James Shehan, JD: FDA Guidance on Medical Product Communications

James Shehan, JD, chair of regulatory practice at Lowenstein Sandler, LLP, discusses the implications of recent FDA guidance on medical product communications.


Recently FDA has changed its guidances on how companies can make communications about their drugs and devices. There [are] actually 2 separate categories: one is economic information, like, for example, is a drug cost effective or how does it say, reduce the length of hospitalization, what kind of money does that save. The other one goes into what kind of communications, what things that companies say that are consistent with the labeling of a product.

Both of these guidances essentially have slightly liberalized what companies can say by giving companies more guidance on what is permissible and what is impermissible. The healthcare economic one, in particular, companies really wanted to see because there have been 2 laws in the last 15 years where Congress asked FDA to do more in that area and give more guidance.

So that one is great now because now we know particularly prior to approval for example, that you can go and talk with payers and show more data about what has this product done in clinical trials.

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