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    Regulatory Explainer: The (Updated) 21st Century Cures Act

    The US House Energy and Commerce (E&C) Committee has released an updated draft of a piece of legislation which proposes dramatically overhauling the way in which the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates many healthcare products. The bill, the 21st Century Cures Act , has been under development since at least April 2014, when the E&C Committee kicked off its "21st Century Cures Initiative." The initiative is intended to speed up the pace at which FDA approve...
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    Senators Seek to Expedite FDA Review of 'Breakthrough' Medical Devices

    Medical device manufacturers may soon benefit from an expedited review pathway now only afforded to "breakthrough" pharmaceutical products if a bipartisan trio of US legislators have their way. Background On 24 April 2015, Sens. Richard Burr (R-NC), Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT) introduced the Advancing Breakthrough Devices for Patients Act ( ABDP Act ) . As written, the law is heavily based on the "breakthrough therapies" section ( Section 902 ) of th...
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    Legislation Overhauling Approval of Drugs, Devices Coming Next Week

    Congressional legislators are preparing to unveil the next iteration of the 21st Century Cures Act , a massive piece of draft legislation intended to overhaul the way in which the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates and incentivizes the development of new medical products. Background The legislation was first unveiled in January 2015 after months of discussions between legislators, regulators, industry, innovators, academics and patients. As extensively e...
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    Does FDA Need New Authority to Regulate Complex Generic Drugs?

    New legislation introduced in the US House of Representatives seeks a government investigation into the US Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) review of complex generic pharmaceuticals to consider whether the agency is in need of new regulatory authority. Background The bill, the Generic Complex Drugs Safety and Effectiveness for Patients Act of 2015 , was introduced on 24 March 2015 by Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX), a former physician and member of the House Energy a...
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    Bill Wants Drugs Approved in Europe to be Available More Quickly to US Patients

    New legislation introduced in the US House of Representatives this week would require the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to expedite the review and approval of pharmaceutical products already approved in Europe. Background The bill, the Speeding Access to Already Approved Pharmaceutical Act , is sponsored by Reps. Tim Ryan (D-OH) and Steve Stivers (R-OH), who introduced the same bill in June 2014 . As with the original, the bill targets something known in th...
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    Bill Would Give Some Reformulated Drugs Extra Protection from Generics

    New legislation introduced in the US House of Representatives would give some pharmaceutical products an extra two years of marketing exclusivity if their sponsors are able to demonstrate that the redesigned or reformulated drugs improve adherence, decrease abuse or otherwise make the drug safer to take. Background The bill, the Promoting Access for Treatments Ideal in Enhancing New Therapies (PATIENT) Act of 2015 , was introduced in the House on 13 March 2015 by Rep...
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    House Passes DEA Reform Bill Changing Definition of When a Drug is 'Approved'

    The US House of Representatives has passed a new bill which promises to accelerate market access for new pharmaceutical products requiring review by the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and also changes the definition of what drug "approval" means for some new drug products. Background The bill in question, the  Improving Regulatory Transparency for New Medical Therapies Act , is meant to address a regulatory process some drug companies have described as a "b...
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    Senators Call for New Limits on 'Medically Important' Antibiotics

    A new bill introduced this week in the US Senate would restrict the use of "medically important" antibiotics in agriculture in the hopes of reducing the risk of bacteria developing resistance to those drugs. Background The bill, the Preventing Antibiotic Resistance Act (PARN) ( PDF ), was introduced on 2 March 2015 by Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Susan Collins (R-ME), with support from Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). The legisl...
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    Legislators Want to Exempt Much of FDA's Funding from Future Budget Cuts

    New legislation introduced in Congress would exempt nearly half of the US Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) budget from austerity measures meant to help balance the federal budget. Background The bill, the FDA Safety Over Sequestration (FDA SOS) Act would specifically exempt FDA's user fees from the effects of future budget sequestration . The user fees, which come from the pharmaceutical and medical device industries, are meant to help fund FDA's regulatory...
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    DEA Scheduling Reform Bill Moves Forward in House

    The House of Representatives’ Energy and Commerce Committee has voted in favor of new legislation that would reform the way in which the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) schedules new drug substances in the hopes of allowing patients to access new therapies more quickly. Background The bill in question, the Improving Regulatory Transparency for New Medical Therapies Act , is meant to address a regulatory process some drug companies have described as a "b...
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    Senate Launches Bipartisan Effort to Assess, Change how FDA Regulates Medical Products

    The US Senate's Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee is in the early stages of launching its own legislative process intended to help reform the ways in which the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates drugs and medical devices, it has announced. Background The effort, announced on 29 January 2014, is being led by Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Richard Burr (R-NC), and is meant to complement similar efforts by the House Energy and Commerce ...
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    10 Proposals Worth Paying Attention to in the 21st Century Cures Act

    Earlier this week, the House Energy and Commerce Committee released a draft of an ambitious new bill, the 21st Century Cures Act . The legislation, if enacted, would radically alter the way in which drugs and devices are regulated in the US. Within the 393-page legislation are dozens and dozens of proposals, large and small. But which ones are especially worth paying attention to? We're glad you asked. What follows is our analysis of which proposals are likely to attrac...