On 26 May 2023 the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) announced it plans to introduce an international reliance route for the approval of medicinal products. This shows the UK is now looking beyond the EU in its approach to recognizing foreign marketing authorizations. The MHRA is “focused on providing
Grant Castle is a partner in London and Dublin practicing in the areas of EU, UK and Irish life sciences regulatory law. He supports innovative pharmaceutical, biotech, medical device and diagnostics manufacturers on regulatory, compliance, legislative, policy, market access and public law litigation matters in the EU, UK, and Irish Courts.
He is one of the Co-chairs of Covington's Life Sciences Industry Group and is Head of Covington's European Life Sciences Regulatory Practice.
Grant regularly advises on:
- EU and UK regulatory pathways to market for pharmaceuticals and medical devices, including in vitro diagnostics and on associated product life cycle management;
- Pharmaceutical GxPs, including those governing pharmacovigilance, manufacturing, the supply chain and both clinical and non-clinical research;
- Medical device CE and UKCA marking, quality systems, device vigilance and rules governing clinical investigations and performance evaluations of medical devices and in vitro diagnostics;
- Advertising and promotion of both pharmaceuticals and medical devices; and
- Pricing, reimbursement and market access for both pharmaceuticals and medical devices.
Grant also handles procedural matters before EU, UK and Irish regulators and UK and Irish market access bodies, where necessary bringing judicial reviews for his life sciences clients before the EU, UK and Irish Courts.
Chambers UK has ranked Grant in Band 1 for Life Sciences Regulatory for the last 18 years. He is recognized by Chambers UK, Life Sciences as "excellent," "a knowledgeable lawyer with a strong presence in the industry," who provides "absolutely first-rate regulatory advice," according to sources, who also describe him as "one of the key players in that area,” whilst Chambers Global sources report that "he worked in the sector for many years, and has a thorough understanding of how the industry ticks." He is praised by clients for his "absolutely first-rate" European regulatory practice. Legal 500 UK notes that he is "highly competent in understanding legal and technical biological issues."
Update on the VPAS Judicial Review brought by the British Generic Manufacturers Association
The Voluntary scheme for branded medicines pricing and access (“VPAS”) is a voluntary agreement that regulates the price of the vast majority of branded medicines sold in the UK (including branded generics and biosimilars). VPAS is critical to the commercial interests of most innovative pharmaceutical companies operating in the UK. It has traditionally…
EU Pharma Legislation Review Series: New Classification Mechanism for Borderline Cases
Borderline issues arise when the regulatory classification of a product, for example, as a medicine, a medical device or a food supplement, is unclear. Uncertainty about the regulatory status of a product under development, and consequently uncertainty as to what legal rules need to be followed, can have immense consequences for developers and innovators. To…
EU Pharma Revision Series: Pharmacovigilance
The European Commission’s proposal to amend the current pharmaceutical regulatory framework includes a draft Directive on medicines for human use (the “Proposed Directive”) and a draft Regulation on the central authorisation and supervision of medicines (the “Proposed Regulation”, together the “Proposal”). In this blog, we provide an overview of the potential impact of the Proposal…
EU Pharma Legislation Review Series: Data Protection Aspects
On April 26, 2023, the European Commission proposed the long awaited reform of the EU’s pharmaceutical regulations (see here to view our previous blogs on the subject). This blog post discusses the data protection aspects of the proposals, which relate to the data processing activities of the European Medicines Agency (“EMA”).
Legal basis – The…
EU Pharma Legislation Review Series: Advertising Updates Reflect Evolution Rather than Revolution
As highlighted in our recent series of blog posts (please see our Inside EU Life Sciences blog series here), the European Commission has at long last published its proposal to overhaul EU legislation for human medicinal products.
On 26 April 2023, the Commission published its proposal for a new human medicines directive (the “Proposed Directive”) to replace the current European Medicines Directive (Directive 2001/83/EC); as well as a regulation for centrally authorised medicines (the “Proposed Regulation”) to replace the current Regulation 726/2004.
Medicines advertising and promotion rules are of key interest to pharmaceutical companies operating in the EU. This blog looks into how the new legislative proposal might affect the advertising landscape, focusing on the Proposed Directive (whose advertising provisions also apply to products covered under the Proposed Regulation).
For those of you who are perhaps breathless from the suite of new proposals, advertising and promotion may appear to be one small area to exhale in relief. However, some of the proposed changes may have significant practical implications, particularly for comparative advertising.
The headline news is that – for advertising – the Proposed Directive largely maintains the status quo. It remains aligned almost entirely with the current framework, supplementing rather than revolutionizing current law.
The evolutionary approach is unsurprising. EU-level law is really only the “tip” of the proverbial “iceberg” when it comes to pharmaceutical advertising in Europe. Many operational rules are nationally diverse, and found in national laws, codes and rulings. Moreover, in practice, pharmaceuticals advertising is often largely governed and enforced through the self-regulatory system and self-regulatory codes, such as the Code of Practice of the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (the “EFPIA Code”) and its various national incarnations. The Explanatory Memorandum to the Proposed Directive suggests legislators have tried to avoid overhauling the intricate framework regulating advertising. Nevertheless, the Proposed Directive does make some changes to advertising rules. Most are generally uncontroversial and/or “tidy ups”; but others may be more significant, particularly supplementing the definition of “advertising” and new provisions on comparative advertising. …
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EU Pharma Legislation Review Series: Marketing Authorisations
The European Commission’s proposal to amend the EU’s general pharmaceutical legislation includes a new draft directive replacing Directive 2001/83/EC (the draft Directive) and a new draft regulation replacing Regulation (EC) No 726/2004, which will also incorporate the EU’s amended paediatric and orphan medicine rules (the draft Regulation).
Whilst the proposal maintains…
EU Pharma Legislation Review Series: GMO Medicines
“Delays in clinical trials result in delays of potentially life-saving treatments”
The European Commission is streamlining the rules for clinical trials of medicines consisting of, or containing genetically modified organisms (“GMOs”). Under the current EU GMO framework, getting authorization for clinical trials of GMO medicines is a long and costly process. Industry groups have vocally criticized it; and the Commission itself has voiced the need for change.
The Commission proposes a single, centralized application for clinical trials of GMO medicines. The sponsor will include a detailed environmental risk assessment with the application. In turn, the Commission will exempt clinical trials from the scope of many GMO rules. The new system will be leaner, greener and will get potentially life-saving treatments to patients with less administrative delay.
The changes are part of the EU’s new package of revisions to the bloc’s common pharmaceutical regime, set out in a draft Regulation and a draft Directive, published by the Commission on 26 April 2023. The new GMO medicines rules are just one part of a range of environment‑focused reforms to EU pharmaceutical law set out in the proposals — for more information, see our post here.…
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EU Pharma Legislation Review Series: Addressing Environmental Risks
Pharmaceutical companies take note: the EU plans to refuse marketing authorizations for environmentally-unfriendly medicines.
The EU has published a package of revisions to the bloc’s common pharmaceutical regime. Many revisions aim to reduce the environmental impact of human medicinal products. The key environmental measures include:
- Pre-authorization — Environment-related refusals: The European authorities will be able to refuse a marketing authorization application where the accompanying Environmental Risk Assessment (“ERA”) is not adequate, or if the environmental risks have not been sufficiently addressed.
- Post-authorization — Environment-related monitoring and conditions of use: The European authorities will be able to impose environment‑related conditions of use on authorized medicines, including limiting the product to prescription-only or requiring additional post-authorization ERAs. They will also be able to suspend, revoke or vary marketing authorizations where a medicine presents a serious risk to the environment.
- Awareness and knowledge building — Warnings and environmental risk databases: Companies will be required to include additional information on environmental impact in a medicine’s EPAR, and additional awareness‑raising information in the product packaging of antimicrobials.
In this post, we lay out what pharmaceutical companies need to know about the key environmental measures.…
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EU Pharma Legislation Review Series: Pharmacy and Hospital Exemptions
The existing EU pharmaceutical legislation provides for a number of specific exemptions from the marketing authorisation requirement, including products supplied on a named patient or compassionate use bases; products compounded and dispensed in pharmacies (magistral and officinal formulations) and also for products necessary to respond to public health emergencies. Given that a key policy goal…