FDA Revises Policies and Procedures for Prioritization of ANDAs in New MAPP

On January 30, 2020, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) issued a new Manual of Policies & Procedures (MAPP) concerning how it will prioritize internal review of abbreviated new drug applications (ANDAs), amendments and supplements.

Whether a submission qualifies for priority designation can mean a substantial difference in approval time. As the FDA explains, it “may grant an ANDA submission either a shorter review goal date or an expedited review” if the submission satisfies a public health priority (or prioritization factor) described in the MAPP.

View the full Alert on the Duane Morris LLP website.

Sandra Stoneman named to U.S. News/Best Lawyers “The Best Lawyers in America” 2020 in Life Sciences

Congratulations to our colleague and corporate partner, Sandra Stoneman, who was recently selected by her peers for inclusion in U.S. News/Best Lawyers “The Best Lawyers in America” 2020 in the field of Biotechnology and Life Sciences. Sandra serves as a team lead for the Duane Morris Life Sciences and Medical Technologies industry group.

 

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FDA Identifies Medical Devices and Systems Exempt From Premarket Notification Requirements

Before a medical device is brought to market, the FDA requires a premarket submission. For low risk devices, that submission is often via a 510(k), demonstrating that the device is at least as safe and effective as (substantially equivalent to) an already legally marketed device that is not subject to premarket approval.

As of December 30, 2019, certain Class I and Class II medical devices and systems that previously required a 510(k) submission are now, based on certain criteria detailed in the FDA’s rule, exempt from that requirement. The regulatory adjustment will mean that the dozens of medical devices and test systems identified will no longer have to comply with the premarket clearance, subject to certain conditions.

For example, among the impacted items are numerous drug detection systems, such as amphetamine test systems, barbiturate test systems, benzodiazepine test systems, codeine test systems, and methamphetamine test systems, all of which are exempt unless they are intended for any other use than employment, insurance, or federal drug testing programs. The new rule also affects other categories of devices and tests, such as unscented menstrual pads, assisted reproduction accessories and microtools, and breath-alcohol test systems.

Spate of FDA and FTC Warning Letters Sets Stage for Wave of False Advertising Consumer Class Action Lawsuits

Since the 2018 Farm Bill passed in December 2018, removing hemp from the Controlled Substances Act and thus legalizing it under federal law, consumer goods containing the hemp-derivative cannabidiol (CBD) have become exceptionally popular. With that growing popularity among consumers has come increased scrutiny by federal regulators whose mission is consumer safety and protection, such as the Food and Drug Administration and Federal Trade Commission, and now by the plaintiffs’ bar, which files consumer class actions based on advertising. As the recent spate of warning letters and consumer class actions demonstrate, hemp-derived CBD product manufacturers and others in the supply chain for those products have to be mindful of the claims they make to consumers about their products.

View the full Alert on the Duane Morris LLP website.

With a Flurry of Warning Letters and a Consumer Update, FDA Signals Commitment to CBD Enforcement Policy

On November 25, 2019, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it had issued warning letters to 15 U.S. businesses engaged in the sale of products containing cannabidiol (CBD); that it had published a revised Consumer Update detailing safety concerns about CBD products; and that it “cannot conclude that CBD is generally recognized as safe (GRAS)” for use in human or animal food. These actions and statements by FDA cut against industrywide hopes that FDA might soon realign its enforcement policy in light of market realities.

View the full Alert on the Duane Morris LLP website.

FDA’s Bark May Be Worse Than Its Bite: Revised Guidance Permits Certain Compounding of Animal Drugs from Bulk Drug Substances

On November 19, 2019, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released revised guidance concerning the compounding of animal drugs from bulk drug substances—in particular, the circumstances under which the FDA would not plan to take enforcement action for certain violations of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA) when pharmacists and veterinarians compound or oversee the compounding of animal drugs from bulk drug substances. The guidance is intended to replace a withdrawn draft guidance concerning the compounding of animal drugs initially released in May 2015.

View the full Alert on the Duane Morris LLP website.

In a Regulatory “One-Two,” FDA Modifies Terms of Oversight Concerning Homeopathic Drugs

Late last week, the FDA—in denying a citizen petition and issuing two Federal Register notices—modified published guidance on the manufacture and distribution of homeopathic drugs and declined to convert a current policy guide (CPG) provision into an official regulation. Importantly, the FDA cautioned industry participants and consumers alike that its CPG withdrawal “does not represent a change in the legal obligations that apply to homeopathic drugs”; rather, the CPG—issued in 1988—merely no longer reflects the “current thinking” of the FDA, as it is inconsistent with the agency’s “risk-based approach to enforcement generally.”

View the full Alert on the Duane Morris LLP website.

FDA Proposes Labeling Recommendations for Complications Linked to Breast Implants

On October 24, 2019, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced new draft guidance entitled “Breast Implants—Certain Labeling Recommendations to Improve Patient Communication.” The draft guidance “contains recommendations concerning the content and format for certain labeling information for saline and silicone gel-filled breast implants.”

In its announcement, FDA noted that it has received “new information pertaining to risks associated with breast implants, including breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma” and additional illnesses attributed to breast implants. Complications related to breast implants have been widely reported over the last year, with other symptoms, including increased presence of autoimmune disease in women who have received breast implants, as well as muscle and joint pain, fatigue and weakness, and certain cognitive difficulties. These proposed labeling requirements also follow FDA warnings issued to two implant manufacturers who had failed to carry out adequate postmarket surveillance of the implants as a condition of their approval, as well as an FDA request that another manufacturer recall certain textured breast implant products.

View the full Alert on the Duane Morris LLP website.

Federal Agencies Issue Draft Guidance for Drug Master Files for First Time in 30 Years

For the first time since September 1989, federal agencies have issued draft guidance concerning drug master files (DMFs), submissions to the FDA that may be used to provide confidential, detailed information concerning the manufacturing, processing, packaging and storing of human drug products. Notably, the release of this draft guidance comes on the heels of a recent executive order by President Trump aiming to curb the use of agency guidance documents to avoid the formal rule-making process.

View the full Alert on the Duane Morris LLP website.

Discovery Ruling in District of Minnesota May Have Far-Reaching Implications for FCA Defendants

In a concise, six-page discovery order, a federal judge in Minneapolis may have just started the proverbial shifting of tectonic plates undergirding routine defense procedures in False Claims Act (FCA) litigation by requiring a defendant in an FCA lawsuit to produce the information provided to the Department of Justice (DOJ) during the DOJ’s process of determining whether to pursue the matter.

The FCA creates liability for persons or entities found to have knowingly submitted false claims to the government or having caused others to do so. Like some other federal laws, the FCA creates a private right of action; under the act, a private party—a whistleblower or “relator”—may bring a qui tam action on behalf of the government. When initially filed, the court seals the complaint pending the government’s investigation of the case. If the government chooses, it may intervene and pursue the matter. If not, the relator may pursue the case on its own. (In either case, the relator is entitled to a percentage of the government’s recovery.)

View the full Alert on the Duane Morris LLP website.