • EMA Unveils New Adaptive Licensing Initiative, Meant to Provide Earlier Niche Approvals

    The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has announced that it will be launching what it's billing as an "adaptive licensing pilot project," an initiative intended to grant earlier access to medicines meant to treat unmet needs. Unlike the US' accelerated approval pathway, which grants a tentative but wide-ranging approval to a product based on interim data, EMA's adaptive licensing framework calls for the authorization of medicines for restricted (i.e. niche) patient populat...
  • MHRA Launches its Own 'Breakthrough' Pathway to Allow for Early Access to Some Medicines

    The UK's Medicines and Healthcare Products Agency (MHRA) has announced that it will soon launch a new regulatory program intended to allow severely ill consumers earlier access to potentially lifesaving medicines. The program, known as the Early Access to Medicines Scheme (EAMS), has long been in the works at the regulator, and its launch was previewed last week in British newspaper The Telegraph . As announced on 14 March 2014 by MHRA and the UK Department of Hea...
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    Regulatory NewsRegulatory News

    Regulatory Explainer: FDA's Expanded Access (Compassionate Use) Program

    Regulatory Focus'  ongoing series of  Regulatory Explainers  wants to take complicated regulatory topics and make them simple for anyone to understand. In our latest Regulatory Explainer, we break down FDA's expanded access-sometimes referred to as compassionate use-regulations to understand how they work. Updated 4 February 2015. What's a Compassionate Use Program? Let's back up for a quick moment: Under current US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations, ...
  • New Draft Guidance Establishes Special Controls for Blood Access Devices

    The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) plans to reclassify and implement new special controls for blood access devices used in hemodialysis. In a 19 June 2012 Federal Register posting, FDA announced the release of its Draft Guidance for Industry and Staff: Class II Special Controls Guidance - Implanted Blood Access Devices for Hemodialysis , which it said serves "as the special control for implanted blood access devices." The draft guidance follows another Federal...
  • Brazil: Risk Management Plans Shouldn't Prevent Drug Access for Generic Companies

    A proposed new standard that defines the criteria for inclusion and exclusion of drugs in list of drugs used as the reference drugs by generics (Reference Listed Drug) was adopted by the Board of Brazil's national regulatory agency, Anvisa, on 14 June. A key provision of the proposal would require the reference drug manufacturer to provide the drug for purchase by a generic company. The purpose of the provision is to ensure that generic companies can obtain the d...