Archives: Medicinal Products

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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

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

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

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

NHS England Publishes Draft Commercial Framework for Medicines

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 later … Continue Reading

Clinical Trial Data Are Presumptively Confidential, Opines EU Advocate General

In a long-running legal case challenging the European Medicines Agency’s approach to disclosure of clinical trial data, Advocate General Hogan has recommended that the Court of Justice find that such data are presumptively confidential when handling disclosure requests under the Transparency Regulation 1049/2001. PTC Therapeutics International Limited (“PTC”) had argued before the General Court that … Continue Reading

Regulatory Watch: How has recent Law No 2019-774 of 24 July 2019 on the organization and transformation of the health system changed the anti-gift rules?

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 … Continue Reading

European Commission publishes Letter on Exemption allowing for UK Batch Testing post-Brexit

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 able … Continue Reading

The Commission’s Proposal on Health Technology Assessment – Will the EU Member States Accept its Mandatory Provisions?

This article was originally posted on our sister blog Global Policy Watch Introduction Health technology assessment (“HTA”) is a multidisciplinary assessment process that seeks to evaluate the added therapeutic value of health technologies (i.e., drugs, certain medical devices, medical treatments including surgical procedures, and measures for disease prevention and diagnosis) based on both clinical and … Continue Reading

German government has started enforcement of the Nagoya Protocol and reviews compliance of pharmaceutical companies

The “Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization to the Convention on Biological Diversity” is an international agreement which aims at sharing the benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources in a fair and equitable way. It entered into force on 12 … Continue Reading

German court allows pharma company public promotional statements about Rx-drug to counter a “shitstorm” – a trend also for the rest of the EU?

By Dr. Dr. Adem Koyuncu, Covington & Burling LLP In the EU, drug companies are not allowed to publicly promote prescription-only medicines. As courts also apply a broad interpretation of the term “promotional”, nearly all public statements that mention a prescription drug are likely to be qualified as illegal advertising. In certain circumstances, this may … Continue Reading

AG’s Opinion – Licensed and Unlicensed Medicines May Fall Within the Same Relevant Product Market

Yesterday’s Opinion from Advocate General Saugmandsgaard Øe (AG) in Hoffmann-La Roche vs Autorità Garante della Concurrenza e del Mercato takes the position that licensed and unlicensed pharmaceutical products used for the same indication may fall within the same relevant product market. The Italian Council of State (ICS) referred a number of questions to the EU … Continue Reading

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
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