New Set Of Guidance From FDA Provides Clarity On Digital Health Policies, Machine Learning

On September 26, 2019, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published six guidance documents clarifying its scope of authority and enforcement discretion policies in light of the 21st Century Cures Act (Cures Act). The long-awaited draft guidance on Clinical Decision Support (CDS) software sets forth FDA’s proposed approach to regulating CDS, including software that incorporates machine learning (ML) technology. Companies developing ML software for life science applications should consider reviewing FDA’s planned approach to inform their regulatory strategies. Continue Reading

Tips for When to Consider Legal Review of Quality System Investigations

This post was originally published on MD+DI.com.

As a lawyer with extensive experience in good manufacturing practice (GMP) issues, clients will ask me to review complex Quality System investigations. My clients are typically in-house counsel and, while review by Legal makes sense to a company’s in-house counsel (after all they, too, are lawyers), Quality or Manufacturing personnel often are flummoxed. Continue Reading

FDA’s New Safety and Performance Based Pathway for Medical Devices Reflects a More Modern Approach to Finding Substantial Equivalence

On September 19, 2019, FDA issued a guidance document, “Safety and Performance Based Pathway,” describing an optional pathway for medical devices with well-understood safety and performance profiles. The guidance signals FDA’s willingness to implement a more modern approach under the arcane 510(k) premarket pathway. Continue Reading

How FDA Considerations Impact Food and Beverage Acquisitions

This post was originally published on FoodDive.com.

When considering an acquisition of a food and beverage company, potential buyers of a company or its assets should pay particular attention to U.S. Food and Drug Administration requirements and their implications on the target’s business.

Buyers should be cognizant of the regulatory issues at the beginning of the process so that their risk can be assessed in the context of the transaction, and in turn, be addressed by specific representations, covenants and indemnification provisions in the transaction documents. The following considerations should be top of mind throughout the course of due diligence and negotiations.  Continue Reading

What’s in the Bottle? FDA Announces New Blockchain Pilot Program for Tracking Drug Distribution

Where does my prescription come from? Has it been altered or diluted? Can I trust the label? With millions of prescriptions filled each year, quality control and security across the pharmaceutical supply chain seems like a herculean task. In an attempt to slay this proverbial hydra, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) developed a new pilot program – the DSCSA Blockchain Interoperability Pilot (the “Blockchain Pilot”) – which aims to use blockchain to create a secure electronic, interoperable system that tracks and traces certain prescription drugs as they are distributed in the United States. Continue Reading

Regulating E-Cigarettes Remains “Top Priority” For FDA

On July 10, 2019 Ned Sharpless, M.D., the Acting Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a statement reaffirming FDA’s commitment to overseeing the manufacturing, marketing, and sale of e-cigarettes. The statement outlined FDA’s current and anticipated regulation of e-cigarettes, and discussed the balance of keeping e-cigarettes out of the hands of minors while exploring the potential for e-cigarettes to reduce adult smoking of more harmful tobacco products. Continue Reading

Medical Devices – Artificial Intelligence and Reactions to FDA’s Proposed Oversight

In April of this year, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a discussion paper, Proposed Regulatory Framework for Modifications to Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning (AI/ML) – Based Software as a Medical Device (SaMD), which proposed a novel regulatory framework for artificial intelligence (AI)-based medical devices.  The public docket closed on June 3, 2019, and FDA received over one hundred comments from manufacturers, industry associations, and other interested parties. The comments vary in support of FDA’s framework and largely urge FDA to align with external stakeholders that are already developing industry standards and clarify the agency’s expectations under the proposed framework. Continue Reading

What We Learned From FDA’s Public Hearing On Cannabis*

*This article was originally posted in Law360 on June 4, 2019.

The much-anticipated public hearing last week at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on cannabis and cannabis-derived compounds drew a wide audience of participants, with strong views on how the FDA should (or should not) regulate the controversial plant.

In an amazingly short period of time, hemp-derived products, including those containing cannabidiol, have moved from the fringe to the mainstream, from state-licensed dispensaries to traditional brick-and-mortar retailers. And yet, the FDA’s position has been clear — it is illegal to sell human food, pet food, dietary supplements and unapproved drugs that contain CBD. Continue Reading

Location Matters – Manufacturing Insights from FDA’s Annual Report on Drug Quality

The Office of Pharmaceutical Quality (OPQ) in the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) within the US Food and drug Administration (FDA) published its annual “Report on the Sate of Pharmaceutical Quality” last week. The yearly report reviews the quality of drug products during the prior year, as measured by recall and product defect information, site inspections of manufacturers, and other post market data. The report provides a few insights that companies may want to consider when working with, or acquiring, contract manufacturers.   Continue Reading

AAFCO Issues Updated Guidelines Regarding Hemp in Animal Food

On May 1, 2019, AAFCO provided updated guidelines regarding the use of hemp in animal food, including how this market is affected by the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018 (the “Farm Bill”). Although the AAFCO is not a government agency, its members are government agencies that represent the 50 states, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Center for Veterinary Medicine, and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.  Continue Reading

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