With deeming day a little more than a month away, the FDA is taking final steps to ease the transition of simple proteins approved as new drug applications (NDAs) to biologic license applications (BLAs). The March 23 change will open drugs such as insulin and various hormones to new competition, likely bringing in the next wave of biosimilars. And this time, interchangeability could be riding the crest.
A lot of development dollars are shed when the FDA withdraws approval or requests that a drug be withdrawn from the market because new potential risks have come to light. And it’s not just the brand company that feels the loss.
Eisai Co. Ltd. is removing Belviq (lorcaserin) from the U.S. market due to the FDA’s concerns about an increased occurrence of cancer in a long-term trial evaluating the cardiovascular effects associated with the weight-loss drug.
Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar was peppered with questions about the Trump administration’s budget proposal for fiscal 2021 during a Feb. 13 Senate hearing. However, another theme that resonated during the hearing was Senate legislation addressing drug prices. Azar addressed the issue of price caps, while noting that the bill “leaves plenty of room” for both ample profit margins and innovation in drug development.
The latest mutation to the coronavirus, dubbed COVID-19, has sparked a reaction by many national governments, but the expense associated with development of vaccines and diagnostics is considerable. Ron Klain, who served as the Obama administration’s coordinator for the response to the Ebola virus, said during an Aspen Institute seminar that drug makers took a hit in their efforts to develop a vaccine for the Ebola virus, and thus there is a need to de-risk these and other development efforts in the private sector.
BOGOTA, Colombia – As part of an effort to further control drug costs, Colombia set price caps on 770 drugs in late January. The move takes the total of price-regulated drugs in the Latin American country to 2,487. The new caps on drug prices apply to a broad range of products from generics to biosimilars and to biologics such as ranibizumab, trastuzumab, vedolizumab, secukinumab and pembrolizumab, among dozens of others.