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    Michigan Senator Raises Concerns With FDA Over High Numbers of Drug Shortages

    As drug shortages continue to increase in the US, Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI) on Wednesday sent a letter to Acting US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Ned Sharpless seeking more information on what FDA will do. Peters, ranking member of the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, called FDA’s current efforts to combat shortages “not sufficient, given the current state of rising drug shortages in our nation.” He also wrote that he’s “increasin...
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    EC Adds IMQ as Fourth Notified Body Designated Under MDR

    The European Commission (EC) on Tuesday added Milan, Italy-based IMQ Istituto to its list of notified bodies (NBs) designated under the new Medical Devices Regulation (MDR). The announcement does not come as a surprise, as Italy’s Ministry of Health announced in late July that IMQ met the requirements of the regulation. The EC had also previously indicated in its rolling plan,  updated last Monday , that four NBs have been designated. The other three NBs to be de...
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    APEC Members See Increased Regulatory Convergence

    Countries involved in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) are better aligning their regulatory schemes related to drugs and medical devices, according to a new survey unveiled Monday at an APEC meeting in Chile. The survey shows how between 2008 and 2019, APEC countries are seeing modest increases in: Sharing information (from 16 APEC economies to 19 economies) Establishing confidentiality commitments (from 12 economies to 15) Sharing good manufacturing pr...
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    EC Designates Third Notified Body Under MDR

    The European Commission announced on Wednesday that Germany-based Dekra Certification GmbH is the third notified body (NB) to be designated under the Medical Devices Regulation (MDR). Dekra joins Germany-based TÜV SÜD  and BSI UK as the only NBs to be designated and listed in the European Commission’s New Approach Notified and Designated Organisations (NANDO) database. A fourth NB is expected to be announced soon, as the MDR/IVDR implementation rolling plan, updated...
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    US and EU Fully Implement Mutual Agreement on GMP Inspections

    The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and European Medicines Agency (EMA) on Friday said they have now fully implemented a plan that will allow member state regulators and FDA to mutually rely on each other’s good manufacturing practice (GMP) inspections of drug facilities. In addition to helping reduce redundancies in manufacturing inspections, the implementation of the Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) means that beginning Friday, pharmaceutical companies can sto...
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    EC Offers Two New Guidance Documents on MDR/IVDR

    The European Commission (EC) on Monday released one new guidance on persons responsible for regulatory compliance under the Medical Device Regulation (MDR) and the in vitro Diagnostic Device Regulation (IVDR), and another guidance on the implant card required by MDR. Under Article 15 of MDR and IVDR, companies are required to have at least one employee responsible for regulatory compliance with a degree in law, medicine, pharmacy, engineering or another relevant scien...
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    Senate Coalesces Around Series of Drug Pricing Bills With Little Impact on Pharma Companies

    The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday advanced four bills to the Senate floor, three of which were bipartisan, and all meant to lower the prices of prescription drugs. The four bills are part of a coordinated push in the Senate and include a larger bill that advanced Wednesday out of the Senate health committee and is expected to be taken up on the Senate floor before the end of July, and another bill that Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) said he was likely to advance ...
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    OPQ Reports on State of Drug Quality in FY2018

    In a report released Monday, the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Office of Pharmaceutical Quality (OPQ) provides a look at the pharmaceutical quality landscape for drugs and biologics intended for the US market.   The report itself breaks down different metrics related to product quality and manufacturer compliance with current good manufacturing practice (cGMP) to paint a picture of the overall pharmaceutical quality landscape.   While FDA reports an overa...
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    European Parliament Passes SPC Waiver in Landslide Vote

    The European Parliament on Wednesday voted through a proposal to allow manufacturing waivers to supplementary protection certificates (SPCs) by an overwhelming majority, with more than 75% of members voting in favor of the measure.   In the EU, SPCs extend the 20-year patent protection period for medicines by adding up to five additional years of market exclusivity to approved drugs and biologics. The additional exclusivity period is meant to compensate for the lapse b...
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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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    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...