FDA Is Eliminating Regulations? Here’s One that Makes Sense!

The FDA has announced a proposed rule to repeal its regulation requiring any drug product that uses irradiation to be approved under an NDA or ANDA.  The Notice states that “this action is part of FDA’s implementation of Executive Orders (EOs) 13771 and 13777.  Under these EOs, FDA is comprehensively reviewing existing regulations to identify opportunities for repeal,

Reduced Testing, but Not Reduced Expectations

Reduced testing of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API), excipients, and other raw materials can be a valid approach to gaining overall efficiencies in the pharmaceutical quality control laboratory.  However, the choice of tests to perform and the justification for choosing those tests are key elements of operating a compliant Reduced Testing Program that is also scientifically sound.

Bending, Breaking or Moving On: FDA Expands on its 2018 Compounding Policies Priorities

On September 7, 2018, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb stated that the FDA will expand on their implementation of their 2018 Compounding Priorities Plan and that they feel like they must continue to balance the need to preserve access to appropriately compounded drugs for patients who have a medical need for these products with the need to help protect patients from poor quality compounded drugs that could potentially cause harm to patients.

The Devil is in the Details:  Requirements for State Boards of Pharmacy under the Draft Standard MOU Regarding 503A Compounding and Intrastate and Interstate Distribution

The FDA estimates that the burden of information collection under their newly revised draft Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) (here) and reporting to the FDA to be about 7600 hours per year per state (assuming approximately 2000 work hours per year; this equates to about four new employees per year per state).  

Where There is Smoke, There is Fire!

The FDA’s Douglas Throckmorton, M.D., Deputy Director, Regulatory Programs, in the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER), gave a presentation on April 12, 2016 entitled, “FDA Regulation of Marijuana: Past Action, Future Plans.”  A key take-away from the presentation was that the Agency supports the development of drugs derived from marijuana (MJ).  This included mention of a guidance on the use of botanicals and the availability of Agency tools for expedited development (i.e.,

Awareness And Precision Are Key To Manufacturing Data Integrity

The Pink Sheet recently posted an article authored by James Davison, Ph.D. Vice President of Lachman Consultants that addresses the criticality of Data Integrity outside of the laboratory.

The article highlights that regulators are making clear that issues of data integrity go well beyond what happens in drug laboratories or clinical trials and that the data compliance issues that have plagued the laboratories are relevant to areas such as manufacturing.

Simplifying the Complex Generics

During the afternoon session at the first annual GRx+Biosims Meeting held in Baltimore, MD, from September 5-7, 2018, a panel discussion was held to deliberate over aspects that are important to consider when developing a complex generic drug product. The panel consisted of FDA as well as generic industry representatives. GDUFA II provides drug manufacturers with several tools to assist in the development of complex generic drug products including enhanced communication opportunities with FDA and opportunities for innovative approaches in developing a complex generic drug.

The “Answer Key” for Inspection Site Selections

In a posting on FDA.gov yesterday, September 5, 2018, FDA Commission Scott Gottlieb, M.D., further reinforced his goals of an open and transparent FDA by publishing FDA’s internal policy on inspection site selections (https://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm619435.htm).

The Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER)  issued their internal policy Manual of Policies and Procedures (MAPP) 5014.1,

DI Still a Major Problem – but What’s Being Done About it?

The Association of Accessible Medicines (AAM) meeting in Baltimore this week saw a number of FDA presentations.  One that caught my attention was presented by Sarah Barkow, Ph.D., Acting Director, Manufacturing Quality Guidance and Policy Staff, Office of Manufacturing Quality in CDER.  It had to do with data integrity.

Dr. Barkow noted, “about 40% of OMQ’s warning letters include data integrity lapses.  

Facility Issues Sink Minor Amendment Designation

Historically, the Office of Generic Drugs (OGD) has classified major/minor amendments on the time necessary for review.  Minor amendments required minimal review, while major amendments required extensive review.  If there was an issue with a facility (e.g., cGMP), the old Deficiency Letters (DLs) and Complete Response Letters (CRLs) used to state that the firm should not respond to the letter until the facility issues have been resolved. 

Nominations to FDA Bulk Drug List for 503B Compounders Provides Three Strikes

In yesterday’s Federal Register (FR) prepublication page, the FDA described three drugs that were nominated for inclusion on the bulk list but all three were declined for the same basic reason.

Inclusion on the bulk list would have provided 503B-registered compounding facilities with the ability to utilize the substances in bulk in order to prepare finished-drug compounded product directly from the active pharmaceutical ingredient. 

FDA Determines That Danocrine Is OK, But Not for All Indications

The FDA responds to numerous petitions each year asking for determinations as to whether products that have been withdrawn or discontinued from marketing have been so removed for safety or efficacy reasons.  Such determination is necessary to permit the continued marketing of other approved ANDAs that cite a Reference Listed Drug (RLD) as their basis for submission,

Biosimilars and Complex Generics Uptake Not as Expected – Why is that a Surprise?

Many articles had decried the fact that biosimilar uptake is not what FDA or the drug industry anticipated.  Look, I have been around in this industry in one form or another (pharmacist, regulator, and consultant) for 46 years and have seen a lot in my day.  They say history repeats itself – no I am not planning to go back to FDA – but the same concepts and forces are in play today as they were when Hatch-Waxman (H-W) was first passed. 

Avoid Another Elemental Impurity Meltdown – Read the Final Guidance

After a disastrous start to the new year and the significant slowdown in approvals resulting from the OGD’s strict application of the provisions of the USP Elemental Impurity Chapter while awaiting harmonization with ICH Q3D, the approvals have begun flowing again.  There are some changes in the final guidance (here) from the draft that the FDA made in the harmonization effort. 

Ready Set Go! NDC Number Change Needed in Next Ten to Fifteen years

The National Drug Code (NDC) number is a unique identifier for prescription drug products.  The format, as explained by the FDA below, will need to be changed in the coming years to accommodate the entry of new labelers into the U.S. market.  The advanced Federal Register Notice published today (here) outlines the issues and announces a public hearing on the topic.