FDA Grants COVID-19 Diagnostic Emergency Use Authorizations, And Other Recent FDA Actions to Address COVID-19

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued two Emergency Use Authorizations (EUA) for commercially distributed COVID-19 diagnostic tests at the end of last week.  The first authorization was issued to Roche Molecular Systems, Inc., for its cobas SARS-CoV-2 Test, and the second issued the following day to Thermo Fisher Scientific, Inc., for its TaqPath COVID-19 Combo Kit.  Both tests are for the qualitative detection of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). FDA granted the authorizations within 24 hours of receiving the requests.

CVOID 19; EUA Continue Reading

FDA Postpones Ex-US Facility Inspections

U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Stephen M. Hahn, M.D., announced that FDA is postponing foreign inspections through April 2020 in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.  Manufacturers, including contract manufacturers, anticipating post-approval inspections may welcome the news, given other pressing issues facing ex-US facilities (i.e., facilities located outside the US) in light of COVID-19.  Companies with planned pre-approval inspections, however, may find the news distressing. Continue Reading

How FDA is Reacting to the Coronavirus, and 2020 Regulatory Priorities

The nation’s reaction to the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) has been fierce—maybe unprecedented.  Information so far suggests that most COVID-19 illness is mild, yet the reaction from global markets has been drastic.  The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is closely monitoring the impact of the Coronavirus on the global drug supply chain and is focused on identifying and alleviating drug shortages before they happen.  The FDA also is using emergency measures to provide access to diagnostic tests and other medicines that would not otherwise be available to the public. Continue Reading

Federal Circuit Revolutionizes Country of Origin Analysis for Pharmaceuticals

The Federal Circuit Court of Appeals has just rejected the longstanding U.S. government position that the country of origin of pharmaceuticals in the context of U.S. government procurement is determined by where the active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) is made.  Acetris Health, LLC v. United States, 2018-2399, judgment of February 10, 2020.  In the Acetris case the API was made in India.  It was then shipped in bulk to the United States, where it was manufactured into tablets.  The central question in the case was whether the resulting tablets were a “U.S.-made end product” and thus qualified under the Buy American Act (BAA) to be sold to the Department of Veterans Affairs. Continue Reading

FDA Year in Review: A Shifting Regulatory Landscape

The FDA actions that dominated 2019 demonstrated a shifting regulatory landscape for certain product types, such as e-cigarettes, foods and supplements containing cannabidiol (CBD), and digital health / machine learning enabled medical devices. FDA continued to take action to lower drug prices by focusing on approvals of competitive biosimilars and generic drugs, and FDA enforcement actions signaled the Agency’s ongoing interest in ensuring GMP compliance overseas. Continue Reading

FDA Issues Warning Letters to 15 Companies, Consumer Update on CBD Safety

On November 25, 2019, FDA issued Warning Letters to 15 companies illegally marketing cannabidiol (CBD) products. On the same day, U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) published a revised consumer update, “What You Need to Know (And What We’re Working to Find Out) About Products Containing Cannabis or Cannabis-derived Compounds, Including CBD,” describing the “very limited” scientific information available about CBD and its health effects. The points made in the Warning Letters and update are nothing new to those closely following the FDA working group on cannabis and CBD, but the actions signal the FDA’s continued enforcement against companies marketing CBD foods, supplements, and cosmetics with unsupported health claims. Continue Reading

Adapting To FDA’s Proposal For Diagnosis Support Software

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

With the rise of artificial intelligence and machine learning, clinical decision support, or CDS, software presents a novel opportunity to analyze immensely large amounts of data for patterns or other information that may be relevant to a particular patient’s diagnosis or health care options. Continue Reading

BREAKING NEWS: USDA Releases Interim Final Hemp Rule

On October 29, 2019, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released its long-awaited interim final rule governing the U.S. Domestic Hemp Production Program. USDA has been developing these interim regulations since hemp was federally legalized under the 2018 Farm Bill. These hotly anticipated rules are important not only for hemp producers and hemp-derived product companies, but for cannabis companies interested in diversifying or pivoting into a crop that is legal under federal law. Continue Reading

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

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