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.

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.”

Let’s Clean This Up!

Today, FDA announced the issuance of a 137 page Proposed Rule designed to investigate whether antibacterial hand soaps are any more safe or effective than washing with simple bar soap. FDA is taking this action to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of these products due to the continued concern about the potential development of bacterial resistance from the widespread use of these agents. The Proposed Rule does not cover does not cover hand sanitizers, wipes or antibacterial products used in the healthcare setting. Rather, it is targeted towards the multitude of bar and liquid soaps used by consumers in routine daily hand and body washes that are advertised as, and contain an antimicrobial agent.

Dr. Woodcock Discusses the CDER Reorganization and GDUFA at GPhA Fall Technical Conference

Janet Woodcock, M.D., Director, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) noted that her vision of the reorganization for the Center is to have “one voice for quality across all drug products including biotech.” She also indicated that while this has been a need of CDER for a while, she gave GDUFA credit as a major driver of this current effort.

III to II – And So the Schedule Goes for Hydrocodone Combo Products

On October 24, 2013 the FDA announced its intent to recommend to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) that Hydrocodone-containing combination products be rescheduled into the more restrictive Schedule II. Such a move will make it more difficult for patients to obtain the products, as well as for healthcare practitioners to prescribe these products.

Is There Snake Oil in Them Thar Pills?

In a recent enforcement action against a dietary supplement manufacturer James G. Cole Inc. (here), the FDA is seeking a Permanent Injunction based on repeated violations of cGMPs and distribution of unapproved drugs. This type of “health fraud” dates back to the days of the traveling medicine men in their covered wagons selling dangerous concoctions of different herbs and drugs and making all kinds of wild health claims for products like Doctor Feel Good Elixir.

Is Part 11 Dead? Part 1 of a series– Electronic Records

Hardly!  But Part 11 (21 CFR Part 11), which applies to records in electronic form and the use of electronic signatures required by predicate rule (i.e., those records required to be signed by GMP regulations), has been scrutinized and discussed among regulators and the industry over the years, and the industry is still waiting on the final revised ruling.

Stuck on you – Now in Technicolor

Today, the FDA announced a change in labeling requirements for all Fentanyl Transdermal Systems in an effort to prevent inadvertent overdose. FDA is also warning patients and caregivers to dispose of patches properly, and warning that patches that do not adhere properly to the patient might fall off and accidentally adhere to another person, such as a child or a caregiver, or even a pet, and, based on the amount of drug left in the patch (should this occur), could cause death!