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Grant Castle practices in the areas of life sciences regulatory law, with an emphasis on pharmaceutical and medical device regulation. His advice on general regulatory matters includes: adverse event and other reporting obligations, manufacturing controls, labeling and promotion, and product life cycle management. He has also advised extensively on EC and national laws governing clinical research, data protection, and the regulatory status of borderline products. He has developed considerable expertise in coordinating regulatory projects covering jurisdictions outside of Europe, including Canada, South America, Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union, Africa, the Near East, Japan, and Australia. His transactional work includes advice on regulatory aspects of mergers and acquisitions, licensing, and collaborative arrangements.

On 20 March 2020, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) published Guidance on the Management of Clinical Trials during the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic (the Guidance).  The EMA jointly developed the Guidance with working groups from the European Commission and the national Heads of Medicines Agency (HMA).

The Guidance provides information on changes and protocol deviations that

NHS England has recently published draft proposals on how it plans to approach doing commercial deals with pharmaceutical companies for branded medicines. This draft “Commercial Framework” is now open for comment and consultation (stakeholders can submit their views here). The consultation period ends on 10 January 2020, with Commercial Framework expected to be finalized

French “anti-gift” rules strictly regulate the relationship between the life sciences industry and healthcare professionals (“HCP”) and the possibility for companies active in the health sector to offer benefits, in cash or in kind to healthcare professionals, medical students or associations representing them.  This includes a general prohibition against offering such benefits.

To strengthen the

On 21 February 2019, the European Commission wrote to the European Medicines Agency (“EMA”) and the Heads of Medicines Agencies of the EU-27 Member States concerning the acceptability of UK batch testing after Brexit (see the letter here).  The letter seeks to address concerns that a number of pharmaceutical companies will not have been

Raj Gathani, a Trainee Solicitor in Covington’s London office, contributed to this post.

On 1 September 2015 the General Court issued an interim order in favour of Pari Pharma GmbH (“Pari”) to suspend the European Medicines Agency’s (“EMA”) decision to grant a third-party, Novartis Europharm Ltd (“Novartis”), access to certain documents prepared during the Marketing Authorisation (“MA”) application process (the “MA Documents”).  The MA Documents at issue included EMA Assessment Reports on similarity and superiority between Pari’s product (Vantobra) and Novartis’ product (TOBI Podhaler), which has an EU MA as an orphan medicine.  Novartis made the request to the EMA for access to the MA Documents under the Transparency Regulation 1049/2001.  The main case is currently pending before the General Court (Case T-235/15).

The thrust of Pari’s argument before the General Court was that the MA Documents contain Pari’s regulatory strategy for obtaining MA approval, disclosure of which might cause Pari serious and irreparable financial damage.  The President of the General Court acknowledged that the case raised complex issues in the area of confidentiality and stated that the main proceedings (rather than an interim hearing) is the appropriate forum to address such issues..  As such the President considered that the MA Documents fell under a presumption of confidentiality  and ordered the EMA not to disclose the MA Documents.
Continue Reading General Court Makes Interim Order to Protect Confidentiality in Pari Pharma Transparency Case

By Colin Warriner

Since 1 July 2015, anyone in the UK selling medicines online to the general public must be registered with the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), and be on the MHRA’s list of UK registered online retail sellers.  In addition, those retailers now need to display, on every relevant page of their websites, the new EU common logo, which will hyperlink directly to the MHRA’s list of registered online sellers.  The MHRA has issued guidance on registration and the use of the logo.


Continue Reading Mandatory registration and logo for UK online sales of medicines

Originally published as Covington E-Alert on September 26, 2012

Today the European Commission published its long awaited proposals for the revision of the EU regulatory framework for medical devices. Three Directives, i.e., Directive 90/385/EEC on active implantable medical devices, Directive 93/42/EEC on medical devices and Directive 98/79/EC on in vitro diagnostic medical devices (IVD) will

Originally published as Covington E-Alert on August 1st, 2012

On 17 July, the European Commission released the long-awaited proposal for a Regulation on clinical trials on medicinal products for human use (the Proposal). The future regulation will replace the Clinical Trials Directive 2001/20/EC, the revision of which has been advocated by the pharmaceutical industry, academia,

Originally published as Covinton E-Alert on May 25, 2012

On 16 May 2012, the European Commission adopted the much delayed list of permitted general health claims (Permitted List) for foods after scrutiny of the list by the European Parliament and the Council ended on 27 April 2012. The Permitted List contains just 222 health claims

Originally published as Covington E-Alert on June 15, 2011

The U.K. Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has recently issued the final version of its guidance on the Agency Workers Regulations 2010, which implement Directive 2008/104/EC.

The Regulations come into force on 1 October 2011, and will entitle agency workers (or “temps”) to the