FDA tackles drug competition to improve patient access

FDAToday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is taking two new, important steps to increase competition in the market for prescription drugs and facilitate entry of lower-cost alternatives. The agency published a list of off-patent, off-exclusivity branded drugs without approved generics, and also implemented, for the first time, a new policy to expedite the review of generic drug applications where competition is limited.

These actions are among the first taken under the agency’s Drug Competition Action Plan, announced by FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb in late May.

"No patient should be priced out of the medicines they need, and as an agency dedicated to promoting public health, we must do our part to help patients get access to the treatments they require," said FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D. "Getting safe and effective generic products to market in an efficient way, being risk-based in our own work and making sure our rules aren’t used to create obstacles to new competition can all help make sure that patients have access to more lower-cost options."

To encourage generic drug development, the FDA posted a list of branded drugs that have no listed patents or exclusivities and for which the agency has yet to approve a generic drug application (known as an Abbreviated New Drug Application or ANDA). The agency also intends to expedite the review of any generic drug application for a product on this list to ensure that they come to market as expeditiously as possible. The FDA will continue to refine and update the list periodically to ensure continued transparency around drug categories where increased competition has the potential to provide significant benefit to patients.

The FDA is also announcing a change to its policy on how the agency prioritizes its review of generic drug applications. The FDA will expedite the review of generic drug applications until there are three approved generics for a given drug product. The agency is revising the policy based on data that indicate that consumers see significant price reductions when there are multiple FDA-approved generics available.

These actions follow closely the FDA's announcement of a public meeting to be held on July 18, 2017, to solicit input on places where the FDA's rules - including the standards and procedures related to generic drug approvals - are being used in ways that may create obstacles to generic access, instead of ensuring the vigorous competition Congress intended.

"I am committed to continuing to pursue additional policy steps, under the FDA's current authority, to help reduce the burden on patients who have a difficult time paying for the medicines they need," continued Commissioner Gottlieb.

These are the first of a series of steps the agency intends to take to help tackle this important issue. The agency will unveil additional aspects of this plan in the near future and will continue to communicate with the public as additional elements of this plan are implemented.

These actions reflect the administration’s broader work to improve access to prescription drugs.

The FDA, an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, promotes and protects the public health by, among other things, assuring the safety, effectiveness, and security of human and veterinary drugs, vaccines and other biological products for human use, and medical devices. The agency also is responsible for the safety and security of our nation’s food supply, cosmetics, dietary supplements, products that give off electronic radiation, and for regulating tobacco products.

Most Popular Now

Pre-clinical success for a universal flu vaccine o…

Researchers from the University of Oxford's Department of Zoology have demonstrated pre-clinical success for a universal flu vaccine in a new paper published in Nature Co...

Imfinzi is the first immunotherapy to demonstrate …

AstraZeneca and MedImmune, its global biologics research and development arm, have presented data on overall survival (OS) in the Phase III PACIFIC trial of Imfinzi durin...

Global survey reveals that physicians need more in…

Results from a new global survey revealed that more than one-third (36%) of the 310 physicians surveyed do not think they have sufficient information required to make inf...

Sandoz Healthcare Access Challenge #SandozHACk ret…

Sandoz, the Novartis generics and biosimilars division, today announces the launch of the second Sandoz Healthcare Access Challenge (HACk). The #SandozHACk is a global co...

In clinical trials, new antibody therapy controls …

Thanks to improvements in antiretroviral therapy, HIV is now a manageable condition. Yet even the best drugs do not entirely eliminate the virus, which latently lingers i...

The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2018 was…

Cancer kills millions of people every year and is one of humanity's greatest health challenges. By stimulating the inherent ability of our immune system to attack tumor c...

Novartis licenses three novel anti-infective progr…

Novartis announced today that it has entered into a licensing and equity agreement with Boston Pharmaceuticals for the development of three novel anti-infective drug cand...

Pfizer to award more than $3 million in grants to …

Pfizer Inc. today announced the recipients of the Advancing Science through Pfizer Investigator Research Exchange (ASPIRE) Breast Cancer Research Awards. Four grants tota...

FDA approves first treatment for advanced form of …

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Libtayo (cemiplimab-rwlc) injection for intravenous use for the treatment of patients with metastatic cutaneous squam...

DNA islands effective as 'anti-bacterial drones'

Genomic "islands" that evolved from viruses can be converted into "drones" that disable Staphylococcus aureus, bacteria that are often resistant to antibiotics and pose a...

FDA awards 12 grants to fund new clinical trials t…

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today announced that it has awarded 12 new clinical trial research grants totaling more than $18 million over the next four years to...

Addressing social and cultural drivers of type 2 d…

New research shows healthcare services and public health strategies aimed at reducing the burden of type 2 diabetes may prove ineffective, unless they address social and ...