Tag: regulatory guidance

A recent update for Health Canada and EMA’s data anonymization program included instructions for filling out the new clinical template and a more granular look inside the harmonized Anonymization Report (AnR). Further, the goal of this regulatory harmonization program is to make EU and Health Canada identification of specific patients from characteristics in the data set as highly unlikely as possible.


What is Data Anonymization?


Data anonymization is a method for presenting research data in a way that reduces our ability to identify the individuals who participated in the clinical study. Best practices for Clinical anonymization commonly target how to protect the trial participant’s data and clinical trial drivers, such as:


  • Device manufacturer
  • Drug manufacturer
  • Device trade name
  • Drug trade name


Patient data and re-identification can also be linked to outlier conditions to be considered:


  • Protocol design vs. advanced methods
  • Special populations
    • Rare disease state
    • Ultra rare disease state


Finally, consideration must be given to small trial populations that can limit the intended scope of patient disclosure. For example, since there are fewer patients in the trial, any form of incomplete anonymization often leads to an increased risk of re-identifying a trial participant.


Regulatory Compliance


Two unique regulatory standards are being used as guidance for drug sponsors & data anonymization clinical teams:


  • Health Canada
    • Public Release of Clinical Information (PRCI)
  • EMA
    • Policy 0070 Clinical Data Publication (CDP)


Finally, an important benefit of anonymization is the ability to proactively distribute scientific data to reduce duplicate clinical trials. Building public trust in products coming to market is often accomplished by increasing the awareness of clinical successes. The healthcare industry’s ability to scrutinize the data against both standards to be durable, reliable, and anonymized over time will help researchers improve clinical outcomes.


Drug Sponsors


The regulatory process will now include drug sponsors submitting only one anonymization report for both Health Canada and EMA regulatory submissions. The updated report format for both Health Canada and EMA uses a mix of predefined, multi-choice questions and verbatim response questions. Additionally, the format is optimized for clinical data sharing between each regulatory body to improve transparency and product efficacy. 


A drug sponsor’s anonymization methodology would include a risk assessment that shows either a qualitative or quantitative calculation (or a combination based on clinical strategy). Redacted copy options include both Personal Information that satisfies Health Canada regulatory and Protected Personal Data for the EMA regulatory format. Finally, direct identifiers of both the clinical report signatory and principal investigator should be listed with the rationale for each clinical approach used.


Adverse Events (AEs)


Indirect identifiers are anonymization report categories often about clinical data specifically related to the trial (or product used in the clinical trial). This information is not enough to stand on its own in terms of independent study variables. Instead, the data analysis is dependent on the clinical trial to connect the differences between patient information and an actual participant.


All adverse events (and terms related to the adverse event) should be recorded in these formats:


  • Summary level
    • Tables and/or descriptive summaries
  • Participant level
    • Written patient narrative based on AEs


Special Populations


Select clinical trial participants may fall under the anonymization category of special populations. These participants often include a sub-set audience that is impacted by either the patient’s life events or stage of life while participating in the clinical trial. Special populations often warrant a different level of clinical segmentation that should be documented and analyzed in the final reporting submission.


Further, their current health condition may warrant creating a clinical subset of participants for regulatory approval, such as:


  • Trial specific examples:
    • Pediatric
    • Geriatric
  • Patient specific examples:
    • Pregnant women
    • Breastfeeding women.


In the context of anonymization, these special populations may need a unique reporting strategy since they often do not share all key characteristics of the trial population.


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. 


Client Solutions


Whether you’re in the product planning, development or pharmaceutical lifecycle management stage or need a remediation strategy for a compliance crisis, Regulatory Compliance Associates will guide you through every pharmaceutical consulting step of the regulatory process. Our pharmaceutical consulting Experts will create a customized approach depending on your product and company’s individual needs. Our regulatory compliance clients include:


  • Companies new to FDA, Health Canada or EU regulations and regulatory compliance
  • Start-up organizations with novel submissions to 510(k) submissions from multi-national corporations
  • Investment firms seeking private equity due diligence for pre-acquisition and post-deal research
  • Law firms seeking pharmaceutical consulting firm expertise in the remediation of warning letters, consent decrees, 483’s or import bans


Regulatory Affairs


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.


  • New Product Support
  • Product Lifecycle
  • Other Regulatory Services
  • Combination Products


Compliance Assurance


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.


  • Assessments
  • Audits
  • Regulatory Agency Response
  • Preparation and Training
  • Inspection Readiness
  • Data Integrity


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.


  • 21 CFR Part 11
  • Data Integrity
  • Manufacturing Support
  • Facility Support
  • Quality Metrics


Remediation Services 


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.


  • Regulatory Action
  • Regulatory Compliance
  • Regulatory Enforcement
  • Warning Letter
  • 483 Observation
  • Oversight Services
  • Risk Management Plan


About Regulatory Compliance Associates


data anonymizationRegulatory 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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