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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's Record Year: A Look at 2018 New Drug Approvals

    The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) set an all-time record for new drug approvals in 2018 with 59 novel drugs and biologics approved by the agency's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER).   The number of new molecular entities (NMEs) and biologics approved by CDER surpassed the agency's previous record of 53 approvals in 1996 and is a significant jump over the 46 new drugs approved in 2017 . Those figures do not include products approved by FDA's Center...
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    Health Canada Details Medical Device Action Plan

    Health Canada issued a new action plan on Thursday, detailing a three-part strategy intended to improve safety, oversight and quality in the Canadian medical device ecosystem.   The move follows on the heels of an International Consortium of Investigative Journalists investigation into patient harm linked to surgically implanted medical devices. The investigation  prompted  the Canadian Minister of Health to call on Health Canada to address premarket approval processes...
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    Duodenoscope Reprocessing: Interim Study Results Indicate Higher Contamination Rates

    Interim results from the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) mandated postmarket surveillance studies of duodenoscopes indicated a “higher-than-anticipated contamination rates after reprocessing,” FDA said in a safety notice released on Monday. The postmarket surveillance studies, including human factors studies as well as sampling and culturing studies, were set as requirements in 2015 on all three duodenoscope manufacturers on the US market amid a growing body of ...
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    EMA Recommends When Drugmakers Should Consult With Pediatric Research Network

    The European Medicines Agency (EMA) on Monday released recommendations from its European network of pediatric research (Enpr)-EMA working group on opportunities during various stages of development to consult with pediatric research groups.   “Enpr-EMA suggests that all companies consider using these opportunities in a spirit of shared learning about the best way to collaborate during [pediatric investigation plan] planning,” EMA writes, noting that companies can benef...
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    Generic Drug Prices ‘Strongly Predictive’ of Shortages, Study Finds

    How a generic drug is priced may be the difference between whether it experiences a shortage or not, a new study published in Value in Health found. The study of commonly used outpatient generic drugs from 2008 to 2014 found that the prevalence of shortages decreased from a peak in 2011-2012 to less than 4% of the overall sample by the end of 2014. Generic drug prices “were strongly predictive of drug shortages,” the researchers found. But competition and market si...
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    GAO Raises Questions on FDA’s Orphan Drug Designation Process

    The Government Accountability Office (GAO) announced Friday that it has found that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not always ensure that all information is consistently recorded and evaluated when making orphan drug designation determinations. The missing of these critical steps by the agency in some cases means that FDA reviewers do not fully understand the context of a drug’s intended use for the rare disease, GAO said. “The Commissioner of FDA shou...
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    FDA Reissues Two Draft Guidances on Blood Glucose Monitoring Test Systems

    The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Thursday reissued two draft guidances to help manufacturers conduct performance studies on blood glucose monitoring test systems (BGMS) for point of care (POC) and over-the-counter (OTC) use and prepare 510(k) submissions for both device types. Both draft guidances propose changes to 2016 final guidances “based on feedback from stakeholders requesting more clarification on language,” FDA spokesperson Jennifer Rodriguez said...
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    FDA Spotlights Recent Spike in Drug Shortages

    The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is not just seeing an increase in drug shortages but also a spike in the intensity and duration of shortages, according to agency presentations at an FDA/Duke Margolis Center for Health Policy event on Tuesday. Matthew Rosenberg, an economics staffer at FDA, looked at drug shortages in terms of occurrence, duration, intensity and public health impact. Combining data from FDA archives and IQVIA national sales database, Rosenbe...
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    European Commission Revises Q&A on Safety Features for Medicinal Products

    The European Commission on Monday released a revised question and answer document regarding the implementation of the rules on the safety features for medicinal products for human use. Revisions in the document are related to two questions and answers, including one on if a pack bearing safety features is lawfully opened by, for instance, parallel traders or manufacturers replacing the leaflet, can the pack be resealed? The answer notes that in certain circumstances it ...
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    Medical Device Safety Action Plan: FDA Sets Measure of Success Amid Funding Issues

    The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) updated its medical device safety action plan on Tuesday with “an important and ambitious new goal” and explained the path forward for its planned nationwide device surveillance system.   The new goal to propel the safety action plan— released in April—is centered around ensuring that the agency is “consistently first among the world’s regulatory agencies to identify and act upon safety signals related to medical devices,” FDA...
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    FDA Works to Reduce Dog Testing in Drug Development

    US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) researchers are working to develop a new informatics model to reduce the reliance on dogs to conduct studies in animal drug development.   The agency’s new study, which was proposed on Friday, is intended to aid animal drug developers in conducting certain research without the need for product testing on dogs.   Animal drug developers would be able to use the new model as a mechanism for comparing blood levels of certain oral...