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    Best practices and education for probiotics amid regulatory uncertainty

    Nearly 3 years have passed since the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued its draft guidance for industry on the labeling of probiotic quantity. During that time, consumer interest in probiotics has increased, product innovation has expanded, and the body of scientific research has grown – all with no final guidance or updates from the agency. With the growth of this category and continued regulatory uncertainty, responsible industry has stepped up with best practi...
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    EMA preps for EU common standard on electronic product information

    The European Medicines Agency (EMA) this week launched a stakeholder consultation on a draft EU common standard for electronic product information (ePI) for human medicines.   The common standard would provide a semi-structured template for ePI incorporating the authorized, statutory product information for medicines, including the summary of product characteristics (SmPC), labeling and package leaflet. EMA says that ePI will be better suited “for electronic handling a...
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    Smallpox antiviral approved under FDA’s Animal Rule

    Though the World Health Organization declared smallpox eradicated in 1980, FDA has approved Tembexa (Chimerix,brincidofovir) as a treatment for the contagious, deadly disease caused by the variola virus.   The 4 June announcement of Tembexa’s approval noted that smallpox drug development is “an important component of the US medical countermeasures response,” since the federal government has significant concerns about the virus’ potential use as a bioweapon. Tembexa was...
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    Drug labeling authority, UDI program reviewed by Harvard-based researchers

    Two papers in JAMA Internal Medicine highlighted separate, but important issues concerning the US Food and Drug Administration’s authority to modify package inserts and the effect of a recently shuttered agency initiative.   In a Viewpoint, Bishal Gyawali, MD, PhD, and colleagues at the Program on Regulation, Therapeutics and Law (PORTAL) research group at Harvard Medical School and Brigham & Women’s Hospital suggested improving FDA’s authority to modify drug package...
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    HHS hits pause on Trump era SUNSET rule

    The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is postponing the implementation of a controversial Trump era rule that would have required the department to review thousands of its regulations while the rule undergoes judicial review.   The Securing Updated and Necessary Statutory Evaluations Timely (SUNSET) was first proposed in November 2020 and finalized on 19 January 2021, one day before President Joe Biden’s inauguration. At its core, the rule would sunset m...
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    Health Canada drafts guidance on electronic media in labeling

    Health Canada last week launched a public consultation on its draft guidance for drugmakers on incorporating electronic media, such as websites or mobile applications, in prescription drug labeling.   The public consultation runs until 7 May 2021 and seeks feedback from industry, health professionals and the public on the agency’s proposed guidance. The draft guidance is built around Health Canada’s existing legal framework for labeling and explains the agency’s expect...
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    EMA offers labeling flexibilities for COVID therapeutics

    After providing flexibility on labeling requirements for COVID-19 vaccines last year, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) on Monday offered guidance on when those flexibilities could be applied to COVID-19 therapeutics.   The temporary labeling and packaging flexibilities for COVID-19 vaccines are outlined in a memorandum of understanding between the European Commission and EU member states and a questions and answers guidance from EMA . The flexibilities include al...
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    HHS pushes through last-minute policies impacting FDA

    With just days remaining before the transition to a new administration, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is pushing through policies that could impact the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) regulatory oversight.   Last week, HHS announced it had finalized a rule that would cause its regulations to expire if they are not reviewed every 10 years, with some exceptions provided for medical device-specific regulations, food standards and over-the-cou...
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    December's Regulatory Focus: APL and the role of social media

    December 2020. It’s been just one year since we finished the last Regulatory Focus issue on advertising and labeling, yet it feels like a lifetime. In March, as the true impact of COVID-19 kicked in and we retreated from the office space to our home offices, it was hard to envision how we would prevail, both personally and professionally. But our industry, and particularly regulatory advertising and labeling, did not skip a beat and instead, stayed the course and perseve...
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    FDA revises draft PLLR guidance

    The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Wednesday revised its draft guidance providing recommendations on the content and format of labeling required under the pregnancy and lactation labeling rule (PLLR).   The draft guidance was first issued alongside the final PLLR in 2014, with the rule itself taking effect in June 2015. The PLLR revised labeling requirements under the 2006 physician labeling rule, to “provide a framework for clearly communicating information ...
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    Global front-of-pack nutrition labeling schemes: Impact on marketing strategies

    This article discusses the global proliferation of various front-of-pack nutrition labeling systems, launched as a tool to help control and reduce the incidence of obesity and other noncommunicable diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases, some cancers, and diabetes. The author addresses critical changes introduced internationally to food and beverage labels, proposals that are currently under consideration, and key elements companies should be aware of when planning mark...
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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...