We have read a lot about the significant rising cost of some generic drug products, some shortage products, and some old products without competition, even though any period of patent or exclusivity has expired. The entire issue of pricing appears to be focused on a handful of drug products. We certainly don’t want to see the system keep patients from getting the drugs they desperately need and we don’t want to break the bank of private pay patients, insurers, and local, state, and federal governments. So there needs to be a balance. How do we achieve that balance?
The news is that the FDA is postponing its decision on its Proposed Labeling Rule until July 2016. Mark that month on your calendar because it will mark the time where either FDA adopts a modified position or the legal process will likely be initiated by many in the generic industry.
As we previously reported (here), OGD approved 61 ANDAs and Tentatively Approved 6 ANDAs in November; thus there was appositive reduction of 24 applications in the theoretical backlog. This is (somewhat) the good news and the bad news. The good news is that OGD should have substantive excess review resources available, based on a reduced number of applications received. The bad news is-you are going to pay more for fewer applications.
November was a good month for full approvals, with a total of 61 issued. There were 6 tentative approvals issued for the month. While this is a bit of a fall off from the previous few months, the numbers are consistent with an even keel on approvals. The hopeful goal for now is to begin to have the industry response to the many Complete Response Letters,
FDA approved the first genetically engineered fish which they have determined is safe for our food supply. The fish is engineered to grow faster, which will, of course, make it a more abundant food source. Who knew a fish could be approved through a new animal drug application (NADA)? Not me!
The Office of Generic Drugs (OGD) would like the generic industry to know that it is poised to bring home the bacon on approvals. The industry has the table set, but, according to some, the meal has yet to be served. This “trust, but verify” position comes at a time when the GDUFA II negotiations are just underway.
The FDA announced the approval of Narcan (naloxone hydrochloride) Nasal Spray as an alternative emergency treatment for accidental opioid drug overdose. Previously, naloxone hydrochloride, which reverses the effects of opioids very rapidly, was available only as an injection available in a syringe or auto-injector.
In a press release issued today (here),
The new GDUFA fees for 2016 were published today in the Federal Register (here) and there were some real surprises. For instance, the ANDA fee (that we thought was going to decrease given the fact that 2014 saw a record 1465 ANDAs submitted) soared and apparently FDA is justifying that the fee increase is due to the lower number of ANDAs that have been submitted so far in 2015 (377 through June 2015 with a straight line projection at that rate of 502 to be submitted in FY 2015).
For those of you who have requested specific brand names from the FDA for your products and have had numerous names denied for reasons you cannot wrap you head around, take heart that FDA can make a mistake too. FDA reported today that there were at least 50 dispensing errors between two products that actually underwent the rigorous FDA name review process.
Late Tuesday evening, the FDA placed a “Dear Applicant Letter” on Regulations.gov relative to a request for comments from interested and affected parties on two very interesting issues relative to 180-day exclusivity. The drug product in question is Cyclosporine Ophthalmic Emulsion. As part of its consideration, FDA is considering whether the fact that FDA did not issue an Acknowledgement Letter for this drug product until after the patent expired impacts this analysis. FDA also seeks comment on whether there are any other factors that are material to this question.
Today, the FDA released its draft Guidance entitled, “Request for Quality Metrics.” The document outlines the FDA’s thinking on the use of quality metrics data “to help develop compliance and inspection policies and practices, such as risk-based inspection scheduling of drug manufacturers; to improve the Agency’s ability to predict, and therefore, possibly mitigate, future drug shortages; and to encourage the pharmaceutical industry to implement state-of-the-art, innovative quality management systems for pharmaceutical manufacturing.”
The innovator for Lubiprostone (trade name Amitza) petitioned the FDA to change the requirements for demonstrating bioequivalence of the product to require additional BE studies with clinical endpoints for various other approved indications. The FDA explained in its denial letter that it has been reviewing the approval requirements for all locally acting drug products in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract and had decided to revise its BE recommendations for all. However, its revised recommendations actually made the path to approval for a duplicate version of the drug potentially easier for generic entrants.
In a Federal Register Notice today, the FDA announced the termination of permanent debarment of David Brancato. David was one of the original FDA staff members implicated in the Generic Drug scandal. He was originally debarred on January 6, 1994.
Special termination of debarment can occur when there is a determination that an individual substantially assisted in and cooperated with authorities in the investigation.
Yesterday, a reporter asked me how long has there been a backlog at the Office of Generic Drugs (OGD). I told the reporter that the nature of the ANDA review and approval process will guarantee that there is always a backlog. That is because firms submit applications on an ongoing basis, and it takes the OGD time to review and assess each application.