pills As Prescribed

Pharmaceutical drug pricing and reimbursement remains a bipartisan focus as we draw closer to the November presidential elections, with politicians remaining steadfast in their efforts to turn up the heat on pharmaceutical manufacturers. Politicians and other groups from across the political spectrum have coalesced around a 40-year-old statute known as the Bayh-Dole Act—intended to facilitate the public’s beneficial use of patented inventions by securing intellectual property (IP) rights for inventors—and are seeking to transform the statute’s never-before-used “march-in” rights to influence the price of drug products.
FDA recently issued a revised draft guidance titled Promotional Labeling and Advertising Considerations for Prescription Biological Reference Products, Biosimilar Products, and Interchangeable Biosimilar Products. This guidance provides specific recommendations for all three classes of products—biologics approved under 351(a) of the Public Health Service Act (PHS Act), and biosimilar products and interchangeable biosimilar products approved under 351(k) of the PHS Act—with respect to meeting FDA’s general accuracy and truthful and non-misleading standards that are applied to advertising and promotion of prescription drug products generally.
The development of psychedelic drugs for medicinal uses has substantially expanded since 2020, as evidenced by an exponential growth in Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) production quotas for both psilocybin and psilocin. In 2024, these quotas grew to 20,000 g and 24,000 g, respectively, from just 30 g and 50 g in 2020.
Earlier this year, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published new draft guidance substantially revising the agency’s previous guidance on the Establishment and Operation of Clinical Trial Data Monitoring Committees (DMCs). Since the original guidance was published in 2006, the agency has noticed an uptick in not only DMC usage but also broader DMC functions. As DMC use has changed, the guidance provides detailed considerations for sponsors regarding a variety of areas, including when a DMC may be appropriate, the scope of DMC responsibilities, and how to properly set up a DMC.
2024 is shaping up to be a big year for prescription drug affordability boards (PDABs). Like state price transparency reporting laws, state legislation establishing PDABs continues expansion. In response to rising prescription costs and overall state-level health care spending, numerous states have established PDABs to review certain high-cost prescription drugs and determine if states should take action to reduce those prices.
Effective April 1, 2024, California will expand its existing prescription drug price transparency requirements by enacting legislation to amend and clarify requirements on wholesale acquisition cost increase reporting and notice submissions as well implement further processes for manufacturer penalty hearings.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued draft guidance, providing recommendations to sponsors who are considering submitting a non-interventional study (i.e., an observational study) to FDA to support the demonstration of substantial evidence of effectiveness and/or evidence of safety of a drug or biologic, as another chapter in its evolution toward the use of real-world evidence (RWE).
It is hard to believe that we are already in February and it has been a month since the 42nd Annual JP Morgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco wrapped. It was a packed four days in which the major players in the life sciences industry gathered to make deals, form relationships, and discuss upcoming trends for the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry.
The US Supreme Court recently debated the future of the legal precedent known as Chevron deference in two separate cases arising out of the National Marine Fisheries Service’s statutory interpretation of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, a statute it enforces. The decision in these cases will almost certainly have far-reaching impacts on agency actions, including as it is applied in the healthcare and life sciences industries.
The ball has dropped on the healthcare and life sciences industry’s unique New Year tradition, the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference, so all eyes turn to 2024. To help define a path forward, Morgan Lewis FDA and healthcare partners Jacqueline Berman, Rebecca Dandeker, Maarika Kimbrell, and Kathleen Sanzo have assembled an in-depth report on drug and biologic developments at the FDA.