Office of Pharmaceutical Quality Standing on Own Two Feet

Well, it’s January 2015 and the Office of Pharmaceutical Quality (OPQ) is about to be stood up (“FDA speak” for official) and will be addressing quality issues across the New Drugs and Generic Drugs arenas. The concept is of one quality voice and one standard, but more about this in a bit. The new leaders of OPQ are outlined in a CDER posting relative to the new organization.

New or Revised Guidances to Look for from FDA in Calendar Year 2015

FDA issued a Guidance today entitled “Guidance Agenda: New and Revised Draft Guidances CDER is Planning to Publish During Calendar Year 2015”. This document gives us an idea of what is new and what changes we can expect on various issues over the coming year. It is not specific as far the specific changes that are upcoming, but at least it provides direction as to where changes or new advice may be forthcoming from FDA.

What, No More Paper? The FDA is Going Green on Labeling!

Well, after a lot of talk and years of discussion, “The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is proposing to amend its labeling regulations at 21 CFR 201.100, 201.306, 201.310, 606.121, 606.122, 610.60, and 610.61 for human prescription drugs and biological products, and blood and blood components intended for transfusion, to require that the prescribing information (commonly referred to as the package insert) intended for health care professionals be distributed electronically and, with few exceptions, not in paper form.”

Will the Acura Petition Force FDA to Make a Decision on Oxecta and/or Other 505(b)(2) Submission Strategies?

A December 10, 2014 petition filed by Wiley Rein LLP on behalf of Acura Pharmaceuticals (here) asks the FDA to require Purdue to file an ANDA rather than a 505(b)(2) application for a duplicate version of an immediate release oxycodone tablet with abuse-deterrent properties. The petitioner argues that,because the abuse-deterrent characteristics of the proposed Purdue product are similar to those of its Oxecta product, and because both products are pharmaceutical equivalents, that a firm should not be able to circumvent the listed patents on the Oxecta reference listed drug (RLD).

OGD Continues Tightening BE Requirements for Extended-Release Products

Just weeks after the Office of Generic Drugs (OGD ) released a revised bioequivalence (BE) guidance for extended-release generic equivalents of Concerta and took action to revise the therapeutic equivalence code for the two generic approved products to BX (non-substitutable/not therapeutically equivalent), OGD released a new fairly onerous draft BE guidance for Budesonide Extended-Release Tablets.

Now That the Foundation Has Been Laid, OGD is Making Moves to Crank Up the Machine

On December 11, 2014, Dr Kathleen (Cook) Uhl, Acting Director, Office of Generic Drugs (OGD) sent the following memo to all OGD and CDER Ops staff announcing some personnel changes and revisions in the way OGD will be approaching the significant backlog of applications and how it will approach the GDUFA goals it must meet.

Obtaining Samples for BE Testing for Products with Restricted Distribution Systems or REMS

The generic industry has been having a hard time (to say the least) in obtaining samples of certain Reference Listed Drugs (RLDs) that have Risk Evaluation and Mitigations Strategies (REMS) with elements to assure safe use (ETASU) upon which to conduct the necessary bioequivalence (BE) studies to support ANDA approval. Today, FDA has published a draft guidance entitled, “How to Obtain a Letter from FDA Stating that Bioequivalence Study Protocols Contain Safety Protections Comparable to Applicable REMS for RLD”.

First-Time ANDA Approvals Represented 25% of All ANDAs Approved in FY 2013

It is clear that the Office of Generic Drugs (OGD) wants to assure that first-time generic submissions also translate into first-time generic approvals. In FY 2013, OGD approved a total of 440 ANDAs. Of that total, there were 108 ANDAs reported on the OGD First-Time Generic Drug Approval lists for the year. So it appears that OGD’s goal of getting first time approvals to the American public as quickly as possible at least translates into the percentage of first-time generic approvals (e.g., 1 in 4 ANDA approvals in FY 2013 was for a first-time generic approval of the product or 25%).

Leave it to the FDA!

Just three days before Thanksgiving, the FDA issued two Final Rules requiring caloric content on menus and food from vending machines. While the Rules go into effect in a year for menu items and 2 years for food from vending machines, release of the Final Rule just before the holiday makes me cringe.

Transparency Window Shuts Further At OGD – Hopefully Only Temporarily

We are almost two months into FY 2015 and the first year of metrics for GDUFA, but have you noticed that the Generics Activity Report of the Generic Drug Program has not yet published for the October? As we understand it, the new OGD/CDER IT platform, noted by Dr. Woodcock as having some problems at the GPhA Fall Technical Workshop, is perhaps the culprit.