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    Another Record Year for Generic Drug Approvals but Questions on Competition Remain

    For each of the last five years, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has set generic drug approval records, but questions have lingered on whether these high approval numbers are translating into competition. FY 2019 figures show a total of 1,171 generic drug approvals (935 full approvals and 236 tentative approvals), which breaks FDA’s previous all-time record of 971 full and tentative approvals for FY 2018 . And although the abbreviated new drug application (...
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    CBO: Pelosi Bill Will Save Hundreds of Billions, Reduce Number of New Drugs to Market

    The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) late Friday announced that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) drug pricing bill would reduce federal direct spending for Medicare by $345 billion from 2023 to 2029, but it would also lead to a reduction of approximately 8 to 15 new drugs coming to market over the next 10 years. The CBO report comes as rhetoric on both sides of the aisle has picked up in recent weeks, with industry group PhRMA referring to the bill, known as HR 3, a...
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    Is FDA Too Lax With its Drug Approval Standards? Senior FDA Officials Discuss

    From industry to academia, commenters have argued that the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) drug approval standards are becoming inappropriately low and that the required postapproval evaluations are either inadequate or left undone. But three senior FDA officials offered several counterpoints on Monday at the fifth annual Biopharma Congress in Washington, DC. Janet Woodcock, director of FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, explained that the agency ...
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    Nevada Fines Drugmakers $17M for Failing to Comply With Drug Pricing Law

    The Nevada Department of Health and Human Services this week sent letters to 21 diabetes drug manufacturers seeking $17.4 million in penalties for non-compliance with a new price transparency law. “This legislation requires the Department to compile a report of information related to prescription drugs used to treat diabetes. As part of the legislation, the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) can impose a penalty for companies who fail to provide the required...
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    FDA Warns Chinese Drug Testing Facility for Refusing Inspection

    The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Tuesday released a warning letter sent in August to China-based drug testing facility Shanghai Institute of Pharmaceutical Industry for refusing an inspection. FDA had planned a surveillance and pre-approval inspection of the facility from 29 November to 4 December 2018, but the company told FDA’s China office in a written response that it was refusing the inspection. "Under section 501(j) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Co...
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    Pelosi Unveils Plan to Lower Prescription Drug Prices

    As Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) continues to push his own competing drug pricing legislation in the Senate, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) unveiled her proposal to lower prescription drug prices on Thursday, with a plan likely to please more liberal Democrats and further distance Republicans. At the heart of Pelosi’s plan is the idea to allow Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar to select between 25 and 250 drugs annually and directly negotiate with manufactur...
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    Academics and Researchers Raise Concerns With FDA’s Plan for ‘Integrated Reviews’

    More than 50 academics and researchers from Harvard, Yale, Johns Hopkins and other universities around the world are calling on the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to not replace its original reviews of medical products with an “integrated review” because of the valuable information that would be lost. The researchers claimed that such a shift would deprive them of information and data on the clinical studies and trials submitted to FDA, information on the postmar...
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    FDA to Congress: Pediatric Information Lacking in 36% of Relevant Orphan Drug Labels

    In a report to Congress, the US Food and Drug Administration said that there is a public health need for additional pediatric information in labeling for over one-third of approved orphan indications that are relevant in the pediatric population. FDA research, conducted as part of the FDA Reauthorization Act of 2017  (FDARA), found that of all drugs that were approved for an orphan indication between 1 April 1999 and 31 August 2018, a total of 548 orphan indications we...
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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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    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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    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...