Drugs & Devices
On October 03, 2023, the Biden administration announced indictments and sanctions against 28 individuals and entities, including China-based companies and their employees related to the trafficking of chemicals needed for the manufacturing of fentanyl. The sanctions aim to interrupt the global supply chain of fentanyl as the administration have increased their efforts on tackling the opioid epidemic. However, rising tensions in the U.S.-China relationship have delayed progress. On September 15, 2023, President Biden added China to the list of the world’s major illicit drug producing and drug transit countries. In response, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that the designation is a malicious smear against China. The Ministry further urged the U.S. to do things in ways that are conducive to cooperation with China, not otherwise. With growing international tensions and an epidemic still afoot, the U.S. faces a challenging uphill battle with fentanyl.
From October 2022 to January 2023, there was a nationwide Adderall shortage. This recent shortage is no surprise since the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced several Adderall shortages since 2019. Although the recent shortage has ended, researchers fear there will be more Adderall shortages in the coming year as prescribing rates continue to rise. More importantly, the recent shortage has made patients worried about future shortages and concerned about why the federal government has not done more to prevent drug shortages.
Juhi Desai Associate Editor Loyola University Chicago School of Law, JD 2024 As if the world has not had enough of its fair share of COVID-19-related matters, news regarding the virus has topped headlines once again. On August 26, 2022, Moderna, a pharmaceutical and biotechnology company, publicly announced it was filing two patent-infringement lawsuits against …
Janaki Padmakumar Associate Editor Loyola University Chicago School of Law, JD 2023 In one of the greatest fraud cases of the last decade, Elizabeth Holmes, founder and CEO of Theranos, was convicted of four federal fraud charges on January 4, 2022. Theranos was a private healthcare startup that claimed have invented a novel blood testing …
On February 23, 2022, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published a proposed regulation to amend current manufacturing practice requirements of the Quality System Regulation (QSR) (21 CFR Part 820). The FDA first announced such harmonization in 2018, however COVID-19 delayed the proposal. The FDA seeks to align Part 820 more closely with the international specific standard for medical device quality management systems set out by the International Organization for Standardizations (ISO) 13485. According to the FDA, such “harmonization should provide patients more efficient access to necessary devices, leading to improvements of life quality of the consumers.” Part 820 is part of the current mandatory regulations that ensure that all medical devices created and developed within the US market are safe. ISO 13485 is the international standard for a quality management system for medical devices required by certain countries. Therefore, any manufacturer that sells outside the US will likely need to be ISO 13485 certified. With the implementation of this new amendment, manufacturers would be able to assure their products are regulatorily compliant in both the US and international markets.
As my colleague at Inside Compliance discussed here in September, the FDA approved Aducanumab for the treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease on June 7, 2021. Aducanumab, marketed as Aduhelm, is intended to reduce beta-amyloid levels. This compound is responsible for forming a “plaque” which inhibits neuron function and eventually triggers neuronal apoptosis (death of neurons). Now, a recent decision by CMS on insurance reimbursement for aducanumab has increased the compliance responsibilities of providers.
Price Control Legislation for Generic Drugs – A Delaware Case Study Andrew Thompson Associate Editor Loyola University Chicago School of Law, JD 2023 Earlier, I wrote here about how American drug prices are approximately 256 to 344 percent higher than prices in OCED member markets. Federal legislators confronting patent extensions, pay-for-delay agreements, and other tools …
Recently, whistleblower Frances Haugen testified before a Senate subcommittee that Facebook has been deliberately putting its own profits before users’ safety. As Facebook’s former product manager for civic misinformation, Haugen calls for federal regulation of social media platforms and asserts that Facebook will not solve what she calls a “crisis” of deliberately ignoring users’ wellbeing for the sake of its own profits without Congress’s help. She points to tobacco, automobiles, and opioids, stating that when it became clear that those products were harming people, the government took action.
Recently, pharmaceutical companies are gaining increased notoriety for violations of the False Claims Act, the Anti-Kickback Statute, and general fraudulent practices directed toward physicians and medical care providers with the intent to increase profits. In 2019, Avanir Pharmaceuticals settled with the Department of Justice to pay more than $108 million of criminal penalties and civil damages for engaging in kickbacks with physicians, and misleading marketing of their drug Nudexta for unapproved purposes. Then, in May of 2021, Incyte Corp., a Delaware-based pharmaceutical manufacturer agreed to pay $12.6 million for unspecified damages arising under a violation of the Federal False Claims Act for improperly using an independent foundation to cover copays of individuals consuming Incyte’s cancer drug, Jakafi. Despite widespread prosecutions against pharmaceutical drug manufacturers, and the fraud deterrent provisions of the False Claims Act, the risk of fraud and remuneration still runs high in relationships between healthcare professionals and pharmaceutical companies.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has partnered with the Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to address the high cost of prescription drugs. While the FDA possesses the authority to approve generic, lower cost drugs, the USPTO has an important and symbiotic role in bringing affordable drugs to market by blocking anti-competitive patent extensions. FDA-USPTO collaboration has gained congressional support and is the subject of key pieces of new legislation.