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.
In January 2018, the European Medicines Agency (the EMA), as part of its Brexit preparations, launched a survey to gather information from companies on their Brexit preparedness plans, and to identify concerns that may impact public or animal health. The results of the study were published earlier this week.
On 27 June 2018, the EMA published a short notification on its website informing readers that “The Agency is no longer in a position to process access to documents requests issued from outside the EU.”
Article 2(2) of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001, setting out the EU legislative framework for freedom of information (the Public Access Regulation), provides EU institutions with the discretion to disclose to individuals from third countries documents they have drawn-up or received, provided the conditions of such access are no less restrictive than that provided to EU citizens under Article 2(1) of the same regulation. This change in policy means that only “Citizens of the EU and natural or legal persons residing or having their registered office in an EU Member State have the right of access to EMA documents.” Continue Reading Update to the EMA’s Position on Access to Documents
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) entered into force on 25 May 2018 and, in the absence of any transition period, companies are now expected to be in full compliance with the new requirements. However, with key guidance from regulators only recently released or still in progress, and national implementing legislation enacted at the eleventh hour, developing a GDPR-compliant approach to consent in the context of clinical trials remains an ongoing project. This post reviews the guidance available to date.
Yesterday, the EMA launched a new secure online portal called IRIS for the submission of applications for orphan designation and the management of post-designation activities. The aim is for the portal to be used for all activities relating to orphan designation, including applying for orphan designation, requesting pre-submission meetings, responding to requests for supplementary information and transferring orphan designation to a new sponsor. The hope is that this will provide a “comprehensive procedural and scientific support system for orphan designations”, and IRIS is being treated as a “pilot for [a] future Agency-wide platform for procedure management”. Continue Reading Launch of the EMA’s Orphan Designation Portal
While the Clinical Trials Regulation (EU No. 536/2014) (the Regulation) was adopted in April 2014, the Regulation does not come into operation until 6 months after the clinical trials portal and database (the EUPD) has been set up, independently audited, and notification of the successful audit published by the Commission. The operation of this database has been delayed a number of times, as the development of a system to cover so many aspects of the new Regulation is taking longer than expected.
The European Commission has published a consultation on proposed changes to its 2011 Note on the handling of duplicate marketing authorisations. The Consultation Document explains that the objective of the consultation is to seek views on the impact of duplicate authorisations of biological medicinal products on the availability of biosimilars to healthcare professionals and patients.
As reported in our previous post, at the end of last year, the European Commission published a draft amendment to Regulation No 847/2000 regarding the concept of “similar medicinal product” for the purposes of the Orphan Medicinal Products Regulation. Last week, the final Regulation was published: Regulation (EU) 2018/781. The new Regulation is intended to take account of the rise of cell therapies and other advanced therapy medicinal products, the nature of which do not fit neatly into the current definitions.
The final Regulation is very similar to the one released for consultation, with a few minor clarification points added, namely to specifically refer to changes with respect to safety, as well as intended therapeutic effect, when considering whether two advanced therapy products are similar.
The Regulation will enter into force on 19 June 2018.
On 22 March 2018, the European General Court handed down its judgment in Case T-80/16 Shire Pharmaceuticals Ireland v EMA. Shire had sought annulment of the EMA’s decision refusing to validate its 2015 application for designation of its medicinal product Indursulfase-IT as an orphan medicinal product for the treatment of Hunter Syndrome. This decision is particularly important for innovator companies who invest in R&D for rare diseases, and will likely have an impact on incentivizing this type of research.
In 2001, a Shire product containing the active substance idursulfase was designated as an orphan medicinal product for the treatment of Hunter Syndrome. This was followed in 2007 by the grant of a marketing authorisation for the medicinal product Elaprase, containing the active substance idursulfase, and administered as a solution for intravenous infusion. In parallel, Shire started developing another medicinal product containing the same active substance. However this product, Idursulfase-IT, could be delivered intrathecally, whereas Elaprase did not cross the blood-brain barrier. Intrathecal administration of the new product allowed treatment of cognitive disorders associated with a severe form of Hunter Syndrome.
Judgment was handed down on 21 May in the DePuy Pinnacle Metal on Metal Hip group litigation: Gee & Others v DePuy International Limited  EWHC 1208 (QB)
312 claimants in the group litigation brought claims against DePuy, alleging that the hip prostheses with which they had been implanted were defective for the purposes of the Consumer Protection Act 1987 (the Act) and the Product Liability Directive 85/374/EC (the Directive). The judgement followed a trial at first instance of a common preliminary issue, namely “whether or not the defendant is liable to the claimant, subject to any development risk defence.” The preliminary issue encompassed questions of causation.