On Friday, the leaders of the Senate and House health committees released a discussion draft of bipartisan legislation reauthorizing the Food and Drug Administration user fee agreements. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Reauthorization Act of 2017 renews FDA’s authority to collect user fees from the makers of prescription brand drugs, medical devices, generic drugs and biosimilars, and several vital programs at the FDA.
The 2012 prescription drug user fee amendments (PDUFA), medical device user fee amendments (MDUFA), generic drug user fee amendments (GDUFA), and biosimilar user fee amendments (BsUFA) all must be updated and reauthorized by Congress before the current user fee agreements expire on September 30.
If the agreements are not reauthorized before the August work period, the agency will be forced to send layoff notices to more than 5,000 FDA employees. A delay in reauthorizing these agreements would delay the reviews of critical drugs and devices.
“If we do not move quickly to reauthorize these agreements, in late July, the FDA will be forced to begin sending layoff notices to more than 5,000 employees to notify them that they may lose their job in 60 days,” said Sen Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee in a statement. “The sooner we reauthorize the agreements, the better – to give patients, reviewers, and companies certainty. In addition to harming patients and families that rely on medical innovation, a delay in reauthorizing the user fees would threaten biomedical industry jobs and America’s global leadership in biomedical innovation.”
The FDA Reauthorization Act of 2017 Overview
Updates and reauthorizes the user fee programs, which, in Fiscal Year 2016, accounted for 70 percent of the brand drug review budget, 36 percent of the medical device review budget, 75 percent of the generic drug review budget, and 29 percent of the biosimilar review budget.
Reflects the recommendations sent by FDA to Congress in January, which were based on over a year of negotiations and discussions with industry, Congress, patients, and other stakeholders.
User Fee Agreements
Implements the four user fee agreements authorized by FDARA, which support the goals of the 21st Century Cures act and advance key bipartisan priorities:
– Prescription Drug User Fee Amendments (PDUFA VI): Enhances patient-focused drug development, supports biomarker development and qualification, dedicates staff to assist in the development and review of rare disease drugs, sets clear timelines and improves guidance for drug and device combination products, and evaluates ways to modernize the clinical trial process.
– Medical Device User Fee Amendments (MDUFA IV): Enhances the patient voice in the device development process, supports the collection of real world evidence on the safety and effectiveness of devices, and improves the review process for “de novo” devices—low- to moderate-risk devices that are the first of their kind.
– Generic Drug User Fee Amendments (GDUFA II): Improves the fee structure to support small businesses, provides goal dates for all outstanding generic applications, and establishes priority review timelines.
– Biosimilar User Fee Amendments (BsUFA II): Continues to build the biosimilars program, and supports guidance for product developers.