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    Leverage Purchasing Power to Save Billions on Medicines and Devices, NHS Urged

    According to an independent report commissioned by the UK's Department of Health, the National Health Service (NHS) could save as much as £5 billion (GBP) per year by 2020 through medicines optimization and leveraging NHS buying power to save on medical devices and consumables. Improving Efficiency Last year, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt appointed Lord Carter, member of the House of Lords (Labour) to chair the NHS Procurement and Efficiency Board. In his capacity as cha...
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    European Commission Responds to 'Stop Vivisection' Campaign

    The European Commission (EC) has responded to a campaign calling for an end to animal testing in the EU, saying animal testing is still necessary, but promising to accelerate efforts to reduce the need for animal testing. Background In March 2015, the Stop Vivisection campaign submitted a European Citizens' Initiative to the EC, calling for the commission to repeal Directive 2010/63/EU and replace it with new legislation that would phase out animal testing. A Eu...
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    Cancer Drugs First to Take Advantage of UK Early Access Scheme

    The UK Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has approved a second product under a new accelerated review process intended to make promising new drugs available to patients more quickly. The drug, Bristol Myers Squibb's Opdivo (nivolumab), joins Merck's Keytruda (pembrolizumab) as one of two products listed under MHRA's early access to medicines scheme (EAMS), both of which are intended to treat advanced melanoma. Background In March 2014, MHRA ann...
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    New Regulatory Approaches Key to Future of Personalized Medicine

    Personalized medicine has been heralded as the future of medicine, a new way forward that will simultaneously trim healthcare costs and improve care by doing away with ineffective treatments. While these large-scale benefits are still to come, personalized medicine—also called or precision medicine—holds great potential, particularly if governments, researchers, regulators and industry can figure out how best to nurture it. Efforts are underway to promote develop...
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    Public Health Groups Propose Global Drug Innovation Fund

    Two health advocacy groups, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) are urging public health authorities to create a global fund to tackle what they call "deadly gaps in innovation." Citing the rising threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), emerging infectious diseases and neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), the two organizations say the pharmaceutical industry is failing to address certain public health challenges. Back...
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    Congress Eyes Wider Use of Third-Party Medical Device Assessments

    A revised version of the 21st Century Cures Act , a bill being considered by the House Energy and Commerce (E&C) Committee, would allow medical device manufacturers to leverage third-party auditors to assess the state of their quality manufacturing systems. The measure, contained within the "Medical Device Regulatory Process Improvements" section of the bill, was first introduced in the original draft of the 21st Century Cures Act , but was removed without expla...
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    Marketing Exclusivity Provisions for Rare Disease Drugs Back in 21st Century Cures Bill

    An updated draft of the House Energy and Commerce (E&C) Committee's 21st Century Cures Act has reintroduced a provision which would extend marketing exclusivity for some drugs repurposed to treat rare diseases or conditions by six months. Background The provision, popularly known as the Orphan Product Extensions Now Act , was originally introduced in the US House of Representatives in November 2014. Under the bill, existing pharmaceutical products would be grant...
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    Regulatory NewsRegulatory News

    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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    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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    Poor-Quality Medicines a 'Global Pandemic,' New Research Says

    Poor-quality and falsified medicines are "potentially devastating" to global health, researchers and regulators said on Monday in a collection of articles posted in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene . Background: Counterfeit Drugs Not all poor-quality medicines are created equal. The authors of one of the articles break poor-quality medicines into three categories: falsified (including counterfeit), substandard and degraded. While each of these ca...
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    FDA Seeking Safer Medical Devices Through eLabeling Pilot

    Medical devices used in home healthcare settings may soon be made safer thanks to a labeling program being piloted by the US Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH). Background In general, medical devices can be divided into two categories: those intended to be used in professional settings by healthcare professionals, and those intended to be used in home healthcare settings by patients or caregivers. The latter category,...
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    Breaking Down Barriers to Drug Innovation a Team Effort, FDA Says in Guidance

    A new guidance document just finalized by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) aims to clarify how pharmaceutical companies and the public can help accelerate drug development through the agency's Critical Path Initiative (CPI). Background FDA's Critical Path Initiative was created in March 2004 as an attempt to identify and dismantle unnecessary roadblocks to new product innovation and regulatory approval. These roadblocks, which would exist on a product's "critic...