• Regulatory NewsRegulatory News

    Regulators discuss expectations and challenges in conducting virtual inspections

    Regulators from the US Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency gave an update on desktop and virtual inspections and offered some advice on ensuring smoother audits at a 28 April webinar.   While there seemed to be acceptance among regulators that virtual and desktop inspections are a reality until the COVID-19 public health emergency is over, a larger group of health officials at the webinar said that onsite inspections are much better at uncove...
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    FDA issues long-awaited pandemic remote inspections guidance

    More than a year after the COVID-19 pandemic forced the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to halt most on-site inspections, the agency on Wednesday issued guidance detailing its approach to remote interactive evaluations of drug and biomedical research facilities during the public health emergency.   Teleconferencing, livestreaming video and screen-sharing technologies are among the tools FDA says it will use when it determines that a remote interactive evaluation ...
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    Federal officials design new mask guidelines to better protect more workers

    Federal officials announced new measures to help get fresh, new N95 masks to health care workers and expand their use in other industries after scientists argued that the highly protective masks are essential to keep workers safe from covid-19. The changes come as US mask-makers say the demand from hospitals is so sluggish that they’ve laid off 2,000 workers and fear some new protective gear companies could collapse. Yet in a letter to lawmakers, hospitals cite ongoing c...
  • Feature ArticlesFeature Articles

    Communication of regulatory intelligence: A survey of the medical device industry

    Regulatory intelligence activities are complicated by the push for stronger product sales in emerging markets, where medical device regulations can change rapidly or be confusing and even contradictory. Understanding how, when, and with whom to communicate the new or changing regulatory information within a medical device company affects global market strategy and product success. The research reported here examined how medical device companies structure their regulatory i...
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    Special Counsel raises questions about FDA’s biologics inspections

    In closing a whistleblower case concerning allegations of downgraded inspection findings raised by a former investigator on the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Team Biologics, US Special Counsel Henry Kerner wrote to President Joe Biden that he is “troubled” by many aspects of the case.   In the letter, Kerner says that FDA’s report on its investigation of the allegations “meets all the statutory requirements but that the findings do not appear reasonable” and ...
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    MCIT: Not a better way to pay for breakthrough devices

    The Medicare Coverage of Innovative Technology (MCIT) pathway should be rescinded because it does not require thorough evidence of the safety and efficacy of the medical device for which it aims to provide coverage, Vinay K. Rathi, MD, of Harvard Medical School and colleagues wrote in a perspective published in the New England Journal of Medicine .   MCIT would provide up to four years of Medicare coverage for medical devices authorized under the US Food and Drug Admi...
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    FDA’s inspection backlog: GAO raises concerns as delays mount

    For decades, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has raised concerns about the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) inspections program. Now, a year after the agency halted most of its foreign and domestic inspections due to the COVID-19 pandemic, GAO warns that the ensuing backlog could take years to clear.   In a new report and testimony before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related...
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    FDA outlines process for communicating record requests findings

    The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says it has put in place an interim process to communicate issues identified during record reviews done in lieu of or in advance of preapproval inspections with drugmakers and consider their responses before taking action on an application.   The agency says the interim process will continue throughout the COVID-19 public health emergency and may be extended to other drug inspection programs, including routine surveillance insp...
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    Inspections: GAO calls on FDA to plan for backlog, review alternatives

    In a nearly 350-page report to Congress on the federal government’s COVID-19 response, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) calls on the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to review its inspections approach and come up with a plan to address its looming backlog.   Pandemic inspection alternatives   In the early days of the pandemic, FDA halted non-mission-critical foreign and domestic inspections and relied on alternative tools, such as inspection reports ...
  • Feature ArticlesFeature Articles

    Transforming regulatory strategy to meet the evolving compliance landscape

    Changes in industry regulations are now viewed as one of the top three disruptive business trends facing pharmaceutical and life sciences organizations today. These same pressures are extending to the medical device market. In this article, the authors explore how perception of regulatory compliance is evolving due to a variety of driving forces. They outline the role digital transformation can play in helping pharmaceutical companies meet new regulatory compliance demands...
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    FDA details review timelines as facility assessment-related CRLs pile up

    In guidance released Monday, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) provides the timelines it will stick to when reviewing responses to complete response letters (CRLs) for drugs and biologics when a facility assessment or inspection is required in order for the agency to make a decision on the application.   FDA’s ability to conduct on-site inspections has been dramatically curtailed amid the COVID-19 pandemic due to public health concerns and travel restrictions. ...
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    FDA posts final guidance on device-specific performance criteria

    FDA has released three device-specific guidance documents detailing performance criteria in support of its Safety and Performance Based Pathway. The texts cover magnetic resonance (MR) receive-only coils, spinal plating systems and non-spinal metallic bone screws.   Last year, FDA published guidance on the optional Safety and Performance Based Pathway. The text set out the agency’s thinking on a pathway intended to enable companies to show a new product is as safe ...