FDA “Program” Reviews Are Positive So Far, But Are They Sustainable?
This article was originally published in RPM Report
Early feedback on FDA’s review “Program” for new drugs and biologics is cautiously optimistic. FDA is meeting user fee goals. Communication between reviewers and drug sponsors has dramatically improved. And even trickier applications have done unusually well at advisory committee meetings. But FDA’s John Jenkins acknowledges that a lack of resources is straining the system – and forcing the agency to adapt.
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Drug sponsors are enthusiastic about FDA’s new review “Program” for novel drug and biologic applications. But they also want to see some tweaks to make the review process even more efficient – ideas that are sure to be brought to the PDUFA VI negotiating table. One trouble spot FDA says will be addressed right away: manufacturing facility inspections for Program applications.
FDA topped 40 new molecular entity approvals in 2014, leaving no doubt that the agency’s drug review group is operating at peak efficiency. But it is still far from clear that drug development is out of the doldrums.
Mid-cycle meetings under FDA’s review “Program” have ballooned into 30- to 40-person affairs – far larger than originally envisioned under PDUFA V – making mid-cycle calls difficult to schedule, especially for expedited products with tight review timeframes. It is one lesson learned from the Program’s first 18 months.