OGD taking Extraordinary Mission-Critical Step to Improve GDUFA Transparency

After the issuance of MaPP 5200.3 back in September 2013 relative to communication with industry, voices rang out in pain aas the Generic industry felt as if its lifeline to information concerning the status of its applications were completely cut off. After a cacophony of complaints voiced by both GPhA and a number of firms in the Generic Industry, as well as at least one blogger, OGD has listened. Describing industry’s practices of constant contact with various OGD staff prior to and after GDUFA implementation, Dr. Uhl said “This practice was very resource intensive for us, and sometimes inadequately documented. It could also result in differential treatment of similarly situated applicants, giving rise to fairness and consistency issues.”

OGD recognizes that industry must have some information in order to run its business in an efficient and meaningful way and for making planning, manufacturing, and marketing decisions. In a recently issued (January 28, 2014) memo to the US Public Health Service (USPHS) Commissioned Corps Officers (CCO) assigned to OGD, the program will initiate a rather labor-intensive program to develop a complete inventory of all of each firm’s original applications (not supplements) to provide a one-time snapshot of all of where each firm’s applications are in the OGD review queue.

Virtual Companies Beware – FDASIA Ratchets Up the Heat

In 2012, the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act (FDASIA) inserted a statement into Section 501(a)(2)(B)of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act that expanded the meaning of current good manufacturing practice (cGMP). FDASIA’s legislative history tells us that one intention was to require drug manufacturers to employ adequate controls over the materials they purchase. Most would agree that the hazards of unsafe materials justify the need for effective controls and oversight by manufacturers, and most companies are well aware of their responsibility to oversee safety and quality of materials used for manufacturing. FDA’s web page describing FDASIA promises that requirements of the enhanced 501(a)(2)(b)will be reflected in revised CGMP regulations. FDA’s 2014 Regulatory Agenda targets November for issuing a proposed rule. However, enforcement has already begun, and virtual companies are a target.

OGD Seeking Comments on How to Improve ANDAs

In a Federal Register Notice to publish on January 23, 2014, OGD is seeking comments and suggestions on how to improve the quality of submitted ANDAs and associated amendments to those applications. In addition, OGD is asking about what specific difficulties firms are having when preparing their ANDAs, so that FDA might help “provid[e] more or better information” to industry.

FDA Moves to Finalize Plans to Limit Acetaminophen in Prescription Combination Products

Three years has come and gone since FDA published its Federal Register Notice (here) requiring drug companies to reformulate their acetaminophen (APAP)-containing combination drug products to contain no more than 325mg of APAP per dosage unit. FDA gave manufacturers three years to make the change or face withdraw of approval of their applicants. In an announcement posted at the very end of the day yesterday, FDA gave final notice that “[I]n the near future we intend to institute proceedings to withdraw approval of prescription combination drug products containing more than 325 mg of acetaminophen per dosage unit that remain on the market.”