OGD Approves Only 20 ANDAs in May

With the approval of only 20 ANDAs in May (information derived from the CDER application approvals report), a statistic that is sure to give CEOs heartburn, the industry may start to question the GDUFA goals, unless many more ANDAs are driven to approval. As I have written before, Complete Response Letters (CRL) are the measure of GDUFA success based on the GDUFA metrics, but you can’t market products that receive Complete Response Letters. If I am not mistaken, the 20 monthly approvals are perhaps the lowest since the generic drug scandal back in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

GET READY and Pay Attention to Important ANDA Guidance Issued today

In the Federal Register (FR) Pre-Publication listing this morning, FDA is announcing the issuance of a Draft Guidance entitled, Abbreviated New Drug Applications: Content and Format of Abbreviated New Drug Applications. The FDA says in the FR notice that “[I]n an effort to increase the number of original ANDAs that the Agency can receive upon initial submission and to decrease the number of review cycles required to approve an application for marketing, FDA prepared this Guidance on improving the quality of original ANDA submissions. FDA is committed to providing comprehensive assistance in the early stages of the application process to ensure that an original ANDA contains all information necessary for FDA to complete its review in one review cycle.“

New Requirements on FDA Notification of Suspected Illegitimate Products To Begin January 1, 2015

FDA issued a Draft Guidance, entitled Drug Supply Chain Security Act Implementation: Identification of Suspect Product and Notification which describes the proper means of notification of FDA by trading partners of the potential suspect products. The requirements under the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) will kick in on January 1, 2015 and also requires firms to identify other immediate trading partners of their suspicion. The Guidance defines trading partners as manufacturers, repackagers, wholesalers or dispensers and requires the notice to be given to FDA within 24 hours of identifying a suspect product.

DMFs in the Spotlight at the GPhA/FDA CMC Workshop

In the first two years of GDUFA, the Office of Generic Drugs (OGD) DMF review team has been hard at work clearing up the backlog of DMF reviews and trying to figure out how to stay ahead of the game once the GDUFA metrics kick in in 2015. OGD did not want to penalize GDUFA submissions based on DMF submissions too severely because the DMF review process was so dramatically impacted and adjusted once GDUFA went into effect. So for years 1 and 2 of GDUFA, OGD exercised some regulatory flexibility in establishing a workable system. Now OGD has some advice for ANDA applicants that must be incorporated into your development and submission plans before your application is submitted.

Good News on Supplement Backlog Outlined at GPhA/FDA CMC Workshop

The Office of Generic Drugs (OGD) is now receiving help from other CDER components in its battle to get the supplement backlog down. In May of 2013, OGD reported just fewer than 6000 supplements in its backlog. Today with a little help from their friends, the total supplemental backlog stands at less than 4000. What we don’t know is how many of the actions that took the supplements off of the OGD clock were Complete Response letters versus approvals.

April OGD Statistics Just Published – Let’s Look at the Numbers a Bit Differently

Usually I concentrate on ANDAs received and the numbers approved as a measure of the Office of Generic Drugs’ (OGD) progress, but this month, let’s just mention that there were 41 full approvals and 7 tentative Approvals and, as the table below reveals, OGD received 74 ANDAs in April 2014. By the way, OGD reported issuing 100 Complete Response Letters in April 2014.

Buyer Beware! That Legitimate Looking Prescription Site May Cost You Your Health

In a coordinated enforcement action involving the FDA, US Customs and Border Patrol, along with international agencies like Interpol and enforcement and regulatory bodies from 111 countries, action was taken against web sites that “sell unapproved prescription drugs to US consumers.” This is part of an ongoing effort of a program termed Operation Pangea.

Salonpas Pain Relief Patch Petition Does Not Provide Full Relief Sought by Petitioner

In a petition response issued on May 23, 2014to Hisamitsu Pharmaceutical Company, the FDA partially approved, but mostly denied the requests of the NDA holder for Salonpas (menthol and methyl salicylate 3%, 10%) Patch in a petition submitted on January 6, 2010. While the response did not come as much of a surprise relative to the NDA holders asks, the fact that the petition was submitted in 2010 and is just now being responded to is somewhat a matter of conjecture.

FDA to Give Industry Heads Up on Finalizing Q&A Guidance on Stability Testing for ANDAs

With about one month to go before the Office of Generic Drugs (OGD) new stability requirements go into effect, a one hour briefing by invitation will be held on May 15, 2014 to discuss the new requirements. It will likely touch on the Draft Questions and Answers Guidance ANDA: Stability of Drug Substance and Drug Products, with (hopefully) an emphasis on any clarifications or revisions that have been made to the final guidance (to be published soon).

Revised Q&A on Stability Issued – Clarity Provided on Some Issues But Questions Still Remain

The Revised Q&A Guidance on stability for ANDA drug products and drug substances was posted on the CDER web page today (here). While the Agency did a good job in terms of some of the clarifications requested by questions submitted in response to the initial document, there are still some unanswered questions that may require clarification to the clarifications!