Recent Blog Posts
- FDA Makes Moves to Advance Digital Health At the end of July, FDA released a tangible plan for promoting innovation in the development of digital health products. In this Digital Health Innovation Action Plan, FDA acknowledges that digital health technologies are critically important in advancing health care, and that traditional FDA pathways to market are not well suited for all of these technologies. Over the last few years, FDA has taken a deregulatory approach with respect to low risk digital health products and has issued guidance regarding... More
- New Federal and State Initiatives Seek to Combat Antimicrobial Resistance Recent federal and state legislative efforts signal an increased focus on a significant and largely underappreciated public health threat – antimicrobial resistance (i.e., when a microorganism (such as a bacteria or virus) is able to resist the effects of medications such as antibiotics and antivirals, causing such medications to be ineffective). The results of a 2014 study underscore the magnitude of the threat of so-called “superbugs,” estimating that the number of deaths worldwide attributable to antimicrobial resistance will reach 10... More
- FCA Penalty Spike Confirmed by DOJ Entities that provide goods and services to the federal government, including health care providers and life sciences companies, should take note of the new civil monetary penalty amounts applicable to False Claims Act (“FCA”) violations. After much anticipation, the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) issued an interim final rule on June 30, 2016 confirming speculation that the penalty amounts will increase twofold.
The new minimum per-claim penalty amount will increase from $5,500 to $10,781, and the maximum per-claim penalty amount will... More
- Health Care Providers May Soon See a Twofold Increase in False Claims Act Penalties In fiscal year 2015, the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) recovered more than $3.5 billion from False Claims Act (“FCA”) cases. A staggering $1.9 billion of that amount was recovered from health care providers who were alleged to have provided unnecessary care, paid kickbacks or overcharged federal health care programs. While this amount may seem high, the drastic increases in FCA penalties expected this summer have the potential to skyrocket FCA recoveries in coming years. DOJ has not yet released... More
- FDA Leverages Patient-Reported Information to Monitor Drug Safety FDA has recently partnered with PatientsLikeMe, an online patient networking forum, to leverage patient-reported information to bolster its drug safety monitoring efforts. PatientsLikeMe, with its 350,000 members representing over 2,500 health conditions, has collected more than 110,000 adverse event reports on 1,000 different drugs. This partnership, which is in the form of a research collaboration agreement, will provide FDA with access to “real-world” data about patients’ drug and disease experiences (the information provided to FDA is anonymous; so it does... More
- 3-D Printing Guidance Only a B-List Priority for FDA While FDA made a push last fall to explore the technical challenges associated with 3-D printed devices (holding a public workshop in October 2014), the Agency’s planned guidance on the topic fell to the “B-list” in FDA’s 2015 medical device guidance agenda. According to the agenda, the Agency will issue a draft guidance document on 3-D printing as “guidance-development resources permit.” In light of the regulatory uncertainty facing 3-D printing stakeholders, this may seem like unwelcome news – but is... More
- What’s the Latest in 3-D Printing? As we move into 2015, stories about the use of 3-D printing (also called additive manufacturing) in the health care industry continue to hit headlines. Some 3-D printed products are already available to U.S. patients, including knee and cranial implants, while others, including a graft device to treat aneurysms, are coming down the pipeline.
In touch with this trend, FDA has formed an Additive Manufacturing Working Group, and in October 2014, the Agency engaged industry stakeholders to discuss technical considerations... More
- 3-D Printed Devices Pose Layers of Regulatory Questions In early October, FDA held a public workshop to discuss the challenges of regulating medical devices made through additive manufacturing (also known as 3-D printing). Additive manufacturing gives designers the ability to build devices directly from 3-D images, like patient CT or MRI scans. As the push toward personalized medicine continues, 3-D printed devices hold incredible potential for advancing the ball. While additive manufacturing isn’t completely mainstream yet, FDA and industry stakeholders expect to see major growth in this field... More