On 16 March 2023, the FDA issued its final guidance on detailed definitions around "suspect products" and "illegitimate products".
On 8 March 2023, the European Commission published Delegated Regulations (EU) 2023/502 and 2023/503 to extend the reassessment period for notified bodies under MDR/IVDR to five years. The new time frame has already come into force.
The Northern Ireland question was one of the trickiest open issues in the Brexit negotiations. A general political agreement has now been reached with the so-called "Windsor Framework": The European Commission and the government of the United Kingdom have put together a comprehensive package of solutions to reconcile the movement of goods to Northern Ireland while ensuring effective protective measures for the EU's internal market. The Windsor Framework is to replace the previous Northern Ireland Protocol in the future. The legally binding adoption is pending.
On 16 February 2023, the European Parliament voted positively to extend the deadline for the certification of medical devices under the EU Medical Devices Regulation (MDR). In January, the deadline extension was proposed by the European Commission to prevent massive supply shortages. Not enough Notified Bodies are available for the recertification of many medical devices, as a requirement of the MDR.
The EMA has published a question and answer document on the regulatory requirements for the authorisation of Cannabis-derived medicinal products in the EU and the work of the Committee for Herbal Medicinal Products (HMPC) in relation to medicinal plant monographs. This was considered useful as those involved in the production of Cannabis products often have little experience of the EU regulatory system for medicinal products.
Swissmedic announced on 23 January that companies with a valid manufacturing licence for the manufacture of medicinal products can apply for a GMP certificate. The certificates do not contain a validity date, but the date of the GMP inspection.
On February 6th, 2023, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) published the first revision of the guideline "ICH Guideline Q9 (R1) on Quality Risk Management (QRM) Step 5".
The 27-page document includes "principles and examples of tools for quality risk management that can be applied to different aspects of pharmaceutical quality.“
PIC/S has published the following two guidance documents for GDP inspectors: an ‘Aide-Memoire on the Inspection of Good Distribution Practice for Medicinal Products in the Supply Chain’ (PI 044-1) and a ‘Questions & Answers (Q&A) document regarding the PIC/S GDP Guide’ (PS/INF 22/2017).
As we already reported in December 2022, the use of the Clinical Trials Information System (CTIS) is now obligatory in the EU.
The International Council for Harmonisation (ICH) published a revised version of its Q9 guideline on 20 January, updating the original guideline, which is now 18 years old.
The US government's Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs has issued a timeline for harmonizing, or converting, the 21 CFR 820 with the European ISO 13485 for medical devices.
On 12 January 2023, the FDA signed a Mutual Recognition Agreement between the United States and Switzerland, allowing the FDA and Swissmedic to share each other's GMP inspectional findings, which will reduce unnecessary costs and duplicative efforts.
The EMA added two good distribution practice (GDP) questions to its Q&A section on GMP/GDP topics in early January 2023. They should clarify how the GDP rules apply to brokers operating outside the European Economic Area (EEA).
As of 31 January 2023, using the new Clinical Trials Information System (CTIS) will become mandatory. CTIS serves as a single entry point of contact for the submission and assessment of clinical trial data in all EU and EEA countries. This facilitates the daily business of sponsors in the EU immensely. In the past sponsors had to submit clinical trial applications separately to competent national authorities (NCAs) and ethics committees in each European country to gain regulatory approval. Publication of the trial information is built into the system, as well.
The European Commission's Medical Device Coordination Group (MDCG) published a definition on ‘hybrid audits’ in early December.
The document gives notified bodies some flexibility regarding the duration of physical presence during audits under the Medical Device Regulation (MDR) and the In Vitro Diagnostic Device Regulation (IVDR).
In Mid-November, the ICH Q13 Guideline on "Continuous Manufacturing of Drug Substances and Drug Products (Step 4)" was finally adopted during the General Assembly of the International Council for Harmonisation (ICH). With the adoption within the ICH organization, the guidelines are considered harmonized and thus represent the current state of science and technology. A concept paper for the Guideline was first submitted in November 2018.
With the publication of Delegated Regulation 2022/2239, the European Commission has released the revised and amended labeling requirements for unauthorized investigational and auxiliary medicinal products under the EU Clinical Trial Regulation (CTR). This eliminates the need to retroactively label the expiration date on the primary packaging of unapproved investigational products for which new stability and shelf-life data become available over time.
The Access Consortium is a collaborative initiative of like-minded, medium-sized regulators from Australia, Canada, Singapore, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.
On 16 November 2022, the European Medicines Agency EMA published a concept paper on the planned revision of Annex 11 "Computerised Systems". The reason: The existing document of the EU GMP Guideline dates back to 2011 and no longer corresponds to the state of the art in various areas or does not consider increasingly important new technologies for the GMP field, according to the EMA.
On 8 November 2022, the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) published a blog post announcing the resumption of international on-site inspections.
Important to know: Notwithstanding, the ‘expiry’ of GMP certificates issued by the MHRA will again be extended until the end of 2023.
On 25 October 2022, the UK Regulatory Agency MHRA, announced that the introduction of the future UK Medical Device Regulation will be delayed by twelve months. The intended date for introduction of the new and standalone regulation is now set for July 2024.
On 10 October 2022, the EMA published a 24-pages document on data quality (DQ) framework, which is open for consultation until 18 November 2022. As the topic of data quality and data overall becomes more and more critical to regulating medicinal products, a Data Quality Framework for EU medicines regulation is a logical consequence to provide a unitary approach. Thus, the amount of data that digitalisation brings along not only opens up new possibilities, but also increasingly complex data landscapes.
On 30 September 2022 the MHRA informed that the use of the European Commission Decision Reliance Procedure (ECDRP) for Great Britain has been extended for another 12 months until 31 December 2023. The procedure allows a company to submit a product that has received approval from the EMA directly to the MHRA. The MHRA can then grant a license with a shorter review than normally conducted, relying on the EMA’s decision.
DEKRA Certification UK Ltd has become the first organisation after Brexit to complete the new designation process that any potential organisation must go through to become approved to certify medical devices in the UK. With this step taken it is now designated as a UK approved body to undertake assessments for general medical devices (known as Part II designation) and has joined the three current UK Approved Bodies BSI Assurance UK Ltd, SGS United Kingdom Ltd, and UL International (UK) Ltd. These three bodies had been approved before Brexit.
The United States Pharmacopeia (USP) has opened a 90-day review period for their proposed Cannabis Species Inflorescence Monograph in the Herbal Medicines Compendium (HMC), a laboratory quality standards testing reference used internationally.
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) plans to establish clear quality guidelines for drug companies manufacturing synthetic peptides and oligonucleotides. This week, EMA published new concept papers, explaining current requirements on impurities testing, specifications and the control of DNA-reactive chemicals either partly or fully exclude synthetic peptides and oligonucleotides.
The revised Annex 1 to the PIC/S GMP Guide on the manufacture of sterile products has been published and will enter into force on 25 August 2023, except for point 8.123 which is postponed until 25 August 2024. The date of entry into operation is aligned with that of the revised EU Annex 1, which is identical to PIC/S Annex 1 (with some very minor editorial differences).
The European Borderline and Classification Working Group (BCWG), a sub-group of the Medical Device Coordination Group, has created a manual for determining whether a product is classed as a medical device under the new regulations MDR and IVDR. BCWG developed the document as part of an attempt to prevent member states from having different interpretations of the legislation.
Are you prepared for the possible changes? The comparison shows you where there is a need for action.
The long-awaited final version of the new EU Annex 1 "Manufacture of Sterile Medicinal Products" was published on 25 August 2022. The deadline for entry into force is 25 August 2023. Regarding section 8.123 on freeze-drying and product transfer, the deadline for entry into force is two years from now and will thus become mandatory on 25 August 2024:
One thing is certain: The FDA’s utilizing remote regulatory assessment is here to stay and remain a regular tool to support onsite inspections. This was addressed by FDA Commissioner Robert Califf and his associate Commissioner for Regulatory Affairs, Judith McMeekin, in a statement released end of July.
The Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) and the CMDh (Coordination Group on Mutual Recognition Procedures and Decentralised Procedures) of the EMA extended the deadline for submission of variation applications under Step 3: "Variation of marketing authorisation for chemical medicinal products" from 26 September 2022 to 1 October 2023.
From 23 to 30 June 2022, Interpol conducted its 15th globally coordinated operation PANGEA against the illegal online trade of medicines. From fake COVID-19 tests to doping substances or narcotics, the range of illegal shipments was broad.
The EDQM informs that the 11th Edition of the European Pharmacopoeia (Ph. Eur.) is now available. Holders of Certificates of suitability to the monographs of the Ph. Eur. (CEPs) are invited to update their applications according to the revised monographs that will be implemented on 1 January 2023, and to follow the instructions that the EDQM provides.
For the third time in a row, the European Commission has updated its Q&A on nitrosamine impurities (we reported). Version 10 was published on 23 June 2022. Questions 5, 10 and 14 have been revised. What is new?
In June 2022, the European Commission published the Question & Answers document on safety features for medicinal products for human use in version 20, coming along with one new Q&A on UI verification of authenticity.
The newly added question 5.14 “Is it allowed to verify the authenticity of the UI when the product is not in physical possession?” is answered with “Yes, but only as an additional check to Article 20 of Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2016/161.”
On 4 July 2022 the European Commission published the Implementing Regulation (EU) 2022/1107 to establish common specifications for certain class D in vitro diagnostic medical devices considered to be high-risk. These relevant harmonised standards had already been partially introduced in the repealed Directive 98/97/EC. Now the specifications have been updated and adapted to the state of the art.
The International Coalition of Medicines Regulatory Authorities (ICMRA) is announcing the initiation of two regulatory collaboration pilots addressing facility inspections and Chemistry and Manufacturing Controls (CMC) and Post-Approval Change (PAC) submission assessments and related regulatory actions.
The FDA issued a draft guidance outlining a framework of methods, designs and controls for preventing cross-contamination of non-penicillin beta-lactam antibacterial drugs and compounds, which serves as an update for a 2013 guidance with the same title. (Non-Penicillin Beta-Lactam Drugs: A CGMP Framework for Preventing Cross-Contamination; Draft Guidance for Industry; Availability).
The Pharmaceutical Inspection Cooperation Scheme (PIC/S) has published its 2022 work plan with the organization’s planned actions for this year. Not only does PIC/S plan to resume its assessments for membership application but also to revise or draft new GMP guidelines.
Concurrent with the application of the IVDR in the EU, the new Swiss regulation on in vitro diagnostic medical devices, IvDO, came into force on 26 May 2022. This is the first time since 2001 that the "third country rules" apply to IVDs in Switzerland, as they already do for all other medical devices for a year now (we reported). As of the same date, clinical trials with in vitro diagnostic medical devices are regulated in the Ordinance on Clinical Trials with Medical Devices (CTO-MedD) and no longer in the Ordinance on Clinical Trials (ClinO).