On Monday September 26, the Department of Justice announced a settlement resolving a lawsuit filed by former employee Michael Bawduniak (the “Plaintiff”) against Biogen Inc. (the “Company”) under the qui tam provisions of the federal False Claims Act.Continue Reading Biogen Settlement Summary
On May 5, 2021, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a much-anticipated report, “Resiliency Roadmap for FDA Inspectional Oversight,” which provides a roadmap for the agency’s post-pandemic plans to return to a consistent state of inspection operations. For the near term, FDA reports that it will continue to prioritize critical inspections of both domestic and foreign facilities, including preapproval inspections for priority products and inspections in reaction to recalls or other safety issues. For the long term, the agency likely will employ the remote monitoring strategies it has implemented during the pandemic and expand its remote data collection capabilities to preserve resources and curb in-person inspections.
Continue Reading FDA Proposes Risk-Based and Remote Inspection Strategies in New Report
On Wednesday, April 14, 2021, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published a long-awaited final guidance document explaining its policy for conducting remote “evaluations” during COVID-19. According to the guidance, FDA will request and conduct voluntary remote evaluations at (1) facilities where drugs and biologics are manufactured, processed, packed, or held; (2) facilities covered under the bioresearch monitoring (BIMO) program; and (3) outsourcing facilities registered under section 503B of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA). The evaluations do not replace in-person inspections, and FDA Form 483s will not be issued as a result of the inspection, but the results could be used to support regulatory actions, such as approving a pending product application.
Continue Reading Breaking Down FDA’s New Remote Monitoring Strategy
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 Federal Circuit Revolutionizes Country of Origin Analysis for Pharmaceuticals
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 Year in Review: A Shifting Regulatory Landscape
Modern innovation typically occurs one step-improvement at a time. Some clients initially question whether their new application of an existing technology is patentable. Usually, the answer is ‘yes.’ Under U.S. law (and most other jurisdictions), an innovation to an existing technology is patentable so long as at least one claim limitation is novel and non-obvious. See 35 U.S.C. §§ 102 and 103. Thus, innovative step-improvements to, and new applications of, existing technology may be patentable. Moreover, these step-improvements may prove lucrative, particularly when the underlying technology has entered the public domain, e.g., due to the expiration of the original patents. This concept is illustrated time and time again in the pharmaceutical industry where companies therein typically pursue competitive advantages by attempting to extend the patentable life of key technologies. One recent story illustrating this point was amplified in recent news when the FDA cleared a new pill produced by Aprecia Pharmaceuticals—the first pill of its kind produced using patented 3D printing technology.
Continue Reading Extending the Patentable Life of 3D Printers: A Lesson From the Pharmaceutical Industry