Food and Drug Administration Modernization Act
The Food and Drug Administration Modernization Act (FDAMA), enacted Nov. 21, 1997, amended the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act relating to the regulation of food, drugs, devices, and biological products. With the passage of FDAMA, Congress enhanced FDA's mission in ways that recognized the agency would be operating in a 21st century characterized by increasing technological, trade and public health complexities. FDAMA reauthorizes the Prescription Drug User Fee Act of 1992 and mandates the most wide-ranging reforms in agency practices since 1938. Provisions include measures to accelerate review of devices, regulate advertising of unapproved uses of approved drugs and devices, and regulate health claims for foods.
Prescription Drug User Fee
This authorizes the FDA to collect fees from companies that produce certain human drug and biological products. Any time a company wants the FDA to approve a new drug or biologic prior to marketing, it must submit an application along with a fee to support the review process. In addition, companies pay annual fees for each manufacturing establishment and for each prescription drug product marketed. Previously, taxpayers alone paid for product reviews through budgets provided by Congress. In the new program, industry provides the funding in exchange for FDA agreement to meet drug-review performance goals, which emphasize timeliness.
Off-Label Medication Uses
The law abolishes the long-standing prohibition on dissemination by manufacturers of information about unapproved uses of drugs and medical devices. The act allows a firm to disseminate peer-reviewed journal articles about an off-label indication of its product, provided the company commits itself to file, within a specified time frame, a supplemental application based on appropriate research to establish the safety and effectiveness of the unapproved use.
The act creates a special exemption to ensure continued availability of compounded drug products prepared by pharmacists to provide patients with individualized therapies not available commercially. The law, however, seeks to prevent manufacturing under the guise of compounding by establishing parameters within which the practice is appropriate and lawful.
FDA Initiatives and Programs
The law enacts many FDA initiatives undertaken in recent years under Vice President Al Gore's Reinventing Government program. The codified initiatives include measures to modernize the regulation of biological products by bringing them in harmony with the regulations for drugs and eliminating the need for establishment license application; eliminate the batch certification and monograph requirements for insulin and antibiotics; streamline the approval processes for drug and biological manufacturing changes; and reduce the need for environmental assessment as part of a product application.
The act also codifies FDA's regulations and practice to increase patient access to experimental drugs and medical devices and to accelerate review of important new medications. In addition, the law provides for an expanded database on clinical trials which will be accessible by patients. With the sponsor's consent, the results of such clinical trials will be included in the database. Under a separate provision, patients will receive advance notice when a manufacturer plans to discontinue a drug on which they depend for life support or sustenance, or for a treatment of a serious or debilitating disease or condition.
- Pharmacy Times, A Review of Federal Legislation Affecting Pharmacy Practice, Virgil Van Dusen , RPh, JD and Alan R. Spies , RPh, MBA, JD, PhD, https://secure.pharmacytimes.com/lessons/200612-01.asp
- Strauss's Federal Drug Laws and Examination Review, Fifth Edition (revised), Steven Strauss, CRC Press, 2000
- Food and Drug Administration, Legislation, http://www.fda.gov/RegulatoryInformation/Legislation/default.htm
- Food and Drug Administration, History, http://www.fda.gov/AboutFDA/WhatWeDo/History/default.htm