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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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    EMA Launches Operations in Amsterdam

    The European Medicines Agency (EMA) on Monday kicked off operations at its temporary premises at the Spark building in Amsterdam Sloterdijk after moving out of its Canary Wharf office in London on 1 March.   EMA says it is also working with Dutch authorities to finish readying its temporary premises ahead of 30 March, when the agency’s seat officially switches from London to Amsterdam.   “By Monday 18 March, when EMA will be settled in the Spark building, close to ...
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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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    EMA Expands Online Portal for Parallel Distribution Submissions

    The European Medicines Agency (EMA) on Monday announced that going forward, parallel distributors will be required to use its recently launched secure online portal, known as Iris, to manage and submit parallel distribution notifications.   Background   Parallel distribution, also known as re-exportation, is a process by which companies in the EU distribute centrally authorized medicines between member states, independent of their marketing authorization holder (...
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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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    EU Begins Transition to Electronic Product Information for Medicines

    The European Commission (EC), the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the Heads of Medicines Agency (HMA) on Thursday launched a six-month public consultation on the draft key principles that will form the basis for creating electronic product information (ePI) for medicines in the EU. Derived from conversations with EMA, EC, HMA and various stakeholders, the draft key principles explain how ePI, which includes the package leaflet for patients and the summary of product...
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    European Commission Consults on Orphan Drug Applications

    The European Commission on Tuesday launched a targeted consultation to provide input on a revision of its guideline on the content and format of applications for orphan drug designation, as well as the transfer of designations between sponsors.   "The comments received will be taken into account by the European Commission in the finalization of the guideline on the format and content of application for designation as orphan medicinal products and on the transfer of des...
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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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    European Commission Focuses New Report on Pharma Competition Enforcement

    The European Commission (EC) on Monday released a report on pharmaceutical competition enforcement activities by the Commission and EU member states' national competition authorities from 2009 to 2017.   The 46-page report was put together in response to concerns voiced by the European Council and Parliament in 2016 and 2017 regarding anticompetitive practices within the pharmaceutical sector, such as tactics to delay generic competition, pay-for-delay arrangements...
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    European Commission Updates Q&A on Safety Features for Medicinal Products

    The European Commission recently released an updated document setting out nine new and one revised frequently asked questions and answers on the implementation of the rules on the safety features for medicinal products for human use. Building off a previous update in November , five of the new questions deal with general issues, like whether medicinal products can carry more than one batch number, or whether during the transitional period manufacturers located in the E...