• Regulatory NewsRegulatory News

    FDA Offers New Guidance on Interpretation of BPCIA

    The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Friday released draft guidance on its interpretation of the "deemed to be a license" provision of the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act (BPCIA) of 2010. Put simply: FDA will not approve any pending or tentatively approved application for a biological product under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic (FD&C) Act after 23 March 2020.  The provision in the BPCIA states that: "An approved application for a biologi...
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    Counterfeit Versions of Gilead’s Blockbuster Hepatitis C Drug Found in Israel

    Counterfeits of Gilead’s mega-blockbuster hepatitis C treatment Harvoni, which is generating billions per quarter in sales for the company, are emerging in Israel. Switzerland’s drug regulator Swissmedic said over the weekend that the plastic bottles of the counterfeits, which originated in India, were imported via a Swiss trading company and “contain white instead of genuine yellow film-coated tablets,” the regulator said. Swissmedic is working with other EU authoritie...
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    South American Health Ministers Negotiate Lower Prices for Antivirals, Antiretrovirals

    As the drug pricing debate continues in the US, the ministers of health of 10 Latin American countries recently persuaded pharmaceutical companies to lower the prices of several HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C treatments. In the first of two planned rounds of negotiations, the health ministers of MERCOSUR (which includes Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, Venezuela and associate countries Chile, Peru, Colombia and Ecuador) earlier this week agreed to purchase the HI...
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    FDA Defends Plans to Regulate LDTs at House Hearing

    The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is making it clear to Congress that it's up to the task of regulating lab developed tests (LDTs). Speaking at a House Energy & Commerce Committee hearing today, Jeffrey Shuren, director of FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH) defended the agency's plan saying, "Getting the right treatment to the right patient at the right time depends on having accurate, reliable and clinically validated tests." Unlike traditi...
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    European Commission Says Compulsory Licensing can Only Happen at National Level

    After being questioned by a member of the European Parliament, the European Commission (EC) says neither it nor the European Medicines Agency (EMA) have the power to acquire patents or issue a compulsory license. Background In the past two years, drugmakers have launched several drugs to treat hepatitis C (HCV), a disease which left untreated can lead to cirrhosis or liver cancer. The new generation of HCV treatments, led by Gilead's Sovaldi and Harvoni, are highly eff...
  • Feature ArticlesFeature Articles

    Agency Meetings with the US Food and Drug Administration

    Informational guidance meetings with representatives from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have been part of the original Prescription Drug User Fee Act ( PDUFA ) and were included in the PDUFA reauthorization in 2012. 1 A second revision of the FDA guidance document for these meetings was released as a draft for comments in March 2015. This new draft guidance updates the meeting instructions and incorporates changes resulting from the Food and Drug Adminis...
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    Marketing Exclusivity Provisions for Rare Disease Drugs Back in 21st Century Cures Bill

    An updated draft of the House Energy and Commerce (E&C) Committee's 21st Century Cures Act has reintroduced a provision which would extend marketing exclusivity for some drugs repurposed to treat rare diseases or conditions by six months. Background The provision, popularly known as the Orphan Product Extensions Now Act , was originally introduced in the US House of Representatives in November 2014. Under the bill, existing pharmaceutical products would be grant...
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    HCV, Cancer Drugs Added to Essential Medicines List as WHO Calls for Lower Prices

    The World Health Organization (WHO) has issued a loud call for improving access to several high-profile—and high-cost—medicines by placing them on its 19th Model List of Essential Medicines released today. The updated list features 36 new medicines, including treatments for tuberculosis, HIV, hepatitis C (HCV) and cancer, and signifies a shift in WHO's approach to securing access to new and innovative medicines. Background For nearly 40 years, WHO has maintained...
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    Gilead to Offer Free HCV Treatment in Georgia

    Gilead Sciences has launched an initiative to provide its hepatitis C (HCV) treatment Sovaldi to patients in the Republic of Georgia free of charge. The move is part of an effort by Gilead to demonstrate that its products can drastically reduce HCV prevalence, which the company hopes will encourage more widespread use of Sovaldi and its successor, Harvoni. In its first year, the program will cover treatment for 5,000 patients, with Gilead looking to expand the program t...
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    Meeting With FDA? Here's What Regulators do (and Don't) Want from Drug Companies

    A new guidance document issued by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is meant to outline the agency's expectations for meetings that take place between FDA and a sponsor before and after the submission of a new chemical or biological drug product. Background Since the passage of the original Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA) in 1992, the pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical industries have helped to fund the operations of FDA through payments of so-called ...
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    Legislators to Obama: Help us in Effort to Reform FDA Regulation

    For months, legislators on the House Energy and Commerce (E&C) Committee have been working with a large group of stakeholders in the hopes of developing a series of reforms to the way the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves new drugs and medical devices. Now the committee has reached out in the hopes of recruiting one especially important stakeholder to its cause: President Barack Obama. Background The legislative effort, known at the 21st Century Cures Init...
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    How Should Diagnostic Tests be Regulated? Congress Wants to Know

    A new white paper published by the House Energy and Commerce Committee is calling for feedback on the US Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) proposal to regulate laboratory developed tests (LDTs) more similarly to how they regulate in vitro diagnostics. Background Under a longstanding regulatory exemption, lab-developed tests—products developed and used within a single laboratory—have not been subject to FDA’s premarket controls. Instead, the products are subject to th...