The FDA’s legal authority to regulate lab-developed tests (LDTs) has come into question on several occasions in a number of venues, and the issue is enjoying new life yet again thanks to more activity on Capitol Hill. While two competing pieces of legislation are back in play, the most critical question may be whether the FDA has any authority left at all after the August 2020 rescission letter from the Department of Health and Human Services.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has awarded a contract for validation of lab-developed tests (LDTs) for the pandemic to a private company, a move that was apparently an effort to address the resource crunch at the U.S.
As is the case with many national governments, the U.S. federal government does not routinely measure its activities in the calendar year, but we at BioWorld don’t share that outlook. CY 2020 was odd in more ways than one from a regulatory standpoint, and thus we offer our version of a regulatory top 10 for a year that might not look much better in the rear-view mirror than it has looked as a current event.
The draft version of the U.S. Medicare national coverage analysis for blood-based biomarker tests for colorectal cancer (CRC) engendered a large body of support, but several stakeholders recommended that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) avoid prescriptiveness regarding the sensitivity and specificity for any tests that would be covered under the policy.
The question of whether the U.S. FDA will review emergency use authorizations (EUAs) for lab-developed tests (LDTs) for the COVID-19 pandemic has bounced around frequently in recent weeks, and Brett Giroir of the Department of Health and Human Services has resurrected the issue.
The controversy over the U.S. FDA’s authority to regulate lab-developed tests (LDTs) took on a new set of considerations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, a June 22 memo by HHS General Counsel Robert Charrow pokes holes in the FDA’s argument on several fronts. Among these is the question of whether an LDT can be regulated by the FDA, given that a test is not usually offered for sale across state lines.
The U.S. FDA’s stated policy is that it will not review emergency use authorizations (EUAs) for lab-developed tests (LDTs) for the COVID-19 pandemic, but that doesn’t mean labs are completely shut out. The FDA’s Toby Lowe said that a lab that wants to pair an assay that already has an EUA with a new software installation on lab instrumentation can work with the assay developer to update that EUA.
The U.S. FDA’s device center has declared it will not review emergency use authorization (EUA) requests for lab-developed tests (LDTs) for the COVID-19 pandemic, but on the agency’s most recent town hall, on Oct. 14, FDA officials were uncertain as to whether labs should file those EUAs, leaving labs in a state of limbo yet again.
The U.S. FDA will no longer review lab-developed tests (LDTs) for the SARS-CoV-2 virus under the emergency use authorization (EUA) program, a change that will eliminate any prospect of immunity from liability for these tests. The FDA’s Tim Stenzel, director of the Office of In Vitro Diagnostics and Radiological Health, announced the news on the weekly COVID-19 testing town hall, but the change was simultaneously unveiled in the FDA’s Q&A for testing.
The annual med-tech conference hosted by the Advanced Medical Technology Association, always features an FDA town hall, but this year’s town hall labored under the overhang of the COVID-19 pandemic. Nonetheless, Jeff Shuren, director of the Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH), repeatedly gave voice to frustration with the statutory authorities currently enjoyed by the center, stating on more than one occasion that the Medical Device Amendments of 1976 are more than 40 years old and are in need of updates to cope with modern medical technology.