The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic (FDC) Act of 1938 requires pharmaceutical drugs to provide evidence of their safety before they are allowed on the market. As such, pharmaceutical companies submit applications to the Federal Drug Administration for approval. There are situations, however, in which patients seek to receive access to a particular pharmaceutical drug before the FDA approval process is complete. This blog will explore the various pathways to pre-approval access in addition to recent legislation and legal considerations for such pathways, in addition to the principles and common obstacles that pharmaceutical companies face within such pathways.
This past spring the world locked down. Stores were closed, everyone was required to work from home, and masks became the latest fashion trend. This shift occurred because a virus, Covid-19, began making its way around the world. It has been about 4 months since our society locked down for the protection of its people and while it is slowly opening back up there are fears that without a vaccine or cure for Covid-19 it is going to keep spreading and we are going to have to remained locked down. Many pharmaceutical companies are working night and day to create a vaccine that can be widely distributed to help stop the spread of Covid-19. A drug that is for humans needs to be tested on humans to ensure it works before it can be approved and sold.
The Common Rule, the Federal policy protecting human subjects of biomedical and behavioral research, was published in 1991. The process to update the policy has taken place over the last several years, leading to the final rule revisions which were effective as of July 19, 2018. After January 20, 2019, institutions are now permitted to implement the entirety of the revised Common Rule. Any institution receiving funds, supervision, or review from any of the twenty Federal Departments and Agencies that have codified the Common Rule must implement this revised rule in their compliance programs.