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      Regulatory review of novel therapeutics--comparison of three regulatory agencies.

      The New England journal of medicine

      Canada, Commerce, Drug Approval, economics, organization & administration, Drug Industry, Europe, Fees and Charges, Government Agencies, Government Regulation, Humans, Prescription Drugs, Time Factors, United States, United States Food and Drug Administration

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          Abstract

          The upcoming reauthorization of the Prescription Drug User Fee Act focuses on improving the review process for new drug applications at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Using publicly available information from the FDA, the European Medicines Agency (EMA), and Health Canada, we compared the time for completion of the first review and the total review time for all applications involving novel therapeutic agents approved by the three regulatory agencies from 2001 through 2010 and determined the geographic area in which each novel therapeutic agent was first approved for use. There were 510 applications for novel therapeutic agents approved from 2001 through 2010--225 by the FDA, 186 by the EMA, and 99 by Health Canada; among the applications, there were 289 unique agents. The median length of time for completion of the first review was 303 days (interquartile range, 185 to 372) for applications approved by the FDA, 366 days (interquartile range, 310 to 445) for those approved by the EMA, and 352 days (interquartile range, 255 to 420) for those approved by Health Canada (P<0.001 for the comparison across the three agencies). The median total review time was also shorter at the FDA than at the EMA or Health Canada (P=0.002). Among the 289 unique novel therapeutic agents, 190 were approved in both the United States and Europe (either by the EMA or through the mutual recognition process), of which 121 (63.7%) were first approved in the United States; similarly, 154 were approved in both the United States and Canada, of which 132 (85.7%) were first approved in the United States. For novel therapeutic agents approved between 2001 and 2010, the FDA reviewed applications involving novel therapeutics more quickly, on average, than did the EMA or Health Canada, and the vast majority of these new therapeutic agents were first approved for use in the United States. (Funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts.).

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          Most cited references 10

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          Balancing early market access to new drugs with the need for benefit/risk data: a mounting dilemma.

          Drug regulatory agencies are increasingly pressed by the challenge of finding the appropriate balance between the need for rapid access to new drugs and the need to ensure comprehensive data on their benefits and risks. This dilemma is not new, but has been made more prominent by recent high-profile drug withdrawals and conflicting demands, including the need to improve the efficiency of drug development on one hand, and the need to avoid exposing patients to unnecessary risks or possibly ineffective treatments on the other. Here, we summarize the current demands by stakeholders and the scientific and regulatory issues at stake, describe existing and emerging regulatory approaches, and speculate on future directions, such as evolution of the current regulatory model from a one-off marketing authorization to a life-cycle approach.
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            Drug-review deadlines and safety problems.

            The Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA) imposes deadlines for the completion of drug reviews by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Critics have suggested that these deadlines may result in rushed approvals and the emergence of unanticipated safety problems once a product is in clinical use. We assessed the association between the PDUFA deadlines and the timing of FDA drug approval by constructing dynamic Cox proportional-hazards models of review times for all new molecular entities approved between 1950 and 2005. To determine whether the deadlines were associated with postmarketing safety problems, we focused on drugs submitted since January 1993, when the deadlines were first imposed. We used exact logistic regression to determine whether drugs approved immediately before the deadlines were associated with a higher rate of postmarketing safety problems (e.g., withdrawals and black-box warnings) than drugs approved at other times. Initiation of the PDUFA requirements concentrated the number of approval decisions made in the weeks immediately preceding the deadlines. As compared with drugs approved at other times, drugs approved in the 2 months before their PDUFA deadlines were more likely to be withdrawn for safety reasons (odds ratio, 5.5; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.3 to 27.8), more likely to carry a subsequent black-box warning (odds ratio, 4.4; 95% CI, 1.2 to 20.5), and more likely to have one or more dosage forms voluntarily discontinued by the manufacturer (odds ratio, 3.3; 95% CI, 1.5 to 7.5). PDUFA deadlines have appreciably changed the approval decisions of the FDA. Once medications are in clinical use, the discovery of safety problems is more likely for drugs approved immediately before a deadline than for those approved at other times. Copyright 2008 Massachusetts Medical Society.
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              Despite Criticism Of The FDA Review Process, New Cancer Drugs Reach Patients Sooner In The United States Than In Europe

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                22591257
                3504361
                10.1056/NEJMsa1200223

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