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    Biomarker Qualification: FDA Explains Process and Opportunities for Engagement

    In a set of newly released presentations, officials from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) explain changes to the agency's biomarker qualification program and detail early opportunities for biomarker developers to engage with FDA. "A qualified biomarker can be used in multiple drug development programs without the need for [the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research] CDER to reconfirm the suitability of the biomarker's qualified context of use," said Marianne No...
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    MDSAP Update: Canada's 2019 Deadline Still on Track

    Speaking at RAPS' 2017 Convergence on Monday, officials from two international regulators and representatives from auditing organizations offered the latest on the Medical Device Single Audit Program (MDSAP). Background MDSAP is an effort by regulators in the Australia, Brazil, Canada, Japan and the US to establish a single audit process, conducted by recognized third-party auditors, that can meet the requirements of regulators in each country. For manufacturers, MDSAP ...
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    CDRH to Launch 'Critical to Quality' Pilot Program

    The US Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH) will lead a pilot program to define characteristics of a device that are critical to product quality and how these characteristics are controlled in design and manufacturing prior to the postmarket inspection. The voluntary pilot, which will run from 29 September to 31 December 2018, invites firms submitting a Premarket Approval Application (PMA) to consider participating ...
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    WHO to Launch Pilot to Prequalify Biosimilars

    The World Health Organization (WHO) announced Tuesday that in October it will launch a pilot project for prequalifying biosimilars as part of its work to make some of the most expensive treatments for cancer more widely available in low- and middle-income countries. The first "Expression of Interest," according to WHO, will cover both rituximab (Roche’s Rituxan) and trastuzumab (Roche’s Herceptin), and will be published in October 2017. In Europe, there are five ...
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    Early Feasibility Studies for Devices: FDA Highlights Success From Pilot

    In a paper published in the Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology last week, two officials from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) say that the agency's early feasibility study (EFS) program helped optimize the development of a new type of catheter designed to prevent pulmonary embolisms. The program is part of an effort by FDA to promote more EFSs being done in the US, as device makers often conduct such studies elsewhere before conducting later stud...
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    WHO Drafts New Prequalification Timeline, KPIs

    As part of efforts to better monitor and improve the performance of its prequalification program, the World Health Organization (WHO) has proposed a new algorithm to calculate the prequalification timeline and drafted new key performance indicators (KPIs) to track.  Background Each year, billions of dollars are spent on medicines by international procurement agencies for distribution in resource-limited countries. WHO’s prequalification of medicines is a service to...
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    WHO to Craft Essential Diagnostics List

    The World Health Organization (WHO) has received a recommendation from an expert committee to develop an Essential Diagnostics List (EDL). The committee said the decision to begin developing such a list, agreed to earlier this month, may initially focus on in vitro diagnostics, with initial proposed priority areas including tuberculosis, malaria, HIV and hepatitis B and C. According to WHO , the list "should expand to other areas including other antimicrobial...
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    Caribbean Regulatory System Begins Recommending Generic Drugs

    The Caribbean Public Health Agency/Caribbean Regulatory System (CARPHA/CRS) last month kicked off its work advising Caribbean countries’ governments by assessing and recommending four generic HIV treatments. The recommendations, which follow approval from WHO, included emtricitabine/tenofovir and tenofovir tablets, also known as generic versions of Viread and Truvada (a generic of which also recently won US FDA approval ). The regional initiative is meant to help ...
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    WHO: Prequalified Drugs Made at Mylan's Nashik Site do not Raise Quality Concerns

    The World Health Organization Prequalification Team (WHO-PQT) said this week that it is no longer concerned about the quality of prequalified products made at Mylan Pharmaceuticals' Nashik, India site after the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned the site over quality system issues in April. Background FDA's warning letter raised fears that a suspension of production at the site, which produces 21 WHO-prequalified antiretroviral drugs used to treat HIV/AIDs, ...
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    Challenges Providing Pharmaceutical Products to Syrian Refugees

    This article discusses the difficulties encountered by medical personnel working with refugees in Syria and delivering pharmaceutical products. It describes relevant regulatory policy and guidance for drug procurement and quality. Introduction Providing healthcare aid to civilians during war and crisis is a complicated task. The Syrian war has impacted the healthcare system inside Syria and the neighboring countries. Large and small humanitarian organizations have wor...
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    WHO Elects First African Director-General

    The World Health Organization (WHO) on Tuesday announced that Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus of Ethiopia has been elected by member states as the new Director-General of WHO. Nominated by the Ethiopian government, he will begin his five-year term on 1 July 2017 and succeed Dr. Margaret Chan, who has been Director-General since January 2007. Chan addressed the 70th World Health Assembly on Monday, noting the challenges that lay ahead for the agency. Ghebreye...
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    FDA Launches New ORA Structure to Align Inspections With Expertise

    The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Monday released details on the structure of its newly realigned Office of Regulatory Affairs (ORA). The move, part of FDA's program alignment , is aimed at more closely aligning the agency's inspection efforts with the various products it regulates. "Specializing by FDA-regulated product type more closely mirrors the organizational model of FDA's centers and the industries we regulate," FDA writes. Under the agency's previo...