On 20 October 2020, “The Human Medicines (Amendment etc) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020” Bill was laid before the UK Parliament (the 2020 Bill). The Bill proposes amendments to various Statutory Instruments that were drafted in 2019 (the 2019 SIs) in anticipation of a “no-deal” Brexit. The 2019 SIs sought to enable the pharmaceutical regime in the UK to function independently of the EU, and for the MHRA to act as a stand-alone regulator of medicinal products placed on the UK market. The 2019 SIs have now been revived so that they are effective beyond the end of the transition period, which expires on 31 December 2020, subject to any agreement that may be reached with the EU about the ongoing relationship between the UK and EU.

The 2020 Bill includes a number of changes to the 2019 SIs, which themselves changed the current Human Medicines Regulations of 2012. However, one area that is of particular interest to the industry is the regulatory data protection (RDP), marketing protection and orphan exclusivity periods that apply to medicinal products authorised in the UK after the transition period. The 2020 Bill changes the position that had previously been set out in the 2019 SIs. Continue Reading RDP periods in the UK after Brexit

The European Commission has published a proposal for a Regulation reinforcing the European Medicines Agency’s (EMA) role in crisis preparedness and management for medicinal products and medical devices. According to the European Commission, the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated that the EMA has a limited ability to manage availability issues relating to medicinal products and medical devices and lacks a framework for crisis response. The aim of the proposed Regulation is to set up such a framework which will allow the EU to respond effectively to health emergencies through broader engagement with the relevant stakeholders in a coordinated and timely manner to achieve the over-arching objective of public health protection. Continue Reading Draft EU Framework for Coordinated Approach to Addressing Emergency Public Health Threats

In this post, updating our series of posts on the implementation of the EU Medical Devices Regulation (MDR), we take a look at the latest steps taken by the EU institutions to ensure the MDR is fully applicable by May 2021.

Despite the summer break and the difficulties caused by the pandemic, the Medical Device Coordination Group (MDCG) and the European Commission have endorsed a number of significant guidance documents relevant for manufacturers, national authorities, notified bodies and expert panels. In addition, the fourth implementing act, required by the MDR, has been adopted by the European Commission. Continue Reading EU Medical Devices Regulation: Adoption of further guidance documents

On 7 September 2020, the European Data Protection Board (EDPB) initiated a public consultation on draft Guidelines 07/2020 on the concepts of controller and processor in the GDPR. Any interested party could provide comments by 19 October 2020 using the dedicated form.

The draft Guidelines contain elements that are of interest for companies active in the life science sector as they may have an impact on comapnies’ day-to-day research and commercial activities in the EU and their compliance with Regulation (EU) 2016/679 (GDPR). Continue Reading Draft EU guidelines on the concepts of controller and processor—key elements for life sciences companies

On 28 August 2020, the UK Department of Health & Social Care published a consultation on proposed changes to the Human Medicines Regulations 2012 (HMRs) to support the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines. Continue Reading Consultation on legislative changes to support the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines in the UK

Earlier this month, we commented on the European Commission proposal for a Regulation accelerating existing procedures for clinical trials where medicinal products containing or consisting of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) are tested for the development of vaccines and therapies to treat COVID-19. The European Commission had proposed that, during the pandemic and by derogation to the GMO regulatory framework, the requirement of a prior environmental risk assessment or consent by the national competent authorities should not apply. Continue Reading Update: Regulation for COVID-19 clinical trials conducted with medicinal products containing or consisting of GMOs has now been adopted

Today, the Court of Justice of the European Union delivered a landmark judgement with significant practical impact for companies transferring personal data outside the European Economic Area to the United States. The Court of Justice confirmed the validity of the Standard Contractual Clauses for transfer of personal data between a controller in the EU and a processor in a third country (e.g., the US) adopted by the European Commission in Decision 2010/87/EU. The Court has, however, invalidated European Commission Decision (EU) 2016/1250 on the adequacy of the protection provided by the EU-US Privacy Shield. Continue Reading The CJEU confirms the validity of the Standard Contractual Clauses but invalidates the EU-US Privacy Shield

As part of the strategy to fight COVID-19, the European Commission has proposed a Regulation to facilitate the conduct of clinical trials using medicinal products containing or consisting of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs).

The European Commission recognises that the applicable regulatory framework in relation to GMOs is unable to adequately address the challenges created by the pandemic. While some vaccines in development contain attenuated viruses or live vectors, which may fall within the definition of a GMO, there is uncertainty on the interactions between the GMO regulatory framework and the legislation on clinical trials and medicinal products. This is further aggravated by the absence of a common approach by the EU Member States. Continue Reading The European Commission proposes a Regulation for COVID-19 clinical trials conducted with medicinal products containing or consisting of GMOs

On 11 June 2020, the European Medicines Agency (EMA), during its Management Board meeting, has endorsed the methodology and next steps leading to the go-live of the Clinical Trials Information System (CTIS) which is now fixed for December 2021. A group consisting of representatives of the EU Member States and the European Commission has been set up to prioritise and coordinate all outstanding issues prior to go-live. The CTIS is the centralised EU portal and database for information storage foreseen by the Clinical Trials Regulation.   Continue Reading EU Clinical Trials Regulation: The Clinical Trials Information System expected to go live by December 2021, according to the EMA

Although the date of application of the Medical Devices Regulation (MDR) has been delayed by a year, to May 2021, the EU institutions continue to work on its implementation to ensure that the new framework is workable in time for the revised deadline.

In this post, which is part of our series of blog posts covering the implementation of the MDR, we set out a summary of key recent developments. As indicated below, as well as our previous posts, there are several important steps that still need to be taken with regard to MDR implementation. Similarly, many companies are still working on their own compliance. While industry undoubtedly faces a range of challenges in the context of the ongoing health crisis, and the delay provides some welcome breathing room for many, it will nevertheless be important to continue to progress MDR preparedness so that supply is not disrupted. Continue Reading EU Medical Devices Regulation: implementation progress during the pandemic