Prescription and OTC Drugs

On February 16, the U. S. District Court for the District of Oregon struck down the state’s drug price transparency law—The Prescription Drug Price Transparency Act (the “Act”)[1]—ruling that the Act’s annual price increase reporting requirement is unconstitutional and, therefore, unenforceable.[2] Following the District Court’s decision, the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services (“DCBS” or the “Department”) issued a bulletin indefinitely suspending the annual price increase reporting requirement.[3] However, the Department confirmed its intent to appeal the District Court’s decision,[4] leaving the future of the reporting requirement relatively uncertain.Continue Reading Oregon Prescription Drug Price Transparency Act in Limbo

On January 18, 2024, the Office of Prescription Drug Promotion (OPDP) of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued its first untitled letter of the new year to Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation (Novartis) regarding a promotional, direct-to-consumer broadcast advertisement (TV Ad) for KISQALI® (ribociclib) tablets, for oral use, indicated for the treatment of adult patients with hormone receptor (HR)-positive, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-negative advanced or metastatic breast cancer in combination with:Continue Reading FDA’s Office of Prescription Drug Promotion Issues Its First Untitled Letter of the Year to Novartis for Misleading Statement Relating to KISQALI®

In one of the last guidances released in 2023, the Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) finalized guidance for direct-to-consumer (DTC) prescription drug advertisements, specifically advertisements in television and radio format (CCN Final Rule Guidance). The CCN Final Rule Guidance was released to advise small entities seeking to understand and comply with the standards established in the final rule, “Direct-to-Consumer Prescription Drug Advertisements: Presentation of the Major Statement in a Clear, Conspicuous, and Neutral Manner in Advertisements in Television and Radio Format” (CCN Final Rule).Continue Reading FDA Issues Final Rule and Guidance on Direct-To-Consumer Prescription Drug Advertisements

On September 19, 2023, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA” or “the Agency”) published a draft guidance, Regulatory Considerations for Prescription Drug Use-Related Software (the “Guidance”) which adds a piece to the ever-expanding puzzle that is FDA’s regulatory scheme for digital health products. The Guidance clarifies how FDA plans to apply its drug labeling regulations to software products that “supplement, explain, or otherwise textually relate to” the use of a prescription drug. As most of FDA’s recent regulatory activity with respect to medical software regulation has been in the device space, this Guidance represents a concerted focus by the Agency to unify its approach to digital health across all regulated categories (e.g., drugs, biologics, and devices).Continue Reading FDA Clarifies Labeling Expectations for Prescription Drug Use-Related Software

On August 11, 2023, the Office of Prescription Drug Promotion (OPDP) of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an untitled letter to Exeltis USA Inc. (Exeltis) regarding a promotional social media sponsored post for SLYND® (drospirenone) oral progestin tablets, indicated for use by females of reproductive potential to prevent pregnancy (Slynd).[1] The post appeared on Facebook,[2] and, in addition to being false and misleading, also was not submitted to OPDP at the time of publication as required by FDA regulations. This is only the second untitled letter from OPDP of the year, both of which have focused on false and misleading promotional messaging.Continue Reading FDA’s Office of Prescription Drug Promotion Issues Second Untitled Letter of the Year to Exeltis for Misleading Statements Relating to SLYND®

On July 13, 2023, the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) approved the first daily contraceptive for use without a prescription.[i] Opill® (norgestrel) tablet, .075 mg has been approved to prevent pregnancy in individuals of all ages and can be available for consumer purchase at pharmacies, grocery and convenience stores, and online.Continue Reading FDA Approves First Over-the-Counter Daily Oral Contraceptive

On May 31, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published a proposed rule to amend its regulations regarding prescription drug product labeling regulations.[1] Under the new rule, each time a prescription drug products is used, dispensed, or administered in an outpatient setting, the patient would receive a one-page “Patient Medication Information” (PMI) Medication Guide that highlights essential information regarding the use of the drug. If implemented, FDA believes this rule will consolidate the various forms of prescription information that are dispensed to patients and consequently alleviate confusion for manufacturers deciding what forms are needed with particular prescriptions. Overall, it appears that the FDA’s goals are twofold: (1) standardization of patient-facing prescription drug product labeling, and (2) to expand accessibility of essential safety and efficacy information relevant to such medications.Continue Reading FDA Issues Proposed Rule for Standardized and Accessible Patient Medication Information

On May 17, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (“FDA”) issued two important draft guidance documents, which clarify the agency’s approach to requirements and incentives in the realm of pediatric drug development — “Regulatory Considerations Guidance”[1] and “Scientific Considerations Guidance,”[2] respectively. These guidance documents replace FDA’s previous draft guidance on the subject,[3] issued in 2005, and clarify requirements and recommendations for brining pediatric drugs to market. FDA will be accepting public comment on the Regulatory Considerations Guidance and Scientific Considerations Guidance through July 17 of this year.[4]Continue Reading FDA Clarifies Approach to Pediatric Drug Development

On April 5, 2023, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) announced its decision to withdraw the approval of Makena® hydroxyprogesterone caproate injection (“Makena”) – a drug that was approved in 2011 to reduce the risk of preterm birth in certain pregnant women.[1] The final decision followed a hearing and appeal process that took nearly three years, and cited the failure of post-approval studies to prove the drug’s effectiveness as the reason for the withdrawal.[2] Continue Reading Withdrawal of Drug Approval Highlights Risk of Accelerated Approval Pathway

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