Data integrity means complete, consistent and accurate recording of data. This requires an original or true copy of contemporaneously recorded data that is attributable to a specific individual and is legible and accurate. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) considers data integrity to be critical throughout the current good manufacturing practice (CGMP) to ensure product quality and public safety. In response to an increased number of data integrity violations, which have led to warning letters, import alerts and consent decrees, the FDA published a draft guidance on Data Integrity and Compliance with CGMP on April 14, 2016. After considering comments to the draft guidance, the FDA has now issued its Final Guidance on Data Integrity and Compliance with Drug CGMP on December 12, 2018. The Final Guidance is in a Q&A format and provides detailed instructions to the industry that reflects the FDA’s current thinking on data integrity.
In early 2018, the U.S. Department of Justice announced a new policy encouraging prosecutors handling False Claims Act (FCA) cases to seek dismissal of qui tam complaints that threaten the government’s interests. However, it was unclear how and to what extent prosecutors would carry out that directive. Now a year later, federal prosecutors appear to be embracing the new policy—and it is already having an effect on one case involving a drug manufacturer.
The January 2018 Granston memorandum outlined the Department’s new approach to handling FCA prosecutions in “in light of the government’s limited resources.” Under the new policy, prosecutors are encouraged to move to dismiss qui tam claims as a way to “advance the government’s interests, preserve limited resources, and avoid adverse precedent.” This marked a departure from the Department’s previous policy of rarely exercising its statutory authority to dismiss such claims. To guide prosecutors, the memorandum offered a nonexhaustive list of factors as to when a motion to dismiss a qui tam claim is proper. Those factors include: (1) “curbing meritless qui tams”; (2) “preventing parasitic or opportunistic qui tam actions”; (3) “preventing interference with agency policies and programs”; (4) “controlling litigation brought on behalf of the United States”; (5) “safeguarding classified information and national security interests”; (6) “preserving government resources”; and (7) “addressing egregious procedural errors.” Overall, the memorandum instructed prosecutors to seek dismissal when the litigation does not serve the government’s interests.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently published its final Guidance for Industry detailing circumstances that would constitute interference with a drug inspection under the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act (FDASIA), signed into law on July 9, 2012.
Prior to the passage of the FDASIA, sections 301(e) and 301(f) of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) prohibited drug facilities from denying FDA: (1) entry or the opportunity for inspection or; (2) refusing access to or the opportunity to copy specific records. Section 707 of the FDASIA extends this prohibition, through section 501(j) of the FD&C Act, by deeming a drug adulterated if ” … it has been manufactured, processed, packed, or held in any factory, warehouse, or establishment and the owner, operator, or agent of such factory, warehouse, or establishment delays, denies, or limits an inspection, or refuses to permit entry or inspection.” This provision extends to “any factory, warehouse, or establishment in which … drugs … are manufactured, processed, packed, or held, for introduction into interstate commerce or after such introduction, or to enter any vehicle being used to transport or hold such … drugs … in interstate commerce.” FDASIA also adds section 704(a)(4) to the FD&C Act, allowing FDA to “request, in advance of or in lieu of an inspection, within a reasonable timeframe, within reasonable limits, and in a reasonable manner, records or information that FDA may inspect under section 704(a).”
To read the full text of this Alert, please visit the Duane Morris website.