As we take a breather during the holiday whirlwind, we wanted to flag for readers a recent development in advertising and promotion regulation that FDA quietly released nearly a month ago. In a Memorandum issued on October 27 (the “Memorandum”), the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA” or the “Agency”) indicated that it will now permit certain COVID-19 drugs that have been granted Emergency Use Authorization (“EUA”) to make claims of safety and efficacy in print, advertising, and promotional materials, pursuant to certain limitations.

Continue Reading FDA Lightens Promotional Restrictions for Certain COVID-19 Drugs with Emergency Use Authorization

Pharmaceutical manufacturers are challenging the breadth of the Federal Anti-Kickback Statute (“AKS”) in federal court, arguing that the government is harming the very vulnerable patients it aims to serve by prohibiting cost-sharing subsidies for life-saving oncology drugs. In October, we discussed the Office of Inspector General’s (“OIG”) Advisory Opinion No. 22-19 (the “Advisory Opinion”), which declared that a charitable organization funded by manufacturers would violate the AKS if it offered certain cost-sharing subsidies under Medicare Part D (“Part D”), even if the organization was independently run and patients had equal access to discounts for 90% of drugs on the market. On November 9, 2022, the Pharmaceutical Coalition for Patient Access (“PCPA”), presumably the organization behind the Advisory Opinion, filed a lawsuit against OIG, seeking declaratory judgment that its cost-sharing program is legal under the AKS and that the Advisory Opinion violates the Administrative Procedure Act (“APA”) and the First Amendment.[1]

Continue Reading Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Ask EDVa to Allow Cost-Sharing Under the AKS

FDA issued a proposed rule on September 28, 2022, to update the definition of “healthy” by specifying new criteria by which the term can be used in food labeling. As a result of the proposed changes, FDA expects more food in the marketplace will be able to make use of the “healthy” claim.

Continue Reading FDA Proposes Updated Rule for “Healthy” Foods

Effective January 1, 2023, the recently enacted California Assembly Bill 1278,[1] requires a physician and surgeon (defined as a physician and surgeon licensed pursuant to the Medical Practice Act or an osteopathic physician and surgeon licensed by the Osteopathic Medical Board of California under the Osteopathic Act, but not a physician or surgeon working in a hospital emergency room) to provide a written or electronic notice of the Open Payments database to a patient at the initial office visit. The written or electronic notice shall contain the following text:

Continue Reading California Passes First State Law Requiring Physicians to Disclose Open Payments Database to Patients

On October 5, 2022, the Office of Inspector General (“OIG”) posted Advisory Opinion No. 22-19 (the “Opinion”), which limits the ability of pharmaceutical manufacturers to offer cost-sharing subsidies to Medicare Part D (“Part D”) beneficiaries via 501(c)(3) charities without running afoul of the Federal Anti-Kickback Statute (the “AKS”).

Continue Reading OIG Limits Pharmaceutical Manufacturers’ Ability to Offer Drug Cost-Sharing Subsidies

The United States’ recent False Claims Act (“FCA”) prosecution in United States v. Prometheus Group, et al., is a reminder that the government will use the FCA to target medical device manufacturers for off-label use of medical devices, even where healthcare providers have decided the use is safe and effective. In Prometheus Group, the government alleges that the defendant medical device manufacturer trained providers to re-use disposable rectal probes against U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) recommendations, causing the providers to submit false claims for payment to Medicare for the services mis-using the probes. The complaint alleges that Prometheus put vulnerable Medicare patients at risk to gain a marketing advantage by reducing overhead costs associated with its systems. The message to medical device manufacturers is clear: even without submitting claims to the government themselves, manufacturers can face FCA liability for suggesting providers use their devices in any way the FDA has not approved (and in this case, warned against).

Continue Reading The Government Seeks FCA Liability for Off-Label Use of Medical Devices

With a September 24, 2022 compliance date looming, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that will delay enforcement of its requirement to submit Unique Device Identifier (UDI) data for low-risk consumer health products. Consumer health products, as described in the FDA guidance, include class 1 devices that are typically sold directly to consumers, such as digital health products and consumables. The FDA guidance extends the compliance date for data submission from September 24, 2022 to December 8, 2022, giving manufacturers of consumer health products more time to prepare their submissions.

Continue Reading FDA Delays Enforcement of UDI Reporting Requirements for Consumer Health Products

On July 15, 2022, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued its final guidance on developing the content and format of patient Instructions for Use (IFU) for human prescription drug and biological products, as well as drug-led or biologic-led combination products submitted under a new drug application (NDA) or a biologics license application (BLA). The final guidance, issued over three years after the draft guidance, provides FDA’s expectations for the content and format of IFUs so that they are consistent across drug and biological products. The FDA’s final guidance does not modify its draft guidance in any major substantive way. Rather, as stated by the FDA, the final guidance merely includes “editorial changes to improve clarity.”

Continue Reading FDA Issues Final Guidance on Drug and Biological Instructions for Use (IFU)

On June 2, 2022, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Office of Prescription Drug Promotion (OPDP) issued an untitled letter [1] to Althera Pharmaceuticals, LLC (Althera) relating to promotional communication for ROSZET® (rosuvastatin and ezetimibe) tablets for oral use (Roszet). The promotional communication was a professional “Roszet Doctor Info Letter Size”. [2] This is the third untitled letter from OPDP this year. In January, OPDP sent an untitled letter to Eli Lilly & Company regarding promotional claims for TRULICITY® on social media. In March, OPDP sent an untitled letter—which we covered in our blog post here —to Bausch Health Companies for misleading statements for DUOBRII™ conveyed in a promotional video and healthcare professional website.

Continue Reading FDA Issues Untitled Letter to Althera Pharmaceuticals for Statements Relating to ROSZET®