Archives: Food & Drug Regulatory

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CJEU Confirms that CBD is Not a Narcotic Drug

In a landmark judgment on 19 November 2020, the CJEU ruled in Case C-663/18 that cannabidiol (“CBD”) is not a narcotic drug under the UN Conventions.  This is the case even where the CBD is derived from the whole cannabis plant.  The ruling provides clarity on the non-controlled status of CBD and the free movement … Continue Reading

European Health Union: European Commission proposes Changes to the Joint Procurement Agreement

On 11 November 2020, the European Commission has announced a range of proposals to build a European Health Union.  The proposed measures reflect on the learnings from the current COVID-19 and previous influenza pandemics and seek to enhance Member States’ preparedness for future health crises, which also includes a greater involvement of the EU.  As … Continue Reading

Entry Into Force of Reinforced Anti-gift Rules in France

Today, October 1st 2020, the updated anti-gift scheme in France enters into force.  The anti-gift rules impose obligations on pharmaceutical, medical device and cosmetics companies when interacting with healthcare professionals (“HCPs”) and healthcare organizations (“HCOs”) in France.  The updated framework was foreseen in the adoption of Ordinance 2017-49 of 19 January 2017 and Decree 2020-730 … Continue Reading

German court extends legal redress options for pharma companies in the drug pricing and reimbursement system

On 10 September 2020, the German Federal Social Court (Bundessozialgericht – “BSG”) has issued an important decision with significant impact on the drug pricing and reimbursement system. It ruled that a pharmaceutical company can file a direct legal action against the early benefit assessment in the so-called AMNOG process. This was not possible so far. … Continue Reading

Brexit: UK Guidance on Regulation of Medical Devices from 1 January 2021

The UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (“MHRA”) has published Guidance on the regulation of medical devices from 1 January 2021 (the “Guidance”).  It discusses the regulatory requirements that apply to medical devices after the end of the Brexit transitional period under the EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement.  In summary: From 1 January 2021, different rules … Continue Reading

New Licensing Regulations to Import Agricultural Products into the EU: What Traders Should Know to Avoid Missing Quota Allocations in 2021

As of January 2021, many imports and exports of agricultural products covered by EU tariff quotas will be subject to the new licensing rules of Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2020/760 (“Delegated Regulation”) and Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/761 (“Implementing Regulation”) (together, “Licensing Regulations” or “Regulations”).  The new Regulations introduce significant changes to – and are … Continue Reading

Advocate General delivers Opinion on Novel Food Status of Insects

On 9 July 2020, Advocate General Bobek delivered his opinion on the status of edible insects (e.g., mealworms, locusts, and crickets) under the EU novel foods rules.  While insects fall under the scope of the new EU Novel Food Regulation 2015/2283, the opinion recommends the Court of Justice to deny novel food status to such … Continue Reading

Manufacturers and Marketers Beware: The EU Adopts New Restrictions on Products Containing PFOAs

Since July 4, 2020 the manufacture, marketing and use of perfluorooctanoic acid (“PFOA”), its salts and PFOA-related compounds (collectively, “PFOAs”), and products containing them, is significantly restricted in the European Economic Area (“EU/EEA”).  The restrictions were introduced by a Commission Delegated Regulation amending Annex I to the EU POPs Regulation, and are intended to implement … Continue Reading

The European Commission Announces a Sustainable Food Strategy for Europe

The COVID-19 pandemic has focused attention on the need for resilient supply chains, including perhaps most importantly, the critical need for  sustainable supplies of healthy food.  In line with this, the European Commission (the “Commission) has published a Communication on a Farm to Fork Strategy (the “Strategy”) where it announces a series of legislative and … Continue Reading

Commission Publishes Further Guidance on Clinical Trial Conduct During COVID-19 Pandemic

On 28 April 2020, the European Commission published further Guidance on the Management of Clinical Trials during the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Pandemic (the “Guidance”), supported by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the national Heads of Medicines Agency (HMA).  The Guidance is an update to the previous version published in late March (see InsideEULifeSciences blog post … Continue Reading

Effective date of EU Medical Device Regulation now officially delayed by 1 year

On 23 April 2020, the European Parliament and Council approved the European Commission’s proposal to delay the application date of the Medical Device Regulation 2017/745 (the “MDR”) by one year (from 26 May 2020 to 26 May 2021) by adopting New Regulation (EU) 2020/561 (the “New Regulation“). Unusually, the New Regulation took effect on the … Continue Reading

Ireland’s HPRA to fast-track review of Covid-19 related Clinical Trials and Clinical Investigations

The Irish Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) today announced the introduction of an expedited review process for human health research related to COVID-19. The Irish Minister for Health also announced the setting up of a dedicated COVID-19 National Research Ethics Committee (NREC-COVID-19). Applications for clinical trials of human medicines or clinical investigations of medical devices … Continue Reading

Belgium replaces COVID-19 medicines export ban to non-EEA countries with system of export control

As previously reported on this blog, on 1 April 2020 Belgium adopted a complete ban on exports of certain medicines and raw materials to non-EEA countries to avoid shortages during the COVID-19 outbreak. On 8 April 2020, Belgium reversed this ban, and instead installed a system of export controls. Coincidentally or not, the same day … Continue Reading

European Commission Publishes Exceptional Antitrust Guidance for Undertakings Collaborating to Address the Shortage of Essential Products and Services during COVID-19

On 8 April 2020, the European Commission published its Communication on the “Temporary Framework for assessing antitrust issues related to business cooperation in response to situations of urgency stemming from the current COVID-19 outbreak” (the “Framework“). The Commission recognizes that supply chains have been severely disrupted due to COVID-19, combined with “an asymmetric demand shock … Continue Reading

European Commission issues Guidelines on the rational supply of medicines to avoid shortages during the COVID-19 crisis, calls for lifting export bans within the EU

As reported previously on this blog, several member states have imposed bans, requisitioned stock and applied various other control measures on medicines and protective equipment (e.g., Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, France, the Netherlands, and Poland). On 8 April 2020, the European Commission (“Commission”) issued Guidelines on the optimal and rational supply of medicines to … Continue Reading

Belgium adopts export ban on certain medicines to non-EEA countries and other measures to avoid COVID-19 shortages

1. Summary On 1 April 2020, the Belgian Federal Authority for Health and Medicinal Products (“FAMPH”) adopted a Decision to avoid shortages of medicines and raw materials used in the treatment of COVID-19.  It applies for one month from 1 April, renewable.  On 2 April 2020, the authority provided further details in a news post … Continue Reading

European Commission publishes proposal to postpone the application date of the Medical Device Regulations in response to COVID-19

The European Commission published today its proposal for the European Parliament and the Council to postpone the application date of the Medical Devices Regulation 2017/745 (“MDR”) by one year.  This publication comes only 9 days after the Commission announced its plans to postpone the MDR (see the InsideEULifeSciences blog post here).  The European Parliament and … Continue Reading

The Italian Medicines Agency publishes Guidance on the management of clinical trials in Italy during the COVID-19 emergency

On March 12, 2020, the Italian Medicines Agency (“AIFA”) has provided guidance on the management of clinical trials due to the COVID-19 emergency.  The Guidance, which is addressed to CROs, Sponsors and non-profit organizations involved in clinical trials, allows for some derogations to support them face the criticalities.  The Guidance is intended to ensure that … Continue Reading

European Commission plans to postpone the application date of the Medical Device Regulations in response to COVID-19

The European Commission has announced today that it is working on a proposal to postpone the application date of the Medical Devices Regulation 2017/745 (“MDR”) for one year.  This proposal is to relieve the pressure on national authorities, notified bodies, manufacturers and other actors so they can focus on responding to the COVID-19 outbreak.  According … Continue Reading

MHRA announces a risk-based prioritisation of on-site Good Practice inspections during COVID-19

On 20 March 2020, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (“MHRA”, the “Agency”) announced it will be conducting only ‘essential’ on-site Good Practice (“GxP”) inspections of laboratories, clinical trials, manufacturing, distribution and pharmacovigilance during COVID-19.  The Agency will replace ‘non-essential’ on-site inspections with remote regulatory supervision approaches, such as office-based assessments and information-exchange with … Continue Reading

EMA Publishes Guidance on Clinical Trial Conduct During COVID-19 Pandemic

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 … Continue Reading

MHRA issues specification for a “Rapidly Manufactured Ventilator System” for use in hospitals during the COVID-19 outbreak

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (“MHRA”) has published a specification for a “Rapidly Manufactured Ventilator System” (“RMVS”), setting out the clinical requirements for a ‘minimally acceptable’ ventilator for use in hospitals during the COVID-19 outbreak (the “RMVS Specification”).  The purpose of the RMVS Specification is to meet the UK healthcare system’s increased demand … Continue Reading

DEFRA announces raft of new measures to support food supply and key workers in response to COVID-19

On 20 March 2020, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (“DEFRA”) has announced a raft of measures relating to food supply and key workers with the easing the impact of COVID-19 for UK retailers and workers. The Department of Education and Cabinet Office has published guidance on key workers for COVID-19.  The guidance … Continue Reading

The EU Lifts Restrictions to Imports of Poultry Meat from Ukraine Following the Regionalization of the Country Due to an Outbreak of HPAI

The European Commission has just adopted a Regulation that will lift the existing ban on imports of poultry meat from Ukraine that was triggered by the January 2020 Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (“HPAI”) outbreak in the western part of the country. On January 19, 2020 the Ukrainian authorities informed the World Organization of Animal Health … Continue Reading
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