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  • Regulatory NewsRegulatory News

    FDA Rolls Out Expectations for Biosimilars, Soon-to-Be Biologics

    The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Tuesday released two new draft Q&A guidance documents on biosimilar development and the deemed to be a license provision of the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act of 2009 (BPCIA), as well as two final guidance documents on the same topics and one proposed rule amending the definition of a biological product. The efforts are part of FDA’s decade-long work to begin, starting in March 2020, transitioning the approved...
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    Biosimilars Forum Calls for FDA Guidance to Address Misinformation

    Echoing a Pfizer petition and Novartis comments, the Biosimilars Forum said late last week that guidance from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is needed to ensure reference product sponsors and other organizations communicate properly about biosimilars.   Amgen, which withdrew from the Forum recently, Roche’s Genentech and others have been singled out for misinformation campaigns that not only question the legal framework governing biosimilars but also the saf...
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    Drugmakers Call for Changes, Additions to FDA’s Purple Book

    The US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Purple Book for biosimilars needs some modifications and new information to be more useful, pharmaceutical companies told FDA in recent comments. According to FDA, the Purple Book includes the date a biosimilar or biologic was licensed and whether FDA evaluated the biological product for reference product exclusivity. It also includes whether a biological product has been determined by FDA to be biosimilar to or interchangea...
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    Mylan and Novartis to FDA: Where are the Suffixes?

    Mylan and Novartis are taking issue with the fact that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has yet to begin issuing random suffixes for biologics’ names and so far has only used suffixes for biosimilars and a few recently approved biologics, according to comments released Wednesday. “The agency has not yet retroactively issued suffixes to any reference product for which there is a corresponding biosimilar. Given the agency's silence about this practice, there are ...
  • ExplainersExplainers
    Regulatory NewsRegulatory News

    Regulatory Explainer: Everything You Need to Know About Biosimilars

    For more than a decade now, biotech and pharmaceutical companies have brought a new class of treatments – biosimilars – to markets around the world (from the EU to India to South Korea to the US), offering cost savings for some of the most expensive medicines, though even in 2016, decades after companies began their quest to develop biosimilars, they are still only just beginning to see widespread adoption. What is a Biosimilar? A biosimilar medicine (also sometimes k...
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    Ruling Against Novartis Could Have Wider Implications for Generic Drug Labels

    California's Supreme Court on Thursday ruled against Novartis in a decision that could have wider implications for whether brand-name or generic drugmakers should be held liable for warning consumers of risks in their drug labels. In a departure from other recent rulings, the highest California court found that a brand-name drug manufacturer's duty to warn consumers does extend to a generic, but only because federal regulations currently require generic drugs to carr...
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    Evaluating Analytical Similarity: Stakeholders Raise Questions With FDA Draft Guidance

    Biopharma companies and industry groups, including Pfizer, Genentech, Boehringer Ingelheim and the Biosimilars Council, have raised detailed questions in recently released comments on the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) draft guidance on statistical approaches to evaluate analytical similarities for biosimilars. Back in September, FDA released the 15-page draft guidance on the type of information sponsors should obtain about the structural/physicochemical...
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    FDA Approves Eighth Biosimilar, First for Cancer Drug Herceptin

    The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Friday approved the first biosimilar to Roche’s blockbuster breast and stomach cancer drug Herceptin (trastuzumab). Mylan and Biocon’s biosimilar is called Ogivri (trastuzumab-dkst) and follows a back and forth of delays with regulators over manufacturing issues at a plant in India. First approved in the US in 1998, Herceptin had US sales of more than $2 billion for the 12 months ending 30 September 2017, according to IQVI...
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    Drug Labels: Experts Note Importance of Faster Updates

    The topic of cancer drug labels and how they can be updated more quickly, as well as how the labeling system needs to be reformed was front and center at several panels at the Friends of Cancer Research's annual meeting in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday. Janet Woodcock, director of the US Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER), noted her agency has been working on the issue of label updates for a number of years, particul...
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    EMA Backs Six Drugs, One Biosimilar for EU Approval

    The European Medicines Agency (EMA) on Friday said that its Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) is recommending six new drugs, a biosimilar and three generic medicines for EU approval. The six medicines the agency is recommending are: Dr. Falk Pharma's Jorveza (budesonide) to treat eosinophilic esophagitis, a rare inflammatory condition of the esophagus. Jorveza was granted an accelerated assessment and orphan designation; Merck Sharp & Dohme's Pr...
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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...
  • Regulatory NewsRegulatory News

    CMS Revisits Biosimilar Payment Policy: Industry Comments Signal Expected Changes

    A tweak to a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Systems (CMS) billing code system that could come later this week would have a big impact in making US biosimilars more competitive with their reference products. Background CMS' Medicare Part B program currently pays for biosimilars under the Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) based on the average sales price (ASP) of all biosimilar products within the same Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) code, which means...