Archives: Medicinal Products

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EU Vote on First Borderline Decision Confirms: Cranberry Products Are Not Medical Devices

This article was originally posted on our sister blog Inside Medical Devices The EU Regulatory Committee on Medical Devices recently voted in favor of the European Commission’s draft decision on the classification of cranberry products (the “Cranberry Decision”).  In essence, the Cranberry Decision provides that cranberry products intended to prevent or treat cystitis and that … Continue Reading

Italian Council of State Improves Access to Investigational Medicines

Recently, the Council of State (i.e., the Italian supreme administrative court and consultative body) adopted an important advisory opinion, which allows for improved access to investigational medicines by patients in Italy.  In particular, the Council of State found that patients may be enrolled in compassionate use programmes or supplied with a medicine listed in the … Continue Reading

UK CMA Imposes Record Fine on Pfizer

The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (the “CMA”) imposed a £84.2 million (€99.7 million) fine on Pfizer yesterday. In addition, the CMA also fined distributor Flynn Pharma £5.2 million (€6.1 million).  The CMA found that Pfizer and Flynn Pharma abused their dominant positions by charging excessive and unfair prices for phenytoin sodium capsules, drugs used … Continue Reading

Another round of upcoming amendments to the medicines laws in Germany – Clinical Trials, Advertising, Biologics and more…

On 11 November 2016, the German Parliament passed another new law amending different parts of the German Medicines Act (Arzneimittelgesetz) and the Act on Advertising for Healthcare Products (Heilmittelwerbegesetz). The law is titled “Viertes Gesetz zur Änderung arzneimittelrechtlicher und anderer Vorschriften“. The draft was deliberated in the health committee of the Federal Council (Bundesrat) on … Continue Reading

Upcoming Changes to Italy’s Biosimilar Landscape

On 28 November 2016, the Italian Chamber of Deputies approved the Draft Budgetary Law of 2017.  Among other things, the Draft Law introduces new rules on the substitutability of biologics and the procurement of biosimilars. In particular, Article 59(11) of the Draft Law provides that: two products enjoy a biosimilarity relationship only where this has … Continue Reading

French Supreme Court upholds Sanofi’s generic denigration fine

In its 18 October judgment the French Cour de Cassation upheld the €40.6m fine imposed on Sanofi-Aventis (“Sanofi”) by the French Competition Authority (“FCA”) in May 2013 and affirmed the judgment of the Paris Court of Appeal. The FCA found that Sanofi abused its dominant position in violation of Art. 102 of the Treaty on … Continue Reading

Italy’s AGCM Fines Aspen EUR 5 Million for Excessive Pricing

The Italian Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato (“AGCM”) has fined Aspen over €5 million for having abused its dominant position – in violation of Art. 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union – by increasing prices of its anti-cancer drugs Alkeran (melphalan), Leukeran (chlorambucil), Purinethol (mercaptopurine) and Tioguanine (thioguanine) … Continue Reading

Italian Medicines Agency Publishes New Concept Paper on Biosimilars

Recently, the Italian Medicines Agency (AIFA) has published a new Concept Paper on Biosimilars.  The Concept Paper outlines the regulatory status of biosimilars in Italy as well as their importance for the Italian healthcare sector. The new Concept Paper constitutes a revision of AIFA’s Position Paper on Biosimilars of 13 May 2013.  Overall, the Concept … Continue Reading

Italian Administrative Court Finds That All Non-Prescription Medicines May Be Advertised to the Public

On 30 June 2016, the TAR Lazio, a lower Italian administrative court, found that all non-prescription medicines may be advertised to the public.  This ruling is of particular importance as until now the Italian Ministry of Health has interpreted the Italian medicines legislation as allowing the advertising to the public only of Over-the-Counter (OTC) products. … Continue Reading

EMA Publishes Proactive Disclosure Guidance

On 2 March 2016, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) published guidance on aspects of the Agency’s proactive disclosure policy for clinical reports (Policy 0070).  The latest Proactive Disclosure Guidance can be found here and focuses on: Procedural aspects of submitting clinical reports. The anonymisation of clinical reports. The identification and redaction of commercially confidential information … Continue Reading

Comprehensive Amendments of German Drug Laws upcoming

Recently, the German Federal Ministry of Health published a new draft law (“Viertes AMG-Änderungsgesetz”) which aims to amend several provisions of the German Drug Act (Arzneimittelgesetz) and other drug-related laws. Most of the intended amendments result from an adjustment of German laws to the new European Clinical Trials Regulation (Regulation (EU) No. 536/2014). For instance, … Continue Reading

General Court Makes Interim Order to Protect Confidentiality in Pari Pharma Transparency Case

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 … Continue Reading

Italian Medicines Agency Publishes Public Assessment Reports of Medicines Authorised Through the National Procedure

The Italian Medicines Agency (AIFA) has announced that, as of 22 July 2015, it makes available on its website the Public Assessment Reports (PARs) of medicinal products authorised in Italy through the national procedure. For the medicines authorised from 2015 onwards, AIFA will publish the full PARs together with a summary understandable to a lay … Continue Reading

Mandatory registration and logo for UK online sales of medicines

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 … Continue Reading

MHRA grants second scientific opinion as part of the Early Access to Medicines Scheme

The UK Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has granted a second positive scientific opinion as part of the Early Access to Medicines Scheme (EAMS).  EAMS is a UK specific scheme that supports earlier access of unlicensed medicines in patients with seriously debilitating or life threatening conditions where there is an unmet medical need. … Continue Reading

General Court Confirms Market Exclusivity Rights in CTRS Case

On 11 June 2015, the General Court handed down its judgment in Case T-452/14 Laboratoires CTRS v European Commission (the “CTRS Case”) annulling the Commission’s decision to grant Kolbam a marketing authorisation.  The General Court held that references in Kolbam’s SmPC to the efficacy of Kolbam for indications that Orphacol was authorised circumvented Orphacol’s market … Continue Reading

New Draft EMA-Guideline On Clinical Development Of Fixed Combination Medicines

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has recently published for public consultation its draft guideline on clinical development of fixed combination medicinal products (Draft Guideline), which is intended to replace CHMP/EWP/240/95 Rev. 1 (Existing Guideline).  The Draft Guideline applies to fixed combination medicinal products containing two or more active substances within a single pharmaceutical form.  The … Continue Reading

EMA Transparency Policy – EMA Launches Public Consultation On The Publication Of Information Under The New EU Clinical Trials Regulation

On 21 January 2015, the European Medicines Agency (“EMA”) launched a public consultation on how the transparency rules of Regulation EU No 536/2014 (the “Clinical Trials Regulation”) should apply to the new clinical trials database.  The consultation document of the EMA discusses the practical application of the new transparency rules, sets different options on the … Continue Reading

New French Rules On Off-Label Use

France has enacted new rules on the off-label use of medicines.  A new Decree amending the rules on Temporary Recommendations for Use (“RTU”) established pursuant to Article L5121-12-1 of the French Public Health Code (“PHC”) was published on 31 December 2014 (the “Decree”).  This Decree follows the adoption of the amended social security budget bill … Continue Reading

The German Supreme Administrative Court Confirms That E-Cigarettes Are Not Medicines Or Medical Devices

On 20 November 2014 the German Supreme Administrative Court (Bundesverwaltungsgericht, “BVerwG”) confirmed that nicotine-containing liquids that are vaporised and inhaled via e-cigarettes are not medicines and therefore e-cigarettes are not medical devices.… Continue Reading

EU Court Of Justice Further Clarifies Definition Of Medicinal Products – And Raises New Questions

On 10 July 2014, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) gave its judgment in a case involving “legal highs” that a substance which only influences physiological functions without any beneficial effects on human health, shall not be considered as a medicinal product within the meaning of Article 1(2)(b) of Directive 2001/83/EC (decision … Continue Reading

European Commission Fines Servier and Five Generic Companies For Preventing Entry Of Generic Versions Of Blood Pressure Control Drug

On 9 July 2014, the European Commission’s Directorate General for Competition imposed fines totalling € 427.7 million on innovative pharmaceutical company Servier and generic companies Niche/Unichem, Matrix (now Mylan), Teva, Krka and Lupin.  The Commission’s decision was the result of proceedings opened in 2009 and follows a Statement of Objections sent to the parties involved … Continue Reading

EMA clarifies interpretation of new variation categories in an amended Q&A document

On 6 February 2014, the EMA released an amended Q&A document on the implementation of the new Variations Guidelines of 2013, which provides details on the different variation categories and the operation of procedures laid down in Commission Regulation 1234/2008 concerning the examination of variations to the terms of marketing authorizations for human and veterinary … Continue Reading

EMA launches adaptive licensing pilot project

On 19 March 2014, the EMA announced the launch of its adaptive licensing pilot project along with an invitation to interested companies to submit their ongoing medicine development programmes to be considered as pilot cases. The term “adaptive licensing” (also known as “staggered approval” or “progressive licensing”) describes a process which allows patients to have … Continue Reading
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