European Commission guidance

EU law places strict controls on the use of nutrition and health claims on food labelling and in advertising. Under Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 (the Regulation):

  • a nutrition claim is any claim which states, suggests or implies that a food has particular beneficial nutritional properties due to the energy and/or nutrients or other substances it provides or contains (e.g., “low fat” or “source of fibre”); and
  • a health claim is one which states, suggests or implies that a relationship exists between a food category, a food or one of its constituents and health (e.g., “Calcium is needed for the maintenance of normal teeth”).

Under the Regulation, it is only possible to use nutrition claims that are listed in the Annex to the Regulation, and/or health claims that have been authorised by the European Commission following a European Food Safety Authority scientific review. The only exception to these requirements is in relation to claims that are trade marks (or brand or “fancy” names) and general, non-specific health claims (e.g., “Good for you” or “Healthy”). These claims may be used without prior approval, provided they are accompanied by an approved claim (which, in the case of a general health claim, must be an authorised specific health claim, such as the calcium example given above).


Continue Reading Latest View on Health Claims on Foods in the EU

Earlier this month, the European Commission and representatives of the EU Member States discussed potential revisions to the European Commission’s Note on handling of duplicate marketing authorisation applications (the 2011 Note). According to the information published by the Commission, the discussion took place on 7 November 2019 during the latest Pharmaceutical Committee meeting. The discussion was intended to be focussed on duplicate marketing authorisations for biological medicinal products and the outcome of the related public consultation that took place in 2018.

Background

As we set out in our previous blog, the 2011 Note provides guidance on how the European Commission handles requests for duplicate marketing authorisations submitted through the centralised marketing authorisation procedure in accordance with Article 82.1 of Regulation (EC) No 726/2004 which was motivated by concerns that several MA’s granted for the same product could lead to partitioning of the market. As a general principle, the Regulation contemplates the existence of duplicate marketing authorisations only in two situations; first, where co-marketing with an independent company is envisaged and secondly “where there are objective verifiable reasons relating to public health regarding the availability of medicinal products to health-care professionals and/or patients”. In this latter case the Commission has required the applicant to demonstrate that the grant of a duplicate marketing authorisation will result in improved availability of the medicinal product in the EU. The 2011 Note states that, in principle, the grant on “public health” grounds of a duplicate marketing authorisation for a “first generic” granted to an originator (known as an “authorised generic” in the USA) is possible because of its potentially positive impact on the availability of the medicinal product.


Continue Reading Update on EU Duplicate Marketing Authorisations

On 16 October 2019, the European Commission published the Guidelines for Good Clinical Practice (GCP) specific to advanced therapy medicinal products (ATMPS) covering gene therapies, cell therapies and tissue engineered products. These Guidelines are available at the website of the European Commission.

Background

The European Commission was legally required to adopt the GCP Guidelines specific to ATMPs (the Guidelines) by Regulation (EC) No 1394/2007 (ATMP Regulation) with the technical input from the European Medicines Agency (EMA). The Guidelines were adopted after a period of public consultation with the targeted stakeholder consultation in the second half of 2018.

The Guidelines reflect the experience gained by the European Commission and the EMA in the field of ATMPs and in the assessment and authorisation of this type of medicinal products. Due to their complex nature, ATMPs present specific practical operational and regulatory challenges related to GCP compliance.


Continue Reading Latest Updates on Good Clinical Practice for Advanced Therapies in the EU

The Falsified Medicines Directive 2011/62/EU (FMD) introduced a new requirement for safety features to appear on the packaging of all prescription-only medicinal products: a unique product identifier and an anti-tampering device (ATD). Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2016/161 sets out technical detail around the characteristics of the safety features, how authenticity should be verified and by whom.

With the deadline to demonstrate compliance with the Delegated Regulation fast approaching (9 February 2019), we draw your attention to recent revisions to the “Question and Answers” guidance document (Version 13) published by the European Commission in January 2019, which contains amendments to some previous questions and a number of new Q&As. In particular:


Continue Reading Revised guidance on implementation of the EU Falsified Medicines Directive

As we approach one year to go before the application of Regulations (EU) 745/2017 (Medical Devices) and 746/2017 (In Vitro Diagnostic Medical Devices) (applicable in May 2020 and May 2022, respectively), the European Commission has updated its website to collate all of its guidance on the legislation. This includes a recently published series of nine non-binding practical reference guides, which is now available in a new section of the website entitled “Spread the word” – part of the Commission’s campaign to “inform as many stakeholders as possible about their roles and responsibilities under the new Regulations“. In particular, they consist of:

Continue Reading New guidance on the European Medical Devices and In Vitro Diagnostic Medical Devices Regulations