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President Obama Signs into Law The Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act (FDASIA)

On July 9, 2012, President Obama signed into law The Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act (FDASIA), S. 3187. In their news release, the EveryLife Foundation for Rare Diseases highlights a key aspect of this legislation as pertinent to SMA drug development —  it will “empower [the] FDA to use all the science available for allowing surrogate endpoints in clinical trials for rare diseases to determine whether a drug is working, significantly decreasing the development time and cost.”

Please see below the news releases from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the EveryLife Foundation for Rare Diseases. 

News Release

For Immediate Release
July 9, 2012
Contact: HHS Press Office
(202) 690-6343

Statement from HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on the signing of the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act

Today, the President signed into law S. 3187, the “Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act.”  This legislation, which passed both the House and Senate with overwhelming bipartisan majorities, will help speed safe and effective medical products to patients and maintain our Nation’s role as a leader in biomedical innovation.

S. 3187 is the culmination of the work of the administration and Congress, in partnership with patients, the pharmaceutical and medical device industries, the clinical community, and other stakeholders, to provide the Food and Drug Administration with the tools needed to continue to bring drugs and devices to market safely and quickly and promote innovation in the biomedical industry, and to help secure the jobs supported by drug and device development.

This legislation will drive timely review of new innovator drugs and medical devices, implement the program proposed in the 2013 President’s Budget to accelerate approval of lower-cost generic drugs, and fund the new approval pathway for biosimilar biologics created by the Affordable Care Act.  These new programs are important to increasing patient access to affordable medicines.

S. 3187 also enhances the tools available to the FDA to combat drug shortages by requiring manufacturers of certain drugs to notify the FDA when they experience circumstances that could lead to a potential drug shortage.  This is consistent with the administration’s request to Congress to complement the actions directed by the 2011 Executive Order to address this significant public health issue.

Provisions in the legislation also will help enhance the safety of the drug supply chain in an increasingly globalized market, increase incentives for the development of new antibiotics, renew mechanisms to ensure that children’s medicines are appropriately tested and labeled, and expedite the development and review of certain drugs for the treatment of serious or life-threatening diseases and conditions.

While enactment of S. 3187 marks an important moment for innovators across industry, research and clinical care settings, its most important beneficiaries are the patients and families that will be helped by the next generation of affordable medical products this bill will help to foster.

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Obama Signs FDA User Fee Legislation Bringing Hope to Rare Disease Patients
EveryLife Foundation for Rare Diseases Applauds Congress for Including Provision to Empower the FDA to Accelerate Approval of Lifesaving Treatments

July 10, 2012, Washington, DC – Yesterday President Obama signed into law The Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act (FDASIA), S. 3187, bipartisan legislation that will spur the development of lifesaving treatments for 30 million Americans suffering from rare diseases.

“We are thrilled the language to improve access to the FDA’s Accelerated Approval pathway for rare diseases has been included in FDASIA,” said Emil Kakkis, MD, President, EveryLife Foundation for Rare Diseases.  “We wish to thank Representatives Cliff Stearns (R-FL) and Ed Towns (D-NY) for being champions for the rare disease community.”

Stearns and Towns first introduced Unlocking Lifesaving Treatments for Rare Diseases Act (ULTRA) to empower FDA to use all the science available for allowing surrogate endpoints in clinical trials for rare diseases to determine whether a drug is working, significantly decreasing the development time and cost.  Stearns and Towns later introduced Faster Access to Specialized Treatments (FAST) Act that improved Accelerated Approval for life-threatening diseases while maintaining high safety and efficacy standards.

FDA’s Accelerated Approval has been successful in getting treatments approved for cancer and AIDS patients, but has been essentially unavailable for rare disease treatments.  There are currently fewer than 400 FDA-approved treatments for nearly 7000 rare diseases.  Investment and interest in development will surge for rare diseases if there is access to the Accelerated Approval pathway.

“We would not have been successful if it were not for the great work of Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), and more than 300 patient organizations that advocated for improving the FDA’s regulatory process,” added Kakkis.

FDASIA is the culmination of more than a year of negotiations between industry and FDA and includes the reauthorization of the drug and device user fees.

The Foundation will host its fourth Rare Disease Workshop on “Developing Guidance and Policy Recommendations for Accelerated Approval in Rare Diseases” on November 15th in Washington, D.C.  FDA, NIH, industry and academic scientists are invited to participate.

The EveryLife Foundation for Rare Diseases is dedicated to accelerating biotech innovation for rare disease treatments through science-driven public policy.  We can do more with the science we already have and bring life saving treatments to millions of people suffering from rare diseases. 

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Contact: Julia Jenkins, Director of Public & Government Relations
Email:  jjenkins@EveryLifeFoundation.org  Phone:  415-884-0223
www.EveryLifeFoundation.org