YOUR GO-TO SOURCE FOR ANALYSIS OF ISSUES AFFECTING THE PHARMA & BIOTECH SECTORS

In FDA’s latest Director’s Corner podcast, Dr. Janet Woodcock, director of the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER or Center), reflects on the Center’s accomplishments of the past year and priorities for 2019. As expected, parts of CDER were affected by the government shutdown, which has caused a delay in the development of some of the Center’s policy activities and accomplishments to start the year. However, despite the delay, Dr. Woodcock provided updates on several initiatives coming up in 2019. Below is a summary of the major initiatives to expect in 2019. Overall, it looks like CDER is gearing up for a busy and productive year. Industry stakeholders should be on the lookout for many new developments coming out of the Center.

The proposed Over-the-Counter Monograph Safety, Innovation, and Reform Act of 2018 could become law in the near future as the Congressional Budget Office reported that the legislation would not increase the budget deficit. The proposed bill would change the oversight of the commercial marketing of OTC drugs by the FDA and authorize the collection and spending of user fees to cover the cost of expediting FDA’s administrative procedures related to OTC products. Both the Senate and the House have proposed versions of the bill that are largely similar with variances mostly in the length of exclusivity. Therefore, manufacturers can reasonably rely on the major provisions of the bill that are not likely to change.  Manufacturers can start preparing for the proposed revisions by organizing their current OTC product portfolios according to the ingredients’ current monograph status and identifying any ingredients that may be at risk for more immediate FDA action that could impact their regulatory marketing status. 

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President Donald Trump announced that, as of September 24, 2018, additional tariffs of 10% were imposed on hundreds of chemical ingredients, many of which are used in the manufacturing of dietary supplements, cosmetics, and over-the-counter (OTC) drug products. Manufacturers have had to develop contingency plans and strategies for dealing with the imposition of these tariffs. Such contingency plans may include renegotiating supplier contracts; re-sourcing the ingredients; and notifying distributors and customers of disruptions, delays, or price changes. A rise in the tariff rate to 25% for these products, scheduled for January 1, 2019, has been delayed pending current negotiations with China, and during this period no exclusion requests on particular products are being accepted by the Office of the US Trade Representative.

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