We sit on the cusp of August – the month when America goes on vacation. Everything will slow down, rush hour will be less rushed, lawns will need less cutting and in our sights is Labor Day which brings the laziness of the season to an abrupt end.
But before that happens, let’s examine a few things from the week that might be of interest:
- Link to Webinar on FDA and Social Media – On July 17 I gave a Webinar entitled “In More Than 140 Characters: FDA’s Social Media Guidance Past, Present and Future” to which there was a large turnout, but also some folks who had signed up and could not make it. For those, and for others who may have wanted to sign up but had a conflict, here is a link to a playback of the Webinar. To those of you who came, thanks for joining me!
- FDA Approves Oxycodone with Abuse Deterrent – In a long-standing effort to create circumstances that make needed pain medication available that does not feed abuse as well, FDA this week announced approval of an oxycodone product that has abuse deterrent properties. The product is an extended release/long-acting opioid analgesic called Targiniq ER and works by including naloxone so that when the tablet is crushed in any way for use, the naloxone blocs the euphoric effects being sought. This does not preclude its abuse when taken orally. The product is indicated to treat pain that requires daily, around-the-clock, long-term opioid treatment for which alternatives are inadequate and is not indicated for as-needed pain relief. It is the second approval for extended release/long acting product approved since the agency’s 2013 draft guidance on Abuse-Deterent Opioids.
- US and Mexico Sign Statement of Intent on Produce Safety – For those who remember the 2008 Tomato scare when tons of tomatoes from Mexico were destroyed in the belief that they were connected to an outbreak of salmonella – well there was a lot of criticism to go around. This week FDA announced that FDA Commissioner Hamburg met this week with Mexican counterparts to discuss ways to strengthen cooperation in support of produce safety. The news release outlines several areas of cooperation meant to put into place preventive practices which appeared more to be aims and goals than actual policies and procedures – an observation seemingly affirmed by the posting on FDA’s blog about the two-page statement of intent between the two countries.
It is a beautiful day here in Washington, D.C. and I hope that it is for you wherever you are as well. Have a wonderful weekend.
Well, the “poor man’s polar vortex blew through and frankly, while it did make life overall more bearable. But the dogs, the lawn and the flowers all seem happier so that makes it ok by me. I also had my Webinar this week and will be posting a link to a live replay for those who may have been interested and could not make it. Hopefully I will have that by Monday.
In the meantime, here is a bit of what happened this week that was newsworthy:
- Non-OPDP Warning Letter Issued Involving Social Media – Warning letters come from more places than the Office of Prescription Drug Promotion (OPDP) – an office which this year has issued only 5, the lowest rate in two decades – and many more are issued by FDA itself. One such letter involved social media – as happens from time to time. There are two primary sources for understanding FDA’s evolving point of view regarding practices related to social media – one is guidances which despite the recent flurry – have been not very forthcoming over the years – and the other is through warning letters, both from OPDP and from FDA. This particular warning letter came out in June. It is notable to the issue of firm responsibility for content – one of the 5 areas explored during the November 2009 FDA hearing on the Internet, Social Media and promotion. Here this non-OPDP letter cited a number of issues associated with therapeutic claims the company made on its website, Facebook page and Twitter page. But the thing to draw your attention to is the fact that the company “liked” testimonial comments for uses for their products which were not FDA-sanctioned, demonstrating an example of when a company can be held responsible for third party generated content.
- FDA’s “OpenFDA” Provides Access to Recall Data – FDA’s blog FDAVoice carried a posting this week that announced that the agency is opening up access to information regarding recalls and enforcement reports. Apparently at present the agency provided different ways to access information on recalls, including the RSS feed, but is now providing a new Application Programming Interface (API) that provides comprehensive access to the agency’s entire enforcement archive. There is a learning curve associated with its use, but it is interesting and covers prescription drugs, OTC products and more.
- A Followup to the Smallpox Vials Issue – Earlier in the month it was reported that some leftover smallpox vials had been discovered dating apparently from the 1950′s in FDA facilities that had been transferred to the agency from NIH in 1972. This week FDA provided an update on the situation, including the numbers of vials discovered and the fact that agents other than smallpox were included in the discovery as well as a statement on steps moving forward.
- Dr. Woodcock Testifies on Modernizing Clinical Trials – This actually happened last week but the posting was not immediate – last week Dr. Janet Woodcock, the director of CDER, provided testimony before the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Health entitled “21st Century Cures: Modernizing Clinical Trials and Incorporating the Patient Perspective” and it is worth the read on many fronts, including giving you a good idea of the rate of approvals in different markets around the world and the current state of approvals, among other things.
That’s it for me this week folks. Have a wonderful summer weekend.
As we head into the weekend after a busy week, with at least part of the country being informed about significantly cooler temperatures for next week being termed the “poor man’s polar vortex” of the summer – news, if not the name, that is most welcome – here are a few of the things that happened or will happen that are worth noting:
- FDA Holds Webinar on Recent Social Media Guidances -FDA scheduled a Webinar that was held on July 10 for interested parties regarding the publication of the two most recent draft guidances related to industry use of social media. There was keen interest in the Webinar. Here is a link to the slides that were presented. In addition, FDA has created a Web page for industry using social media. Finally, if you would like to hear more on this topic – and hear about it from a communications perspective – I will be holding a Webinar on July 17 at noon. It is my intent to review where we are with social media regulation overall – including the two most recent guidances. I will also raise some implications that became apparent during the agency’s presentation. You can register for it here.
- Consent Decree with Dietary Supplement Manufacturer - Shedding light on the enforcement process here, FDA this week announced that it had entered into a consent decree with a dietary manufacturer in New York. The agency issued a Warning Letter regarding violations of current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) in November 2012 that FDA said went unaddressed. The consent decree terms include the recall and destruction of all dietary supplements manufactured by the company since February 6, 2012 under FDA’s supervision and, of course, to bring manufacturing practices into compliance with cGMP.
- Cellular, Tissues and Gene Therapies Advisory Committee Vacancy – The agency published notice this week that it was seeking nominations for a non-voting industry representative for this important advisory committee. The agency is also soliciting industry organizations interested in participating in the selection. This committee reviews information around human cells, tissues, gene transfer therapies and xenotransplantation products, among other things. The notice has instructions for anyone wishing to nominate or self-nominate.
Optimistically off to find my summer sweaters. Have a good weekend everyone.