• Regulatory NewsRegulatory News

    Exclusive accelerated approval drugs comprise ‘relatively small share’ of Medicare spending

    Policymakers looking to rein in Medicare spending should look beyond the lens of the accelerated approval pathway, as drugs that exclusively fall under this indication make up a small percentage of overall Medicare spending, according to a recent research letter written by Benjamin N. Rome, of the Program on Regulation, Therapeutics, And Law (PORTAL) research group at Harvard Medical School and Brigham & Women’s Hospital, and colleagues.   “Medicare is spending more an...
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    AAM: Medicare Part D plans slow to adopt generics

    Medicare Part D plans are slow to adopt generic medications for their beneficiaries, according to a recent report released by the Association for Accessible Medicines (AAM).   For the 2021 plan year, Medicare Part D formularies covered 21% of approved first generic medications from the previous year compared with the 66% covered by commercial formulary plans, the report stated. But this is part of a years-long trend, according to AAM. Not only do Medicare Part D plans ...
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    Starting out: A beginner’s toolkit of US regulatory resources

    This article offers a selection of 28 publicly available resources for newcomers to the regulatory profession. The author recommends many US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) websites, including information and guideline resources from a number of the agency’s centers and their respective websites and searchable databases.   Introduction The FDA website is the go-to platform for US-related regulatory information ( Table 1 [1]). This multipurpose learning and resea...
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    Trump: Drug Importation Coming Soon

    In remarks related to an executive order on Medicare, President Donald Trump on Thursday gave a speech filled with falsehoods about the Right-to-Try law, claims that drugmakers would lower their prices once importation begins and a suggestion that the pharmaceutical industry is aiding his impeachment. Trump also read from the teleprompter to explain a proposal that’s coming soon to lower drug prices by importing drugs from Canada and other countries. First revealed in ...
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    Hormonal Contraception: FDA Drafts Guidance on Clinical Trial Recommendations

    As hormonal drugs to prevent pregnancy have evolved over the years, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Thursday drafted new guidance for drug developers on the recommendations for clinical trials designed to establish clinical effectiveness and safety for such products. In terms of key considerations for clinical trial design features, the six-page draft begins by explaining the recommended enrollment criteria for nonpregnant, premenopausal woman in trials, wh...
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    US Intervenes in False Claims Suit Against Alere, Arriva Medical

    The US Department of Justice (DOJ) announced Tuesday that federal prosecutors intervened in a lawsuit under the False Claims Act whistleblower provisions against a former supplier of blood glucose monitoring supplies. The case alleges that Arriva Medical and its parent company Alere “submitted or caused false claims to the Medicare program for medically unnecessary glucometers and paid kickbacks to Medicare beneficiaries in the form of free glucometers and copayment w...
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    Democrats, Republicans Unveil Drug Pricing Bills

    As a new Congressional term kicks off, Democrats and Republicans in Congress, as well as the Trump administration, are pushing policies to lower prescription drug prices.   On Wednesday, Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) introduced a bill, dubbed the Safe and Affordable Drugs from Canada Act of 2019, that would allow for Americans to import drugs from Canada. The bill mirrors the bill by the same name championed by the late Sen. John McCain (R-AZ...
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    FDA to Pharma Firms: Update or Certify Drug Listings by End of Month

    • 14 December 2017
    To ensure the National Drug Code directory is accurate, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Thursday sent a reminder to pharmaceutical companies that 31 December 2017 is the deadline by which the firms must update or certify their drug listings with FDA via electronic format. This applies to drug listings that were not initially listed or updated during the current calendar year and is the first deadline of the annual certification requirement under Part ...
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    Updated: The 505(b)(2) Pathway and Why Some Follow-on Insulins Aren’t Yet Biosimilars in the US

    Why has the European Medicines Agency (EMA) approved follow-on insulin products as biosimilars while the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not? A look at several recent examples shows what is happening and what will change in the US over the next several years. In September, FDA granted tentative approval for Sanofi’s Admelog (insulin lispro injection), a rapid-acting human insulin analog. On 11 December, Admelog received full approval from FDA. In the EU, howe...
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    CMS Shift on Biosimilar Reimbursement Under Part B: What to Expect

    The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) last week announced a major shift in how it will reimburse for biosimilars under Medicare Part B, and though the agency and market might not see the full impact of the decision for another decade, experts explained to Focus what the change will likely mean in the near and long term. And though the predictions are largely hypothetical (since there are not currently multiple biosimilars for any reference biologic on the mar...
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    Sen. Warren: Adding UDIs to Medicare Claims Forms Should be a 'No-Brainer'

    Millions of Americans are implanted with various medical devices each year, though the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) still lacks the ability to track which devices prematurely fail or are recalled based on claims data. At a hearing Tuesday at the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) committee, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) called on CMS to update the Medicare claims form to include a line for the unique device identifier (UDI) to kno...
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    When to Submit an ANDA vs. a 505(b)(2) Application: FDA Discusses in Draft Guidance

    The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) offers multiple abbreviated approval pathways for potential drug developers, and in new draft guidance released on Thursday the agency explains both the pathways where abbreviated new drug applications (ANDAs) and 505(b)(2) applications can be submitted. The draft highlights criteria for submitting ANDAs under section 505(j) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act), petitioned ANDAs under section 505(j)(2)(C) ...