• Feature ArticlesFeature Articles

    Bespoke therapies – opportunities, challenges, and hope

    This article discusses the advent of bespoke therapies, defined as the tailoring of medical treatment to the individual characteristics or symptoms and responses of a patient during all stages of care and as a new frontier beyond personalized medicine. The author covers the revolutionary genetic tools implementing such therapies and the clinical and nonclinical safety perspectives for bespoke therapies. The author concludes that with bespoke therapies we are entering a new...
  • Feature ArticlesFeature Articles

    Drug shortages in Germany ‒ A critical appraisal

    This article discusses drug shortages in Germany, the root causes of production problems with active pharmaceutical ingredients, and drug product manufacturers. The authors offer analysis from the perspective of a medium-sized generic drug manufacturer. They outline a range of reasons for the shortages, all of which point to a “broken marketplace.” The authors conclude with a discussion of mitigation activities and address the current COVID-19 pandemic. They warn that drug...
  • Regulatory NewsRegulatory News

    EC offers antitrust reassurances to generic drugmakers cooperating on shortages

    The European Commission on Wednesday reassured the generic drug association Medicines for Europe that member and nonmember companies can work together to battle shortages of critical hospital drugs to treat COVID-19 patients. The commission explains how generic firms may need to coordinate on stock management and distribution “so that not all undertakings focus on one or a few medicines, while others remain in under-production. Such coordination would be contrary to ant...
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    MHRA Offers No-Deal Brexit Guidance on Comparator Products for Generic Drug Studies

    As another delay may push back Brexit to the end of January, the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) on Tuesday published new guidance on comparator products (CPs) used in bioequivalence (BE), pharmacokinetic (PK) and therapeutic equivalence (TE) studies to support generic drug and other abridged marketing authorization applications following a no-deal Brexit. The guidance explains how it may be possible for an applicant to compare a proposed...
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    Pelosi Drug Pricing Bill Advances on Party-Line Votes

    Two House committees on Thursday advanced on party-line votes Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) bill to allow for the negotiation of certain medicine prices as part of plans to bring down costs in the US. No major amendments were adopted in either the Energy & Commerce or the Education & Labor committees’ meetings, although the amendments in the E&C meeting ranged from carving out specific disease treatments from negotiations to requiring the Health and Human Services Sec...
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    Belgium Inspects Companies Delaying or Preventing Biosimilar Competition

    The Belgian Competition Authority (BCA) said recently that it’s inspecting the premises of companies suspected of using restrictive practices to limit, delay or prevent the entry of biosimilar competition. While the authority did not offer any details into what companies are being inspected, the authority did say that this is a preliminary step into its investigation of such restrictive practices. “Conducting inspections does not prejudge the outcome of the investiga...
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    Another Record Year for Generic Drug Approvals but Questions on Competition Remain

    For each of the last five years, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has set generic drug approval records, but questions have lingered on whether these high approval numbers are translating into competition. FY 2019 figures show a total of 1,171 generic drug approvals (935 full approvals and 236 tentative approvals), which breaks FDA’s previous all-time record of 971 full and tentative approvals for FY 2018 . And although the abbreviated new drug application (...
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    CBO: Pelosi Bill Will Save Hundreds of Billions, Reduce Number of New Drugs to Market

    The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) late Friday announced that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) drug pricing bill would reduce federal direct spending for Medicare by $345 billion from 2023 to 2029, but it would also lead to a reduction of approximately 8 to 15 new drugs coming to market over the next 10 years. The CBO report comes as rhetoric on both sides of the aisle has picked up in recent weeks, with industry group PhRMA referring to the bill, known as HR 3, a...
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    Is FDA Too Lax With its Drug Approval Standards? Senior FDA Officials Discuss

    From industry to academia, commenters have argued that the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) drug approval standards are becoming inappropriately low and that the required postapproval evaluations are either inadequate or left undone. But three senior FDA officials offered several counterpoints on Monday at the fifth annual Biopharma Congress in Washington, DC. Janet Woodcock, director of FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, explained that the agency ...
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    Nevada Fines Drugmakers $17M for Failing to Comply With Drug Pricing Law

    The Nevada Department of Health and Human Services this week sent letters to 21 diabetes drug manufacturers seeking $17.4 million in penalties for non-compliance with a new price transparency law. “This legislation requires the Department to compile a report of information related to prescription drugs used to treat diabetes. As part of the legislation, the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) can impose a penalty for companies who fail to provide the required...
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    FDA Warns Chinese Drug Testing Facility for Refusing Inspection

    The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Tuesday released a warning letter sent in August to China-based drug testing facility Shanghai Institute of Pharmaceutical Industry for refusing an inspection. FDA had planned a surveillance and pre-approval inspection of the facility from 29 November to 4 December 2018, but the company told FDA’s China office in a written response that it was refusing the inspection. "Under section 501(j) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Co...
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    Pelosi Unveils Plan to Lower Prescription Drug Prices

    As Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) continues to push his own competing drug pricing legislation in the Senate, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) unveiled her proposal to lower prescription drug prices on Thursday, with a plan likely to please more liberal Democrats and further distance Republicans. At the heart of Pelosi’s plan is the idea to allow Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar to select between 25 and 250 drugs annually and directly negotiate with manufactur...