Latest updates

EU Medical Devices Regulation to apply from May 2020 – preparations underway
Eversheds Sutherland (Germany) LLP
  • European Union
  • 17 July 2019

The existing EU legislation regulating medical devices will be replaced by the Medical Devices Regulation. The new regulation changes the European legal framework for medical devices, broadens the scope of the products and operators covered under this legislation and provides for increased responsibilities and obligations for manufacturers and notified bodies. It entered into force in May 2017 and will fully apply from 26 May 2020.

Federal Court upholds PMPRB's pricing decision regarding Alexion's Soliris
Smart & Biggar/Fetherstonhaugh
  • Canada
  • 17 July 2019

The Federal Court recently dismissed Alexion's application for judicial review of a Patented Medicines Price Review Board (PMPRB) panel's decision that Soliris (eculizumab) had been sold at an excessive price and its order fixing the amount of the payment to offset excess revenues (C$4.2 million). The application was dismissed on the grounds that, among other things, the PMPRB had not been unreasonable in ordering payment of excess revenues based on the highest international price comparison.

National pharmacare update: publication of advisory council's final report
Smart & Biggar/Fetherstonhaugh
  • Canada
  • 17 July 2019

The minister of health recently published the final report from the Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare. The council has recommended that Canada implement universal, single-payer, public pharmacare by enacting new legislation and proceeding in a stepwise approach to implementation.

Lethal injection opinion from DOJ OLC threatens FDA's claims-based interpretation of 'intended use'
Sidley Austin LLP
  • USA
  • 10 July 2019

In a recent opinion, the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) in the US Department of Justice concluded that an article intended to effectuate capital punishment by a state or the federal government is not subject to regulation by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. The OLC's opinion appears to have been issued as a result of litigation involving the FDA's obligation to block the entry of misbranded and unapproved drugs used under state lethal injection protocols.

Guidance document on reporting adverse reactions to marketed health products
Smart & Biggar/Fetherstonhaugh
  • Canada
  • 10 July 2019

Health Canada has published its Overview of the Reporting Adverse Reactions to Marketed Health Products – Guidance Document for Industry. The guidance document provides market authorisation holders with assistance on how to report adverse reactions to pharmaceutical drugs, biologics, radiopharmaceutical drugs and natural health products.

Supreme Court of Canada denies Apotex leave to appeal in two cases
Smart & Biggar/Fetherstonhaugh
  • Canada
  • 10 July 2019

The Supreme Court of Canada has denied Apotex leave to appeal in two recent cases. In the first case, Apotex sought leave to appeal a decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal permitting Sanofi and Schering to amend their defences to claims relating to ramipril. In the second case, Apotex sought leave to appeal a decision of the Federal Court of Appeal relating to damages awarded to Eli Lilly in respect of Apotex's infringement of process patents relating to cefaclor.

Proposed regulations set to amend process for sale of drugs for medical emergencies
Smart & Biggar/Fetherstonhaugh
  • Canada
  • 03 July 2019

Two sets of proposed amendments to the Food and Drug Regulations were recently published and contain provisions which would streamline the process for providing access to unauthorised drugs for medical emergencies. Access to the drugs will continue to be facilitated through the Special Access Programme for human drugs and the Emergency Drug Release Programme for veterinary products.

Health Canada releases new guidance document regarding drug identification numbers
Smart & Biggar/Fetherstonhaugh
  • Canada
  • 03 July 2019

Health Canada recently released the new Guidance Document: Regulatory Requirements for Drug Identification Numbers. The document assists in interpreting the regulatory requirements associated with drug identification numbers and offers guidance to manufacturers on their obligation to accurately report notifications for a change of drug status to Health Canada.

Update on PMPRB guidelines modernisation
Smart & Biggar/Fetherstonhaugh
  • Canada
  • 26 June 2019

The Patented Medicine Prices Review Board (PMPRB) previously announced that the steering committee on guidelines modernisation would hold its final meeting on 13 May 2019 to discuss both a draft report of its deliberations and the working group's final report. Once the steering committee's report has been finalised and the regulatory amendments have been published in Part II of the Canada Gazette, the PMPRB will release its draft guidelines for public consultation.

Infringement based on making and selling under existing NOC struck from action
Smart & Biggar/Fetherstonhaugh
  • Canada
  • 26 June 2019

The Federal Court has granted in part Pharmascience's motion to strike out portions of Teva's statement of claim under Subsection 6(1) of the Patented Medicines (Notice of Compliance) (PMNOC) Regulations relating to glatiramer acetate (Teva's Copaxone and Pharmascience's Glatect). The court found that it is plain and obvious that Section 6.02 of the PMNOC Regulations prohibits the joinder of a regular infringement action under the Patent Act with an action pursuant to Subsection 6(1).

Software – the unregulated medical device
Sanchez DeVanny Eseverri SC
  • Mexico
  • 26 June 2019

It is a basic constitutional principle that no activity or product can be restricted or limited unless a legal provision establishes such restriction or limitation. This principle has resulted in a number of legal gaps regarding products and activities of a technical nature, as Mexican law is rarely as dynamic as technology and innovation. One of the most visible technological advances has been in the software and app arena, particularly with regard to healthcare. This has led to a challenging situation for the health authorities.

Federal Court dismisses Servier's application for order of prohibition regarding salt patent
Smart & Biggar/Fetherstonhaugh
  • Canada
  • 19 June 2019

The Federal Court recently dismissed Servier's application for a prohibition order under the pre-amended Patented Medicines (Notice of Compliance) Regulations for Canadian Patent 2,423,825 regarding a perindopril arginine/amlodipine product (Servier's Viacoram). Apotex had alleged that the patent was invalid for obviousness, overbreadth, inutility and insufficiency.

Court upholds issuance of NON-W letter and cancellation of reconsideration process for Apotex
Smart & Biggar/Fetherstonhaugh
  • Canada
  • 19 June 2019

The Federal Court of Appeal recently affirmed the Federal Court's dismissal of Apotex's application for judicial review of a minister of health decision relating to its Apo-Omeprazole (omeprazole magnesium) delayed-release tablets. The minister had issued a Notice of Non-Compliance – Withdrawal letter in respect of Apotex's abbreviated new drug submission on the basis that the tablets were not bioequivalent to the relevant Canadian reference product.

Ontario Court of Appeal overturns ban on online sales of prescription eyewear to Ontario residents
Smart & Biggar/Fetherstonhaugh
  • Canada
  • 12 June 2019

The Ontario Court of Appeal has overturned the Ontario Superior Court of Justice's finding that online sales of prescription eyewear by Essilor Group Canada Inc to Ontario residents violated the Regulated Health Professions Act. The court found that the mere act of delivery did not, in itself, establish a sufficient connection to Ontario so as to bring Essilor's online transactions within the ambit of the act.

Procedural decisions under PMNOC Regulations: common validity issues and naming of defendants
Smart & Biggar/Fetherstonhaugh
  • Canada
  • 12 June 2019

In two recent cases, the Federal Court considered procedural decisions in actions under the Patented Medicines (Notice of Compliance) Regulations. In one case, the court ordered that common validity issues in actions relating to Bayer's Xarelto against Apotex and Teva will be heard concurrently. In another case, the court refused to allow the plaintiffs to name additional Teva parties as further defendants in three actions relating to Celltrion's Herzuma, a trastuzumab biosimilar of Roche's Herceptin.

New oncology initiative and Health Canada study on biosimilar drugs
Smart & Biggar/Fetherstonhaugh
  • Canada
  • 05 June 2019

The new pan-Canadian Oncology Biosimilars Initiative aims to ensure appropriate implementation and cost-effective use of therapeutic oncology biosimilars. Separately, Health Canada recently announced that it is collaborating with the Drug Safety and Effectiveness Network on a project to study patients with certain diseases who are taking biologic drugs. The study aims to compare the safety and effectiveness of biosimilar drugs to the reference biologic drug.

Legislative decree opens way to commercial use of data obtained by non-profit clinical trials
Hogan Lovells
  • Italy
  • 05 June 2019

The government recently approved a legislative decree on clinical trials that introduces changes to several provisions of the existing national regulation on clinical trials. At present, clinical data obtained in Italy from non-profit clinical trials cannot be used for commercial purposes. Moreover, pharmaceutical companies funding non-profit research cannot claim ownership of data and results obtained from such research, irrespective of any agreement with the non-profit entity. This may now change.

Health Canada invites submissions containing high-quality, real-world evidence
Smart & Biggar/Fetherstonhaugh
  • Canada
  • 05 June 2019

Health Canada recently released a notice inviting drug submissions containing high-quality, real-world evidence along with a document providing principles for the collection and evaluation of real-world evidence. A further joint document regarding the use of real-world evidence is expected to be published later in 2019.

Bill C-97: amendments to Food and Drugs Act establish framework for advanced therapeutic products
Smart & Biggar/Fetherstonhaugh
  • Canada
  • 29 May 2019

Bill C-97, which was recently introduced in the House of Commons, includes proposed amendments to the Food and Drugs Act to introduce a new framework for advanced therapeutic products, including a new licensing framework. It is expected that advanced therapeutic products may include the regulation of newer technologies, such as cell and gene therapies, 3D printing and novel drug delivery methods.

Proposed amendments to Food and Drug Regulations
Smart & Biggar/Fetherstonhaugh
  • Canada
  • 29 May 2019

Health Canada recently released its proposed Regulations Amending the Food and Drug Regulations (Improving Access to Generics). The proposed regulations clarify and codify Health Canada's expectations and policies regarding differences in the form of medicinal ingredients in generic drug products that are eligible for submission under the abbreviated new drug submission pathway by introducing a regulatory definition for 'therapeutically active component'.

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