Author Archives: Jill Wechsler

Vaccine Demand Spurs Innovation

Vaccine development is on a roll, boosted by biomedical research uncovering new molecular targets for preventives and treatments, as well as innovative techniques for enhancing vaccine potency and production. There is high demand for new vaccines to prevent deadly tropical diseases, illustrated by the recent Ebola virus outbreak, and for capacity to respond quickly to […]
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FDA Takes First Amendment Issues "Seriously"

Several legal cases have challenged the Food and Drug Administration’s approach to regulating industry communications about medical products, and agency officials now are acknowledging the importance of addressing these developments head-on. In the wake of U.S. v. Caronia and IMS v. Sorrell, the spotlight is on speech-related activity, including product labeling and advertising and promotion […]
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US Pharmacopeia Head Wants Fresh Outlook

In anticipation of the 200th anniversary of the United States Pharmacopeia (USP) in 2020, the organization’s new leadership is taking a fresh look at its role in setting standards for pharmaceutical development and production and how that has been altered by new regulatory policies and industry globalization. USP chief executive officer Ron Piervincenzi is consulting […]
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FDA, Drug Companies Struggle with Compassionate Use Requests

A national publicity campaign recently succeeded in obtaining early access to an experimental treatment for a seriously ill child, touching off a broader discussion of compassionate use policies and their impact on drug development and approval. As 7-year-old cancer patient Josh Hardy gained relief from a life-threatening infection following a bone marrow transplant thanks to […]
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Medicare Data Raises Questions About Drug Costs

The recently released Medicare data on payments to individual doctors doesn’t provide specifics on prescription drug outlays, but opens the door to scrutiny of Medicare reimbursement for medicines delivered in physician offices, writes Jill Wechsler. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has released data on payments to some 880,000 healthcare providers who collectively […]
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