FDA Takes Action on Opioids – Approves Final REMS

Yesterday the FDA announced the approval of a final REMS “governing the use of immediate-release opioid analgesic medications.”  And the FDA did it in a big way, approving some 437 supplements for the various immediate-release opioid products.  The FDA stated in its new release (here):

This new plan includes several measures to help better communicate the serious risks about the use of opioid pain medications to patients and health care professionals.  

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,

August Official Approvals and Receipts Released as OGD Approaches Record Year

The Office of Generic Drugs (OGD) released its official approval and receipt numbers late yesterday.  August saw 53 full approvals and 15 tentative approvals, leaving OGD 44 ANDA full approvals away from matching their previous FY record of 763 from FY 2017.  These approvals are quite an accomplishment given the fact that the slowdown in the first few months of calendar year 2018 was so drastic.

No Easy Solutions for Complex Generics Yet

The Complex Generic Drug Development Workshop is currently being held in Silver Spring, Maryland September 12‑13, 2018.  In her keynote address at the FDA’s Small Business and Industry Assistance (SBIA) workshop on complex generic drug development, Kathleen Cook Uhl stated that complex drug products are critical to the care of many serious medical conditions, such as multiple sclerosis,

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.

Changes to Drug Substance Draft Guidance Come to Town!

The GDUFA II reauthorization process involved a lot of agreements from the FDA.  One of those agreements was for the Agency to publish a guidance on changes to drug substances that addressed the type of changes, their categories for submission (PAS, CBE, CBE-30, or annual report) and the necessary documentation that must be submitted to support the proposed changes.  

History is written by people who attend meetings: especially when it comes to complex generics

The GRx+Biosims Conference held in Baltimore, MD from September 5-7, had a session on the GDUFA II Pre-ANDA Program for Complex Products on the last day, presented by FDA.

The presenter, Kris Andre, Associate Director of Regulatory Affairs, Office of Research and Standards, Office of Generic Drugs (OGD), discussed in detail the logistics and agency’s expectations related to the meetings for complex generics.

Fast, Fast, Fast, Everybody Wants Fast – But There Could be a High Cost to Pay

I know that the flag was raised in victory when the first generic of EpiPen was approved.  Not many people outside those familiar with the plight of complex generic products could understand how or why it took so long for a generic version of that product to make it through the approval process.  This is discussed in an interesting article by Avik Roya,

Expedited Review, Priority Review, CTG – What’s the difference?

On the second day of the first annual 2018 GRx+Biosims Meeting in Baltimore, MD held from September 5-7, 2018, Kurt Karst, JD and Mark Schwartz, JD (Directors, Hyman, Phelps & McNamara, P.C) provided a very informative overview of cGMP trends and emerging legal issues concerning GDUFA and FDARA. The on-going modernization of the generic drug approval process has presented industry with new legal considerations.

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.

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. 

OGD Updates July 2018 Statistics

As we know July was a record breaking month for approvals as reported here, but it was also a record shattering month for Complete Response Letters, beating the October 2017 previous total of 325 with a whopping 357 CRLs.  This may be a little disturbing as the trend in FY 2018 is for an overall increase in CRLs. 

Go Fund Me Page Contemplated for Headstone at Grave Site of 505(j)(2)(C) Petitions

I just searched through 643 hits on Regulations.gov for 505(j)(2)(C) petitions.  Granted, all of those were not actually for ANDA suitability petitions under the citation listed above, but most were.  The good news is that the industry still submits these petitions (an ANDA suitability petition requests a change from a reference listed drug in strength,