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Alert: Drug and Device Developers Should Be Aware of the Expanded Access Policy Requirement under the 21st Century Cures Act.

By Vicki G. Norton and Sandra Stoneman

Introduction
With Congress’s recent passage of the 21st Century Cures Act (the “Cures Act”) by an overwhelming majority, and President Obama’s anticipated signing of the bill, we expect that the Cures Act will soon become law. The Cures Act is intended to accelerate development and FDA approval of medical innovations such as cancer treatments, precision medicine and regenerative medicine.
The Cures Act also is designed to provide easier patient access to experimental therapies on a “compassionate use” or “expanded access” basis in response to patient demand for easier access to these therapies before they are FDA-approved. Companies engaged in clinical trials will need to adopt corporate expanded access policies and make them publicly available within the deadlines set by the Cures Act (described below).
If you have any questions about how to develop, implement or manage an expanded access policy or how any other aspect of the Cures Act will impact your company, please contact Vicki Norton, Sandra Stoneman, or any other member of the Duane Morris Life Sciences practice group. Continue reading Alert: Drug and Device Developers Should Be Aware of the Expanded Access Policy Requirement under the 21st Century Cures Act.

Expanding Access to Experimental Drugs

Drug and biologic developers have faced increasing pressure from patients and their advocates to make investigational drugs available for compassionate use prior to approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Over the past year social media campaigns have spotlighted patients seeking early access to potentially life-saving treatments, drawing attention to the growing debate between patient advocates promoting wider access to investigational drugs, and those urging more cautious approaches. Propelled by the plight of critically ill patients desperately seeking new treatments, several states have passed laws giving patients the “Right to Try” investigational drugs or biologics. FDA has also taken steps to make its “Expanded Access” process more user-friendly, and the Agency continues to solicit input from patient groups on risk-benefit analysis and available treatments as part of its Patient-Focused Drug Development Initiative.

Companies may want to monitor regulatory and legislative developments relating to early access to investigational treatments, and to adopt formal compassionate use policies.

Continue reading Expanding Access to Experimental Drugs