Pink Sheet Perspectives
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The pipeline for new drug candidates remains healthy as 2019 begins, with almost 40 novel agents already under FDA review. But the chances of another record-breaking year are threatened by a confluence of safety issues that are putting risk management back in the spotlight – and by the widening ripple effects of the recent US government shutdown.
From heightened overseas manufacturing inspections to a new patent challenge mechanism, important regulatory changes are coming in China this year, and implementation could potentially derail your operations in this key market.
Past year was the high-water mark for product approvals and launches, but complete response letters remain a frequent occurrence. FDA’s ability to deliver on its promise of further clarity on transition products, interchangeability and indication carve-outs/carve-ins may take a hit from the ongoing partial government shutdown. On the legal side, look for more patent settlements with staggered entry dates and new antitrust scrutiny.
Despite multiple adverse factors including a leadership shakeup and the departure of its top regulator, the China FDA seemed determined to refresh itself after a name change and to speed up new drugs to market.
With only seven letters last year, Office of Prescription Drug Promotion appears to be continuing its enforcement retrenchment as agency reconsiders its approach to Rx communications.
US FDA issued at least seven rejections to novel products; opioid analgesic sponsors had very little success, while biosimilar developers had a so-so year.
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