Today FDA has proposed updates to the Nutrition Facts label for foods. According to FDA, the goal of these proposed changes is not to dictate what consumers should or should not be eating, but rather to expand and highlight the information consumers need most to make well-informed choices regarding food. FDA will be accepting comments on the proposed updates for 90 days.… Continue Reading
As mentioned on our Health Industry Washington Watch blog, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced that it will hold a public hearing on March 25 and 26, 2014 to receive input on the current processes for reviewing over-the-counter (OTC) drugs. In the announcement, the FDA concedes that the current OTC drug review “needs … Continue Reading
Every time a pharmaceutical company labels a drug, imports it, exports it, markets it, or sells it to the U.S. government, the company must answer a complicated question: what is the "country of origin"? The correct answer may depend on what government agency is asking.… Continue Reading
On December 11, 2013, CMS released an advance notice of proposed rulemaking soliciting comments on specific practices for which civil monetary penalties may or may not be imposed for failure to comply with Medicare Secondary Payer reporting requirements. Among other issues, CMS is seeking comments and proposals on mechanisms and criteria that it would use to evaluate whether and when it would impose penalties for noncompliance with Medicare Secondary Payer reporting requirements.… Continue Reading
FDA has issued draft guidance designed to shed light on how drug companies should comply with FDA's postmarket submission requirements when interactive promotional media constantly changes. In laying out the criteria for how and when to submit interactive promotional media for postmarket review, FDA provides important insight into the type of social media promotion in which it is most interested.… Continue Reading
On November 14, 2011, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee held a hearing called "Medical Devices: Protecting Patients and Promoting Innovation." The hearing focused on the continued viability of a medical device clearance process that clears for market medical devices that are "substantially equivalent" devices to previously cleared devices (also known as the "510(k) process," in reference to the statutory provision governing this process). Class III medical devices not cleared through this process must undergo the more rigorous and time-consuming Premarket Approval process. Among the issues considered were whether the 510(k) process sufficiently evaluated the safety of devices when clinical data is not necessarily always considered or part of the submission; whether high-risk medical devices should always be considered for the 510(k) process; the user fees for medical device applications; strengthening post-approval monitoring requirements; and the resources and needs for the FDA and the Center of Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH) in reviewing, clearing and approving medical devices.… Continue Reading
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has recently updated the information on its website with respect to the Medicare, Medicaid, and SCHIP Extension Act of 2007 (MMSEA), Section 111 "Mandatory Insurer Reporting" requirements. The recent updates cover (1) a revised implementation timeline for certain liability insurance (including self-insurance) total payment obligation to claimant settlements, (2) revised guidance on claims involving exposure, ingestion, and implantation issues, (3) upcoming improvements to the Medicare Secondary Payer (MSP) program, (4) a new exception for certain settlements paid into a qualified settlement fund and (5) a new way for certain injured Medicare beneficiaries to satisfy their past and future MSP obligations.… Continue Reading
On Friday, October 7, 2011, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services ("CMS") and the Food and Drug Administration ("FDA") (collectively, the "Agencies") announced they were soliciting nominations from sponsors of medical devices to participate in the Agencies' parallel review pilot program. The Agencies officially published a Federal Register notice announcing the program October 11, 2011 (the "Notice"), with an effective date of November 10, 2011, although the Agencies began accepting nomination submissions October 7.… Continue Reading
The interest level in storing health records in digital format has grown rapidly with the lower cost and greater availability and reliability of interoperable storage mechanisms and devices. Health care providers like hospitals and health systems, physician practices, and health insurance companies are among those most likely to be considering a cloud-based solution for the storage of patient-related health information. While lower cost, ubiquitous 24/7 availability, and reliability are key drivers pushing health care providers and insurers to the cloud, a number of serious legal and regulatory issues should be considered before releasing sensitive patient data into the cloud. The issues are highlighted in the Health Care chapter of our Cloud Computing White Paper.… Continue Reading
Notably absent from last month's Department of Health and Human Services Semiannual Regulatory Agenda was any indication of where the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services ("CMS") and the Food and Drug Administration ("FDA") stand with respect to their notice with request for comments, issued last fall, on the proposed parallel review process for medical products. While CMS and FDA officials confirmed that they are currently reviewing comments submitted during the review period, they declined to speculate on when they intend to act. The comments submitted, however, provide insight into industry views on this important issue, including widespread discontent with the approval mechanisms currently available. We have undertaken a review of all of the comments submitted and extracted the eight main concerns cited in the following analysis.… Continue Reading
The Food and Drug Law Institute (FDLI) has an interesting upcoming conference on June 13-14 in Beijing, China that will address current legal, regulatory and economic issues regarding food, cosmetics, dietary supplements, pharmaceuticals and medical devices in China and the United States. Speakers are top government officials and internationally renowned experts who will discuss the issues in both countries.… Continue Reading
This post was also written by Paul Sheives. On October 24, 2009, President Obama signed a proclamation declaring the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic a National Emergency to facilitate the nations ability to respond to the H1N1 pandemic by enabling – if warranted – the waiver of certain statutory federal requirements for medical treatment facilities. This … Continue Reading
After just passing her eighth week as FDA Commissioner, Dr. Margaret Hamburg announced on August 6, 2009, six new enforcement procedures to a group of industry representatives, attorneys, consumers, and others attending a speech sponsored by the Food and Drug Law Institute in Washington, D.C.
"The FDA must be vigilant, the FDA must be strategic, the FDA must be quick, and the FDA must be visible," according to Commissioner Hamburg. She stated that vigilance means regular inspections and follow-up to ensure problems are resolved; identifying and resolving problems early; a "greater emphasis on significant risk and violations;" rapidly responding to egregious violations or violations that jeopardize public health; and using "meaningful penalties to send a strong message" to discourage future offenses. The Commissioner also said that the agency must be visible publicize its enforcement actions (and the rationale for those actions) widely and effectively. Commissioner Hamburg described six new policy changes to meet these goals.… Continue Reading
On July 1, 2009, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services ("CMS") proposed to relax its controversial position concerning physician supervision of hospital outpatient services. The hospital industry had recently been vocal in its objection to CMS's position, and the latest proposal signifies a potential important win for hospitals. If adopted, hospitals will be able to meet Medicare supervision requirements for outpatient services, without incurring some of the high costs necessary to ensure physician presence while those services are furnished.… Continue Reading
FDA has repeatedly stated over the past year that more enforcement activity in the promotional arena is likely. It appears that time has arrived. Half of FDA's Division for Drug Marketing, Advertising, and Communications' ("DDMAC") citations for misleading advertisements in 2008 were sent in September and October. The citations address typical misbranding issues such as failing to adequately disclose risks, overstating efficacy, broadening indications, and asserting unsubstantiated superiority claims. Whether these citations are the result of DDMAC's increased budget and new hires, or a continued interest by Congress and the Department of Justice over drug industry promotional issues, one thing appears clear: a new era of increased scrutiny is likely here.
A particularly interesting position that DDMAC has taken in a few of the September and October letters concerns descriptions of disorders and the consequences of failing to obtain treatment. For example, in five letters targeting drugs indicated to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder ("ADHD"), DDMAC cites marketing materials that list the difficulties and consequences of untreated ADHD (e.g., poor social-emotional development and job success, inability to complete schooling, illegal behaviors, contraction of sexually transmitted diseases, motor vehicle accidents, and physical injury). In each letter, DDMAC takes the position that listing such difficulties and consequences in association with an ADHD drug constitutes an implied claim that the drug will have a positive impact on these issues. If deemed an implied claim, DDMAC requires studies with endpoints that support each claim.
This is similar to DDMAC's position on quality-of-life ("QOL") claims, with health-related QOL claims requiring substantial supporting evidence in the form of adequate and well-controlled studies designed to specifically assess these outcomes.
While the need to have adequate studies to support claims is nothing new, drug manufacturers should remain cognizant of everything listed in marketing materials, including statements concerning the difficulties and consequences of untreated disorders, diseases, or conditions. Drug manufacturers wishing to include such statements must ensure that all implied claims arising from these general statements are supported by substantial evidence (i.e., adequate and well-controlled studies with endpoints targeting each implied claim/impact). Stated otherwise, drug manufacturers must design specific study endpoints to support a disease state description, or must carefully tailor disease state descriptions to pre-existing specific study endpoints.
The Oct. 13, 2008, Pink Sheet (www.thepinksheet.com) provides further detail about DDMAC's increased activity. DDMAC's 2008 warning letters can be accessed at http://www.fda.gov/cder/warn/warn2008.htm.… Continue Reading
On March 14, 2008, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) received approval from the U.S. State Department to place eight full-time, permanent FDA employees at U.S. diplomatic posts in the People’s Republic of China, pending authorization from the Chinese government. The FDA will also be hiring five local Chinese nationals to work with the … Continue Reading