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White Paper: Insight into Orphan Drug Formulations and Regulations

The US Orphan Drug Act of 1983 characterizes an orphan disease as a rare medical condition that affects a population of fewer than 200,000 people. Rare diseases have various causes— most notably, genetics. However, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) states, “many rare diseases, including infections, some rare cancers, and some autoimmune diseases, are not inherited. While researchers are learning more each year, the exact cause of many rare diseases is still unknown” (NIH, 2017).

The term “orphan disease” resulted from pharmaceutical companies not having the resources to design and scale up formulations to treat these diseases, due to the lack of financial support for such highly specialized programs. The Orphan Drug Act (ODA) allows for the necessary financial backing of pharmaceutical companies to develop treatments for rare diseases (NIH, 2017), giving special status to a drug or biological product (drug) upon request of a sponsor. This status is referred to as orphan designation or orphan status.

Topics: Resource Center Oral Solid Dose Formulations Regulatory Compliance Orphan Drugs

Beyond the Label: Four Challenges to Serialization

Many pharmaceutical manufacturers are concerned about label design and placement to accommodate a serialized label. These are, of course, very legitimate concerns. However, there are much more complex issues at hand, including the importance of standardization, scaling information technology infrastructure, agility to accommodate regulatory changes, and data security.

Why Serialization Matters
The first objective of any pharmaceutical company is to deliver safe and effective medicines to patients. While historically there have been methods to provide product visibility and control along the supply chain, the processes have been highly manual, with paper-based record keeping being the prevalent modality.

Topics: Regulatory Compliance Serialization Supply Chain

Important Steps for Quota, Import, and Export Processes for DEA Controlled Substances

Controlled drug substances are scheduled based on medical use in treatment, potential for abuse, and dependence caused if abused— the lower the control schedule the more potential for abuse. The process to obtain approval from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) for Schedule I-V controlled substances and List I chemicals licensing involves intricacy and a detailed timeline of approvals. This article will discuss the background of controlled substance applications and how to successfully work with the DEA.

Topics: Thought Leadership Regulatory Compliance Drug Product Controlled Substances API

Successful Methods for Obtaining Orphan Drug Approval

Signed into law on January 4, 1983, the Orphan Drug Act (ODA) allows for granting special status to a drug or biological product (drug) to treat a rare disease or condition upon request of a sponsor. This status is referred to as orphan designation, or orphan status. For a drug to qualify for orphan designation, both the drug and the disease or condition must meet certain criteria specified in the ODA and US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) implementing regulations per 21 CFR Part 316. The FDA Office of Orphan Products Development (OOPD) evaluates the scientific and clinical data submission from sponsors to identify and designate products as promising for rare diseases or conditions.

Topics: Thought Leadership Regulatory Compliance Drug Product Orphan Drugs

ON-DEMAND WEBINAR: Successful Application of the New Elemental Impurities Regulation

Join Alcami and the Division of Pharmacy Professional Development at UW-Madison for a webinar: Successful Application of the New Elemental Impurities Regulation.

The recent changes to the elemental impurities regulation guidelines increase the level of control necessary in testing for heavy metals in pharmaceutical and biotherapeutic products. The use of inductively coupled plasma (ICP) instrumentation is considered the ideal method to determine elemental impurities present in drug products and raw materials. This approach has been proven to be accurate, sensitive, linear, and satisfactory to include in filing reports.

Topics: Webinars Elemental Impurities Regulatory Compliance

Case Study: Implementing Serialization

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a draft guidance listing the enforcement of product identifiers under the Drug Supply Chain Security Act.  Specifically, this draft guidance addresses the requirement in section 582(b)(2) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) (21 U.S.C. 360eee-1(b)(2)) that manufacturers “affix or imprint a product identifier to each package and homogenous case of a product intended to be introduced in a transaction into commerce” beginning no later than November 27, 2017.  Ultimately, the FDA recognized the massive undertaking of such a requirement and extended the deadline to November 26, 2018.

Alcami began implementing serialization in 2015 to achieve the aggressive timelines and develop the necessary documentation needed to meet compliance.

This case study shows how Alcami has successfully transferred clients into the new serialization program.

Topics: Drug Product Resource Center Serialization Regulatory Compliance

Serialization CDMO Checklist

Given that serialization execution is new to many in the industry, what should drug developers look for when reviewing a new contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) that will be manufacturing serialized product or when approaching the project with existing CDMOs?

Topics: Thought Leadership Serialization Regulatory Compliance

ON-DEMAND WEBINAR: Elemental Impurities - Missed the Deadline? Now What?

Join Alcami for a webinar to learn more about elemental impurities and the updated regulatory requirements.

It’s official! The methods outlined in USP General Chapter <231> are retired. If you missed the January 1, 2018 deadline, we are here to help. Our in-house experts will share our approved testing plan that can be submitted to the FDA to help ensure you are moving to compliance, and will highlight experiences gained while working with the new regulations.

Topics: Webinars Elemental Impurities Regulatory Compliance

Editorial: Implications of Serialization for the U.S. Pharma Industry

As published in Pharma's Almanac Q2 2017.


New requirements under the U.S. Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) have been set for pharmaceutical manufacturers, repackagers, wholesale distributors, dispensers and third-party logistics providers. Some of these requirements began in 2014; additional requirements will be phased in until 2023. The next deadline — November 2017 — applies to manufacturers. Compliance is challenging, but noncompliance carries the risk of significant consequences. In addition, challenges won’t end with implementation: there will be vast quantities of data to manage to support serialized production moving forward.

Topics: Thought Leadership Editorials Serialization Regulatory Compliance Supply Chain

Serialization - Data Management Challenges

The implementation of the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) requirements poses many challenges. There can be an impact on productivity if your Serialization and Track/Trace systems are not prepared. Poor implementation plans can cause operational bottlenecks for several years as additional requirements are steadily implemented from now to 2024. As each system goes online, it will be necessary to “work out the bugs” and provide additional training for production and warehouse personnel.

Topics: Regulatory Compliance Serialization Supply Chain