FDA Guidance: Drug Approval

FDA Guidance: Drug Approval

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released an updated draft for the life science industry regarding communicating directly with health care professionals. This FDA guidance draft will go to industry for comment and feedback with the long term goal of streamlining the FDA regulatory process.


A specific use case mentioned in the FDA guidance is how HCPs use scientific information about unapproved uses (SIUU) for approved/cleared medical products. From the pharmaceutical or medical device perspective, are life science companies providing this scientific information in the context of clinical decision making? For example, are there off label uses of the FDA approved treatment for patients that may be going under investigated for both efficacy or compliance?


Scientific Information on Unapproved Uses (SIUU)


Particularly, this FDA guidance targets life science firms and how companies are sharing specific approval drug communications for medical products. Further, the following types of communications with HCPs were specifically mentioned by the Food and Drug Administration:


  • Published scientific or medical journal articles (reprints)
  • Published clinical reference resources:
    • Clinical practice guidelines (CPGs)
    • Scientific or medical reference texts (reference texts)
    • Materials from independent clinical practice resources
  • Firm-generated presentations of scientific information from an accompanying published reprint


Clinical Drug Trials


The FDA guidance speaks consistently to the delivery and context of medical trials data. Further, scientific information from clinical trials for approved products should be truthful, non-misleading, factual, and unbiased. The clinical research center should be in good standing from an FDA compliance perspective as well. 


Finally, there is a legal responsibility for industry employees to communicate information that is generally regarded as safe. Those who communicate unapproved indications or create medical labeling should not be associated with different types of unresearched clinical outcomes.


Medical Manufacturers


The FDA guidance makes it a point to note the types of life science firms and industry employees who can be held legally responsible. Medical labeling and the labeling of medical products can include:


  • Applicants
  • Sponsors
  • Requestors
  • Manufacturers
  • Packers
  • Distributors
  • Licensees
  • Any person communicating on behalf of these entities.


Clinical Evaluation


There has been some clinical research concerns across the healthcare industry about data integrity and organizations or publications that have issued clinical studies. The FDA guidance describes what it considers a source publication for legitimacy as:


  • The clinical problem is scientifically sound
  • The clinical study provides relevant information
  • Clinical data is relevant to HCPs who make clinical decisions
  • Clinical treatment must be relevant to the the care of a patient


The FDA guidance is written so industry employees focus towards:


  • Interpreting strengths and weaknesses of clinical research
  • Interpreting validity and utility of the therapeutic information


Healthcare Providers (HCPs)


The FDA guidance goes on to elaborate about professionals who are engaged with clinical decision making during patient treatment. Additionally, special focus is given to individuals licensed or authorized by law to prescribe, order, administer, or use medical products during their daily job.


Regulatory Compliance


The FDA goes on to comment that medical product regulation has progressed over time and is shaped via real world clinical evidence. Additionally, there can be significant hazards to society when uses of medical products do not follow the clinical process for regulatory approval.


FDA’s premarket review process decides if a medical product is safe and effective for the specified use(s) in an recognized patient profile. Yet, after the premarket review process is complete and a product is approved/cleared, questions may arise.


Intended Use


These questions can be investigated during clinical use of the medical product for the intended patient. Specifically, FDA premarket review for medical products includes:


  • Safety and effectiveness for each intended use needs to be appropriately studied by firms
  • Independently evaluated by FDA before a medical product is introduced into interstate commerce
  • Evidence that demonstrates effectiveness and safety for one product does not guarantee the clinical effectiveness or safety for additional uses


About RCA’s Pharmaceutical Consulting Services


Regulatory Compliance Associates (RCA) has helped thousands of pharmaceutical companies meet regulatory, compliance, quality assurance, and remediation challenges. With more than 20 years of experience with FDA, Health Canada, EU and global regulatory agencies worldwide, Regulatory Compliance Associates® offers leading pharmaceutical consultants. We’re one of the few pharma consulting companies that can help you navigate the challenges associated with industry regulations.


Our pharmaceutical consulting firm includes over 500 seasoned FDA, Health Canada & EU compliance consultants and regulatory affairs experts who understand industry complexities. It’s a pharma consultancy founded by regulatory compliance executives from the pharmaceutical industry. Every pharmaceutical industry consultant on the Regulatory Compliance Associates team knows the unique inner workings of the regulatory process. 


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Regulatory affairs is Regulatory Compliance Associates backbone. We exceed other pharma consulting companies with industry experts experienced in complexities of the pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical industries. Our pharma consulting expertise spans all facets and levels of Regulatory Affairs. Additionally, we specialize in Regulatory Support for New Products to Life Cycle Management, Outsourced Regulatory Affairs, Submissions, Training, and more.


As your partner, we can negotiate the potential assessment minefield of regulatory compliance services with insight, hindsight, and the clear advantage of our breadth and depth of knowledge and regulatory compliance consulting. We offer the following pharma consulting regulatory affairs services for pharmaceutical companies.


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The regulations process surrounding pharmaceutical companies can be tricky for even the most experienced industry veteran to understand. Just one misstep could mean significant and lasting consequences for your business. At Regulatory Compliance Associates, we offer the pharma consulting experience and pharma consultants necessary to guide you through the quality compliance process.


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Quality Assurance


Regulatory Compliance Associates Quality consulting includes assessments, strategy, implementations, staff augmentations, and identification of quality metrics to ensure continuous improvement. Our pharma consultants understand the strategic thinking needed to align your business needs and goals. Regulatory Compliance Associates quality assurance services include quality experts with experience spanning major corporations and start-ups. Our pharmaceutical consulting firm knows firsthand how to achieve, maintain, and improve quality. Finally, our regulatory compliance services team excels in transferring continuous improvement knowledge to your organization.


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Regulatory Compliance Associates has a proven remediation services approach to managing FDA Warning Letters, Consent Decrees, Remediation and other serious regulatory situations. Our pharma consultants know how to partner with executive, legal, and communication teams. Each RCA pharma consulting Expert will develop a response that will be accepted by the regulatory agency and be realistic to execute.


Regulatory Compliance Associates pharma regulatory consultants will develop a comprehensive proof book of documented evidence demonstrating the corrective action taken to remediate non-compliant issues. In addition, each Regulatory Compliance Associates pharma consulting Expert understands compliance enforcement. We’ll prepare a comprehensive pharma consulting strategy to assist in your remediation efforts, drive continuous improvement, and maintain regulatory compliance with the regulations.


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About Regulatory Compliance Associates


fda guidanceRegulatory Compliance Associates® (RCA) provides pharmaceutical consulting to the following industries for resolution of life science challenges:



We understand the complexities of running a life science business and possess areas of expertise that include every facet of R&D, operations, regulatory affairs, quality, and manufacturing. We are used to working on the front lines and thriving in the scrutiny of FDA, Health Canada, MHRA and globally-regulated companies.


As your partners, Regulatory Compliance Associates can negotiate the potential minefield of regulatory compliance and regulatory due diligence with insight, hindsight, and the clear advantage of our unique expertise and experience.


  • Founded in 2000
  • Headquartered in Wisconsin (USA)
  • Expertise backed by over 500 industry subject matter experts
  • Acquired by Sotera Health in 2021


About Sotera Health


The name Sotera Health was inspired by Soteria, the Greek goddess of safety, and reflects the Company’s unwavering commitment to its mission, Safeguarding Global Health®.


Sotera Health Company, along with its three best-in-class businesses – Sterigenics®Nordion® and Nelson Labs®, is a leading global provider of mission-critical end-to-end sterilization solutions and lab testing and advisory services for the healthcare industry. With a combined tenure across our businesses of nearly 200 years and our industry-recognized scientific and technological expertise, we help to ensure the safety of over 190 million patients and healthcare practitioners around the world every year.


We are a trusted partner to 5,800+ customers in over 50 countries, including 40 of the top 50 medical device companies and 9 of the top 10 pharmaceutical companies.


Commitment to Quality


Our Certificate of Registration demonstrates that our Quality Management System meets the requirements of ISO 9001:2015, an internationally recognized standard of quality.


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