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    Global regulators promote platform trials to assess new COVID vaccines

    Regulators from the United Kingdom and Japan are promoting the use of platform trials to evaluate second-generation COVID-19 vaccines as the pool of unvaccinated patients for testing new vaccines grows increasingly smaller. They also proposed the creation of a working group to build consensus on the design of master protocols, particularly in the context of health emergencies.   These pronouncements emerged from a 24 June virtual workshop on aligning approaches for dev...
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    AAM: Medicare Part D plans slow to adopt generics

    Medicare Part D plans are slow to adopt generic medications for their beneficiaries, according to a recent report released by the Association for Accessible Medicines (AAM).   For the 2021 plan year, Medicare Part D formularies covered 21% of approved first generic medications from the previous year compared with the 66% covered by commercial formulary plans, the report stated. But this is part of a years-long trend, according to AAM. Not only do Medicare Part D plans ...
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    Kineret under review by EMA for some COVID patients

    The European Medicines Agency has begun a new evaluation of an immunosuppressive drug to treat certain patients with COVID-19.   The agency announced Monday that it is reviewing an extension of indication for Kineret (anakinra, Swedish Orphan Biovitrum AB), to treat people with COVID-19 pneumonia at risk of developing severe respiratory failure. The human interleukin-1 (IL-1) antagonist was first authorized for use in the EU in 2002 and is currently authorized for th...
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    PIC/S adopts guidance on PQS risk-based change management, COVID-19 risk assessments

    Two new guidance documents released by the Pharmaceutical Inspection Co-operation Scheme (PIC/S) have come into force this week concerning the effectiveness of pharmaceutical quality systems (PQS) and COVID-19 risk assessment for on-site inspections. The guidance document, “How to Evaluate and Demonstrate the Effectiveness of the Pharmaceutical Quality System with regard to Risk-Based Change Management,” was originally drafted in 2019 and has now been updated in respons...
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    MHRA announces streamlined clinical trial review process

    In the wake of the systemic changes flowing from the UK’s exit from the EU, the country’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) plans to streamline review of clinical trials for medicinal products.   Beginning in January 2022, new Clinical Trials of Investigational Medicinal Products (CTIMPs) will receive a combined review from MHRA and the UK Research Ethics Services, with collaboration from the UK’s Health Research Authority (HRA). The process is...
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    Industry consortium releases blueprint for DSCSA tracking systems

    An industry consortium has recently released the first chapter of a blueprint to help guide the pharmaceutical industry in setting up electronic systems to track their products through the supply chain.   The PDG Blueprint was released by the Partnership for DSCSA Governance (PDG), a consortium of more than 60 pharmaceutical supply chain members that was chosen by FDA to pilot data architecture systems for tracking products. The Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA)...
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    MDCG posts guidance on UDI integration within a QMS

    The European Commission’s Medical Device Coordination Group (MDCG) issued new guidance providing recommendations for integrating unique device identification (UDI) processes within a manufacturer’s quality management system (QMS) to meet requirements of the Medical Device Regulation (MDR) and In Vitro Diagnostics Regulation (IVDR).   The 10-page guidance calls for manufacturers to have a plan for implementing UDI, as assignment of UDI-DI and management of UDI-related p...
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    FDA’s regulatory affairs head previews Inspectional Affairs Council

    The top regulatory affairs official at the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave a preview of a soon-to-be-launched council within the agency that will focus solely on inspection-related matters.   “We will soon stand up an agency-wide decision-making body; it’s called the FDA Inspectional Affairs Council,” said Judith McMeekin, FDA’s associate commissioner for regulatory affairs within the Office of Regulatory Affairs (ORA), speaking at a virtual webinar hosted W...
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    Long-awaited ICH continuous manufacturing guideline coming soon

    The International Council for Harmonization (ICH) Q13 guideline on continuous manufacturing is expected to be released for public comment soon, as the US pharmaceutical industry continues slow but steady adoption of this mode of manufacturing.   Cyrus Agarabi, a reviewer in FDA’s Office of Biotechnology Products in the Office of Pharmaceutical Quality, updated attendees on the status of the ICH Q13 guideline at the 14 July CMC Strategy Forum sponsored by the California...
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    FDA defends Aduhelm's accelerated approval, while others call for reform

    Three papers published as Viewpoints in JAMA Internal Medicine this week highlight the rationale provided by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on the agency’s approval of aducanumab (Aduhelm; Biogen Inc), implications the approval could have for the Medicare program, and a contemplation on the future of FDA’s accelerated approval pathway.   Writing on behalf of FDA, Billy Dunn, MD, director of the Office of Neuroscience with FDA, and colleagues said the agenc...
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    Upcoming ICH guidelines should ease post-approval changes for analytical methods

    Two forthcoming guidelines from the International Council on Harmonization (ICH) should make it easier to switch analytical methods for testing medicines post-approval and better manage lifecycle changes, said regulators and industry officials speaking Wednesday at the CMC Strategy Forum sponsored by the California Separation Science Society (CASSS).   At the meeting, an official from the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and industry representatives provided a glimpse o...
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    Amgen's Neulasta banner draws OPDP’s second untitled letter of 2021

    In its second untitled letter of 2021, the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Office of Prescription Drug Promotion (OPDP) flagged issues with Amgen’s promotion of its biological product Neulasta (pegfilgrastim) in a banner ad intended for healthcare professionals.   Neulasta is a leukocyte growth factor approved to decrease the incidence of febrile neutropenia (FN) in patients with non-myeloid malignancies receiving myelosuppressive anti-cancer drugs and to incr...