Yesterday, a new global medicines patent database, the Patent Information Initiative for Medicines (Pat-INFORMED), was launched by WIPO and the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations (IFPMA).

Pat-INFORMED is designed to help procurement agencies better understand the global patent status of medicines, for example to anticipate generic launch and to design tenders. It includes a free open access database of patent information, and a platform where procurement agencies can make direct enquiries to companies. Continue Reading New global database for drug patent information

The International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations (IFPMA) has recently published a new version of its Code of Practice that will come into force on January 1, 2019, updating the current Code of 2012. IFPMA members, including the EFPIA and PhRMA, must incorporate the new provisions into their own codes by this date, to the extent necessary.

In addition to the text of the Code, the IFPMA has provided detailed guidance on the key amendments made. First, the Code is now underpinned by a guiding Ethos that replaces the previous iteration’s ‘Guiding Principles’. Secondly, several provisions have been updated, notably the section on gifts. We highlight the key changes below.

Continue Reading The new IFPMA Code of Practice

In July, we considered the implications of the UK Government’s Brexit White paper, setting out its proposals for the UK’s ongoing relationship with the EU post-Brexit and how this would apply to the supply and manufacture of medicinal products and medical devices. Acknowledging the need for a contingency plan if no agreement can be reached, the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has now published guidance entitled “How medicines, medical devices and clinical trials would be regulated if there’s no Brexit deal“. Below, we set out the key points arising from that guidance.

Withdrawal Act

The regulation of medicines and medical devices in the UK is currently subject to both EU and UK legislation and oversight. For example, in relation to medicinal products, Directive 2001/83 and Regulation 726/2004, which govern marketing and supply in the EU, are implemented into UK law by the Human Medicines Regulations 2012 (HMR). For medical devices, Directives 93/42 (on medical devices), 98/79 (on in vitro medical devices) and 90/385 (on active implantable medical devices) set out the regulations in the EU, and are implemented in the UK through the Medical Devices Regulations 2002 (MDR). In addition, the new Regulations 2017/745 (on medical devices) and 2017/746 (on in vitro medical devices) will apply from 2020 and 2022, respectively.

In the event of a no-deal Brexit, full regulatory authority will pass to the UK, and the European legislation will cease to apply to the UK on 29 March 2019 (exit day), although UK legislation that implements EU law will remain in force. Under the EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018 (EUWA), all existing EU rules will be converted into UK law at the moment of exit to the extent they are not already part of UK law.

Continue Reading MHRA guidance on no-deal Brexit

Data-driven technologies, particularly artificial intelligence and other complex algorithms, have the potential to enhance patient care and catalyse medical breakthroughs. However, these technologies are heavily reliant on data, which poses challenges in ensuring that patient information is handled in a safe, secure and legally compliant way.

In response to early issues with the deployment of artificial intelligence and other algorithmic tools in healthcare, on 5 September 2018 the UK Department of Health & Social Care (DH) published an Initial Code of Conduct for Developers and Suppliers of Data-driven Health and Care Technology (the Code). The Code is not legally binding but aims to raise standards by establishing best practices.

Continue Reading UK guidance for developers of health care software and technologies

Last week, MedTech Europe, the European trade association representing the medical technology industries, published a position paper calling on the European Commission, Parliament and EU Member States to extend the transition period under the Medical Devices Regulations (the MDR and the IVDR). As mentioned in one of our earlier blogs, the MDR and IVDR are due to take effect on 26 May 2020 and 26 May 2022 respectively. The position paper explains that the medical technology industry has “significant concerns” about the state of implementation of the Regulations, and the fact that if products are not re-certified before the date of application of the Regulations, they will not be able to be placed on the market, and the industry will be unable to provide life-saving and life-transforming products to patients. Continue Reading MedTech Europe requests extension to the transition period for the MDR

The Association of British HealthTech Industries (ABHI) has this week published an update to their Code of Ethical Business Practice for the recently rebranded “health technology” sector. The changes to the previous version, from May 2017, are mainly to the Q&A section, which provides further clarification to the substantive provisions of the Code. The Code itself has not (for the most part) changed.

Continue Reading Update to ABHI Code of Practice

The next Future Pharma Forum will be on 27 September: Implications of Recent EU and UK Court Decisions in the Pharmaceutical Sector

Emily MacKenzie, Barrister at Brick Court Chambers, will join us to recap on how challenges to pharmaceutical decisions may be brought to the European and domestic courts. Emily will provide a summary of recent European Court and English Court decisions in the pharmaceutical area and we will explore the implications for pharmaceutical companies.

Topics

  • How to bring challenges to the European Court
  • The interplay of domestic proceedings
  • Summary of recent European Court decisions, including:
    • Shire on orphan market exclusivity and;
    • Astellas on the role of the Concerned Member State
  • Summary of recent English Court decisions, including Napp on the Article 10(3) hybrid-abridged procedure
  • Changes in the Notice to Applicants regarding RDP, including the “reverse combination” principle
  • The implications for pharmaceutical companies

More information can be found on our website, and you can sign up here. Hope to see you there!

On the morning of 25 July 2018, the Court of Justice of the European Union (the CJEU) handed down judgment in Case C-121/17 Teva UK and Others v Gilead concerning the validity of Supplementary Protection Certificate (SPC) protection for Gilead’s combination HIV treatment TRUVADA (tenofovir disoproxil and emtricitabine). The CJEU held that an SPC can only be granted for a product if, in the basic patent on which the SPC is sought, that product “is either expressly mentioned in the claims of that patent or those claims relate to that product necessarily and specifically.” It is for the English High Court, as the referring court, to determine whether that test is met by Gilead’s patent in this case; however, the CJEU stated (on the basis of the information provided by the referring court) that it does not seem possible that the combination of tenofovir disoproxil and emtricitabine necessarily falls under the invention covered by Gilead’s patent.

Continue Reading CJEU rules on SPCs for combination products

In a report published on 16 July regarding the implementation of its flagship policy on the publication of clinical data (Policy 0070), the EMA has announced that Brexit and the Agency’s relocation will result in some areas of work being “temporarily reprioritised, suspended or postponed to resource Brexit preparedness activities and safeguard core activities”. The Agency has explained that this will mean a reduced publication of clinical data during the second half of 2018 and in 2019. However, it notes that this reduction is only temporary and its “proactive publication level” will be restored to the level set out at the start of the policy once the relocation is completed.

This follows its previous announcement, on 27 June 2018, explaining that the Agency is no longer in a position to process access to documents requests issued from outside the EU.

The report also sheds light on the total number of documents published on the Clinical Data Publication (CDP) website, the amount of commercially confidential information (CCI) redacted, the reasons for rejecting redactions and the anonymisation techniques used by the Agency.

The report indicates that the EMA accepted 24% of CCI redactions proposed by pharmaceutical companies, with the overall result that only 0.01% of 1.3 million pages (3,000 documents) published contained CCI redactions. The most common reasons for rejecting redactions were insufficient justification and information already existing in the public domain. The key reasons for accepting redactions were the provision of detailed information on analytical assays or methods and justifications based on future development plans.

Yesterday, the UK Government finally published its White Paper setting out its position on the UK’s continued relationship with the EU post-Brexit. Theresa May has said it “delivers on the Brexit people voted for”, although others in Parliament disagree. While at a very early stage of the negotiations, and with no real indication of how the European Commission has received the White Paper, other than that it represents important progress for focusing the further discussions, we set out below the key points for the supply and manufacture of medicinal products and medical devices after Brexit.

Continue Reading UK Government’s Brexit White Paper