David Horowitz

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Speaking Tuesday, May 21, at the Consumer Health Products Association Regulatory, Scientific, and Quality Conference, FDA Chief of Staff Lauren Silvis emphasized that over-the-counter (OTC) monograph reform remains a “top priority” for FDA.  Based on these comments, FDA is clearly not giving up on monograph reform: FDA has long engaged in this effort, and we will continue to do so, working with all stakeholders and Congress to make clear that OTC monograph reform is a critical…
On May 10, 2019, FDA published a notice of availability for a final guidance document on Maximal Usage Trials (MUsT studies) for topically applied active ingredients being considered for OTC drug monographs, including sunscreens.  As FDA has previously explained, the guidance states that MUsT studies can identify the potential for the systemic exposure for a topically-applied active ingredient.  FDA believes that this information is necessary to determine whether additional safety studies are needed to support…
On April 23, FDA issued draft guidance entitled “Initiation of Voluntary Recalls Under 21 CFR Part 7, Subpart C,” which aims to clarify how firms in a product distribution chain should prepare to facilitate timely initiation of a voluntary recall, respond to an indication of a problem with a distributed product, and initiate a voluntary recall.  Overall, FDA emphasizes the importance of pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device, food, tobacco, and animal products firms having made…
On February 26, FDA published the proposed rule, “Sunscreen Drug Products for Over-the-Counter Human Use,” which describes the conditions under which Over-the-Counter (OTC) sunscreen monograph products are generally recognized as safe and effective (GRASE) and not misbranded.  Primarily, the proposed rule seeks additional information on sunscreen ingredients so that FDA can evaluate their GRASE status in light of changed conditions, including substantially increased sunscreen usage and exposure, and evolving information about the potential risks…
The U.S. government shutdown that began December 22, 2018 affected only about a quarter of federal agencies, because most had already been funded for FY 2019.  Unfortunately, FDA is one of the agencies with at least some functions shut down, as was announced yesterday.  Among other things, FDA has furloughed 42% of its employees, according to a tweet from Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D.  Nonetheless, Dr. Gottlieb said the agency would be “continuing vital activities, to…
On November 9, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., announced that the agency launched new inspection protocols for aseptic processing of sterile drugs to be used by FDA investigators during surveillance and pre-approval inspections.  The protocols were developed through the agency’s New Inspection Protocol Project (the “NIPP”), initially launched in 2014.  The NIPP is intended to develop standardized electronic inspection protocols to collect data in a structured manner; to reduce the variability in inspectional findings among…
On November 2, FDA and the Department of Defense’s (DoD) Office of Health Affairs signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that formally establishes the framework under which the DoD and FDA will implement  Public Law 115-92, which was enacted in 2017.  The law gives the DoD new opportunities to advocate to FDA for expedited development, review, and Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for medical products that could help protect and treat U.S.…
On October 18, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced it settled charges against California-based Regenerative Medical Group, Telehealth Medical Group, and the founder of both companies, Dr. Bryn Jarald Henderson, based on deceptive stem cell therapy claims.  In its complaint, the FTC alleged Henderson and the companies made unsupported claims, including that “amniotic stem cell therapy” can treat serious diseases, including Parkinson’s disease, autism, macular degeneration, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, and heart attacks.  Henderson…
In a big win for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the D.C. Circuit of the United States Court of Appeals reinforced FDA’s position on what constitutes a “meaningful difference” between prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) versions of a drug product.  Under FDA’s longstanding interpretation, section 503(b) of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA) “does not permit the same active ingredient to be simultaneously marketed in both a prescription drug product and a nonprescription…
On Tuesday, FDA announced the entry of a consent decree of permanent injunction against Keystone Laboratories, Inc. of Memphis, Tennessee for manufacturing OTC hair care and skin care products in violation of Current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) requirements and for failing to include required labeling.  Under the 24-page decree, a federal court enjoined the defendants, including the company’s owner and president, from manufacturing or distributing any drug until the terms of the decree are met.…