As part of the EU’s General Pharmaceutical Legislation amendment proposal, published on 26 April 2023 (“the Proposal”), the European Commission (“Commission”) has introduced a series of measures aimed at securing the supply of critical medicinal products across the EU and at preventing shortages. In particular, there are new obligations for Marketing Authorization Holders (“MAH”)
EU Pharma Legislation Review Series: Bolar Exemption under Patent Rights
The latest draft pharmaceutical legislation published by the European Commission (“Commission”) is set to shake up the regulatory exclusivity protections available to innovator pharmaceutical companies operating in the EU (as discussed in further in our previous blog). As part of these developments, the Commission has clarified the concept of the Bolar exemption…
EU Pharma Legislation Review Series: AMR and Transferable Exclusivity Vouchers
The European Commission has proposed specific measures to increase the supervision and monitoring of the use of antimicrobial medicinal products (or “antimicrobials”), with the aim to counter the spread of antimicrobial resistance (“AMR”). At the same time, the measures are also aimed at promoting and incentivizing the development of new priority antimicrobials through the use…
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…
EU Pharma Legislation Review Series: The Regulatory Sandbox – A Safe Space for Innovators to Grow
As part of its policy goal of promoting innovation, the Commission’s proposed Regulation creates the concept of a “regulatory sandbox.” If the concept survives the legislative process, the sandbox will be a structured, regulated and time-limited environment in which innovative technologies, products, services or approaches might be tested in a “real world environment,” subject to…
EU Pharma Legislation Review Series: Orphan Medicines
On 26 April 2023, the European Commission published its long awaited proposal to revise the EU pharmaceutical legislation. The proposal includes a new draft Regulation, which will repeal Regulation (EC) No 726/2004, the Orphan Medicines Regulation 141/2000 and the Paediatric Regulation 1901/2006.
As expected, the draft Regulation significantly shakes up incentives available to the…
EU Pharma Legislation Review Series: Regulatory Data Protection
The European Commission (“Commission”) intends to change the rules on regulatory data protection (“RDP”) of medicinal products. The Commission stated in its Impact Assessment for the revised pharmaceutical legislation that it wants to strike a balance between “providing attractive incentives for innovation and supporting timely patient access to medicinal products across the EU.” …
EU Pharma Legislation Review Series: The EU’s proposals to amend its pharmaceutical laws released today
This is the first in a series of Covington blogs about the EU’s proposals to amend the current pharmaceutical regulatory framework, which were released today (see here). It introduces some of the key aims and themes and invites readers to read more in-depth summaries as we release them.
The proposals have been in…
Green Groceries: Key ESG Issues for the FMCG Industry (including FBOs)
Those in the business of fast‑moving consumer goods (“FMCGs”) are likely aware of the plethora of environmental and product stewardship regulations applicable to the FMCG sector. These laws are set to increase and expand in application. What FMCG companies also need to get to grips with are a range of broader (and also fast‑moving!) environmental, social and governance (“ESG”) developments and consequent risks and opportunities. Companies need to understand how the new world of ESG impacts their supply chains, key ingredients and components, consumer choice and confidence, competitive advantage, market accessibility, and marketing.
Designed as a ‘primer’ for FMCG companies, in this piece, we cover a range of key trends in the emerging UK and EU ESG legal landscape as relevant for the FMCG sector, from farmers to Food Business Operators (“FBOs”) and from manufacturers to retailers. We also discuss some key legal and reputational risks; as well as pointers to help companies decipher and prepare for the ESG storm.
We focus on the UK and the EU (first movers on many ESG issues), but the landscape in other jurisdictions (including, for example, the US) is also evolving and becoming more complex.
Key ESG Issues for FMCGs
We think there are four categories of key ESG developments for FMCGs to watch: (I) corporate reporting and disclosure regimes; (II) green/sustainability claims and labelling; (III) supply chain obligations; and (IV) product packaging and presentation.
Many emerging ESG frameworks cut across sectors. This may be efficient for regulators, but can make identifying sector-specific risks and opportunities more challenging. We have sought to do that below.…
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