Aspects of Regulatory History in the US

The beginnings of all that the USFDA regulates can be traced right to the early decades of the founding of the nation. In a sense, the FDA, even if came to be called by that formal name much later; embodies the discipline and value set that the new created nation sought to represent. Regulation of all aspects of American life was deeply ingrained very early in the nation’s history, and the FDA was one of prime institutions that played a part in making this happen.

How has the FDA evolved and shaped up over the years? What are the important milestones of this history? This makes interesting reading, because the USFDA has had the kind of history whose colorfulness is matched by few other regulatory agencies around the world.

aspectsOfRegulatoryHistoryAn indication of the extent to which the FDA attaches importance to ensuring the wellbeing of the American people can be gauged from the fact that the food and other products that this agency regulates account for a fifth of the total money that the nation’s consumers spend. Just its budget – well over four billion in 2014 – is a good indicator to the way in which the FDA has spread its influence in the various spheres of American life. It regulates almost all food items with the exception of meat and poultry.

This situation has not been reached accidentally or overnight. The FDA has by and large kept pace with the developments in the areas it regulates. This was largely true till the advent of very recent technology-led areas such as biotechnology and the social media, where too, the FDA has been trying to put its best foot forward.

The start of formal regulation 
aspectsOfRegulatoryHistoryA look at the history of the FDA points to the year 1848 as the start of the first formal aspects of regulatory history. That was the year in which Lewis Caleb Beck took his appointment with the Patent Office. His mandate was to chemically analyze agricultural products. This is considered as the first task that was aimed at regulating a product that people consumed. This function rolled over to the Department of Agriculture, which was created in 1862.

The Act of 1906The next step in solidifying the regulatory aspects of life in the US was taken in 1906, with the promulgation of the Pure Food and Drugs Act in 1906. Stretching to some two decades of wrangling between the American Congress and the food industry to formulate, the Act of 1906 sought to prohibit adulterated and misbranded food and drugs from interstate commerce.

The 1938 Food, Drug, and Cosmetic ActThe next major milestone in the aspects of regulatory history in the US took place in 1938. The 1938 Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act prescribed and detailed the legal requirements for products the FDA – which this Act created – regulated. In this Act, one can trace the earliest tidings of a major activity that the FDA has been carrying out since then: Prescribing the requirements for ensuring quality by prohibiting false claims by manufacturers and advertisers.

aspectsOfRegulatoryHistoryPresident Franklin D. Roosevelt signing the 1938 Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.

Over time, the 1938 Act expanded to include more areas such as cosmetics, devices and veterinary medicines, thus strengthening the foundation for regulation and making it more expansive. Since the passage of the 1938 Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act; two major events happened on the regulatory scene. The outbreak of tetanus and diphtheria diseases in the 1960’s compelled the FDA to take a more proactive approach to vaccinations.

Another major, earthshaking event was the tragedy that thalidomide unleashed on Europe in the 1960’s, which stunted the growth of hundreds of children, which was mainly due to regulatory lapse. This did not happen in the US, mainly because of the efforts and diligence shown by Frances Kelsey, in her role as FDA reviewer. Frances plainly refused to approve thalidomide because she was not convinced about its safety, an act which made her a cult figure in FDA and American and Canadian medicinal history till her death in 2015.

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Aspects of regulatory history in the US in the 1990’sFollowing the 1960’s, the next major milestone in the aspects of regulatory history in the US happened in 1990, when the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act was passed. This law was important because it changed the American perspective of labeling of products in the food and pharmaceutical industries. The Nutrition Labeling and Education Act requires manufacturers to provide nutritional information about products on their labels, with the caveat that false labeling information will lead to consequences.

 

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Good Documentation Practice Guideline is simple: just write

Good Documentation Practices are the soul of many regulated industries. The FDA, like all other regulatory agencies, makes GDP a central element of its regulations, and bases it on the principle of evidence. For the FDA and other regulatory agencies across the world, what is not documented is nonexistent.

Good Documentation Practices are essential for a number of disciplines. The soul of documentation is, naturally, the written word. What happens when something that happened is not actually written down? It is a work of no practical use, because apart from those that carried out the particular undocumented task; no one else is aware of it. And even when the people who did that task or were witness to it are prone to have their own interpretation and perception of what was done. This is why proof in the form of writing is the most important element of Good Documentation Practices.

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What to write, and how toGDP should not only be about just writing down; it is about what to write and also, how, meaning, in what manner. If there has been an intervention in any method of manufacture or any other activity in the regulated industries; the change should be noted down in the proper format as prescribed by the FDA. This enables everyone concerned, from the people in the organization to the auditors to the regulatory agencies, to clearly identify what action was carried out, by whom and when. This further leads to a discovery of the impact of the actions. This is the key to determining the effectiveness of the application of the GDP principles in the particular case.

goodDocumentationPracticesGuidelinesThis is why the FDA has very clear-cut requirements and expectations of GDP from the industries it regulates. These clearly explain the method by which to document the said document, the ways of doing it, and what actions to take when the need arises.

Quality Assurance is unthinkable without the application of GDP principles. The main reason for establishing GDP is ensure that the documentation does the following to the record in question:

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What needs to be documented?Another major element of GDP is to determine what is to be documented. The FDA and other regulatory agencies require the principles of Good Documentation Practices to be applied across a number of activities at different stages. These include:

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The EMA’s requirements
goodDocumentationPracticesGuidelinesThe EMA also has clear-cut guidelines on Good Documentation Practices. Some of its core requirements relate to

  • Specifications
  • All aspects of the manufacturing including the product’s formulae, the way in which the processing was done, the methods of its packaging, and the extent to which its testing instructions are written down
  • SOPs
  • Protocols
  • Technical agreements

Further, most regulatory agencies have their own requirements with regard to the styling, ways by which the amendments, if any, need to be jotted down, the type of ink to be used, the way in which the review, if any, needs to be entered, and who should put signatures and where, so on. Manufacturers who fall under the purview of respective regulatory agencies need to adhere to these.

And, for other reasons, as wellImplementing Good Documentation Practices is a great idea to have for meeting regulatory requirements, because companies that do not meet these requirements are in a spot of bother about a number of issues. However, in addition to this, there is also the need for maintaining GDP for business reasons, as well. A business that complies with the requirements set out by the FDA or other regulatory agencies in relation to Good laboratory practices, the CFR regulations such as 21 CFR Parts that apply to various industries, and also as required as part of national and global agencies; earns a good name in the market and is considered a reliable company.

 

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FDA Requirements for ensuring Premarketing Clinical Trial Safety

FDA Requirements for ensuring Premarketing Clinical Trial Safety 2

The FDA has set out requirements for sponsors and organizations that carry out clinical trial to ensure premarketing clinical trial safety. This is a very vital requirement because this is the stage at which the database that goes into clinical trials is formed. Its integrity and safety is an important ingredient for assessing the risks and benefits that go into the clinical trial, and errors need to be identified and corrected at this stage. Wrong data could lead to disastrous consequences for the study, the subjects that are part of it, the organization and eventually, patients.

Basic nature of FDA requirements for premarketing clinical trial safety

FDA Requirements for ensuring Premarketing Clinical Trial Safety 1

The FDA has a set of requirements for premarketing clinical trial safety, but these are mostly informal and loose. They are more of an advisory nature than being stringent regulatory requirements that are legally enforceable. Most FDA guidance is on a case-by-case nature.

FDA Requirements for ensuring Premarketing Clinical Trial Safety 4

Basically, the FDA’s guidance is based on its working with large to very large clinical trials. It has thus far not seriously considered working with small groups for assessing premarketing clinical trial safety. At its barest, the FDA seeks to:

  • Advise sponsors or organizations undertaking the clinical trial about ways by which their data collection can be simplified so as to ensure that it is neither too huge nor too small, and should lead to giving insights about the drug’s safety. Essentially, the FDA guideline on premarketing clinical trial safety seeks to prevent sponsors from collecting data that is not relevant.
  • Get sponsors to consult the FDA’s review division for its premarketing clinical trial safety.
The FDA has different requirements for different kinds of studies that relate to clinical trials. For example:

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The FDA’s requirements for non-IND Foreign Clinical Studies

The FDA grants marketing approval for certain types of medical products whose application is the result of foreign clinical studies, provided the products and the clinical studies meet certain conditions. The types of medical products

The FDA's requirements for non-IND Foreign Clinical Studies 2

that are permitted under this system of foreign clinical studies include:

  • A human drug
  • A biological drug
  • A medical device

The guidelines for foreign clinical studies requirements

The guidelines under which the FDA accepts medical products for approval when they are the result of foreign clinical studies are spelt out in various sections of 21 CFR.

Any foreign clinical study has to be meet requirements of 21 CFR Part 312or 21 CFR Part 812, which relate to studies conducted under an Investigational New Drug Application (NDA) or Investigational Device Exemption (IDE) respectively, just the same way in which American companies too have to

In case a foreign clinical study is not conducted under an IND; the FDA will still accept it, so long as it fulfills the ethical principles set out in the Declaration of Helsinki, or is in accordance with the laws of the respective country from which the study originates, based on whichever of these two offers stronger protection of the subjects of the study.

Highlights of the Helsinki Declaration

The FDA's requirements for non-IND Foreign Clinical Studies 1

The World Medical Association adapted the Helsinki Declaration from the time it was passed in 1964. In 1975, given the popularity of the Declaration in guaranteeing humane protection of human subjects in a clinical study; the FDA adapted the principles of the Helsinki Declaration as the basis for accepting non-IND compliant drugs. This Declaration has been revised a few times, although the FDA is yet to include the latest of these, that of October 2000, into its regulations.

Points of significance

The increasing role of the social media in healthcare

 

The increasing role of the social media in healthcare 6With the social media having moved beyond being a platform for sharing personal information; its role in healthcare has nearly exploded of late. This is mainly because the growth of the social media has more or less coincided with that of the electronic records in healthcare.

Whatever the identifiable or unidentifiable reasons for the convergence of social media in healthcare; the fact is that social media in healthcare is a major phenomenon that is here to stay.

Social media in healthcare is being analyzed for potentially huge business opportunity, and it is being taken up for serious discussion in legal circles, with the American Congress and many other legislative bodies around the world thinking of taking serious steps for regulating it.

The increasing role of the social media in healthcare 4

The most fundamental aspect of social media in healthcare is that its growth has been helped by the core feature it brings: its ease of adaption in this sector. Healthcare information, as we all know, is very vital, and speed is of great importance. This is why social media in healthcare has come to be one of the most talked about scenarios in the healthcare today, propped in no less measure by the gigantic size of the American healthcare economy.

The advantages social media brings into healthcare

 

The increasing role of the social media in healthcare 1As just seen, the social media in healthcare facilitate great use because they help transmit information at a pace that was difficult to imagine till recently. With the development of the electronic health records (EHR) in the US, technology has made possible the customization of health records. A platform like the social media can help accelerate this pace enormously. It can also help practitioners and other stakeholders of healthcare information, such as Business Associates and Covered Entities and a host of related ones gather information and transmit it and process it at lightning speed.

Concerns

The increasing role of the social media in healthcare 3

The enormous benefits that the social media bring into healthcare notwithstanding; there is room for serious concern.

Like all other technology-driven tools, the social media in healthcare comes with an inherent risk: the laxity of records. Loose or nil security or healthcare records are a serious cause for concern. The recent breaches in health data have cost many healthcare organizations in the US millions of dollars.

The social media in healthcare give an opportunity for marketers to pitch their products or services, but they also open up lots of opportunity for the unscrupulous among these to exploit and manipulate this information. This is akin to the potential drawbacks credit cards and other such facilities bring. The social media in healthcare is a tool that is open to a high degree of vulnerability to breach. This is all the more true of new technologies, such as the cloud, which the social media in healthcare have embraced with open arms.

So, while the social media in healthcare is a force to reckon with, it is not something that is totally free of drawbacks. Till regulatory action frees the sector of these, the social media in healthcare will continue to grow, albeit with its concerns.

 

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Export, Import and Trade Compliance Principle – an understanding

Export, import and trade compliance principle is a very important guiding standard for governing trade policies and ensuring compliance with the set national, regional and global trade norms. It helps to define an organization’s adherence to the export, import and trade compliance principle laid out by the government and also offers an understanding of the government’s outlook and stance in these matters.

There are two aspects of the export, import and trade compliance principle:

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General export, import and trade compliance principles

 

As can be understood from the description of the concept of export, import and trade compliance principle; export, import and trade compliance principles laid out by the government and requiring compliance with their guidelines are fixed. Organizations cannot manipulate or tamper them. Doing so, naturally, invites penalties.

However, the export, import and trade compliance principles set out by individual companies are conditioned by their own ethics and culture. These are a reflection of how organizations carry out their export, import and trade compliance principle, something that they themselves have laid out.

export-import-and-trade-compliance-principleAdapting the right export, import and trade compliance principle and implementing it is a reflection of how well the organization understands the business and the market and how well it is able to maintain its integrity among its circles. Needless to say, an organization that says one thing and does another is seen in a negative light by its peers.

 

Organizations specialize in helping to implement export, import and trade compliance principle

 

Just as there are many organizations which are in the business of ensuring many complex fields such as governance, risk and compliance (GRC) and technology compliance; several organizations specialize in helping organizations implement both the export, import and trade compliance principle as laid out by the government, and their own export, import and trade compliance principles.

export-import-and-trade-compliance-principleWhether an organization gets its export, import and trade compliance principle implemented through an outside, third party or does it on its own; there is no escaping the fact that export, import and trade compliance principle is something that is mandatory to state and implement accordingly.

Overlaps and alignments of organizational, governmental and trade bloc requirements

export-import-and-trade-compliance-principleEven when organizations draw up their own export, import and trade compliance principle; they are bound to include the latest and relevant regulations, policies and procedures as laid out by the government. Many internal export, import and trade compliance principles and external (those prescribed and required by the government) overlap on many occasions with those of trade blocs such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), European Union Preferential Trade Agreement, Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Mercosur, etc. Export, import and trade compliance principles from these different sources should align with each other.

Reasons for export, import and trade compliance principle implementation

 

The export, import and trade compliance principles laid out by respective governments are in place because of many important reasons.

 

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What are the components of a Financial Audit Program?

What are the components of a Financial Audit Program5

There are various core components of a financial audit program. First, an understanding of a financial audit:

  • A financial audit is a regular exercise carried out by qualified professionals from within or outside, to check the financial health of an organization
  • It involves having to verify, examine and analyze the various data pertaining to the organization’s finance, such as financial records and financial statements
  • This exercise is carried out to assess the company’s financial status, its profit and loss, growth prospects, investments needed to achieve those prospects, and most importantly, compliance with prescribed regulatory requirements

Components of a financial audit program

What are the components of a Financial Audit Program

Components of a financial audit program can be described in a number of ways. While on the one hand, components of a financial audit program could include the exact processes and steps that financial experts take to carry out the financial audit; on the other, components of a financial audit program can include those steps and processes that companies have to implement in order to ensure the smooth conduct of a financial audit.

So, components of a financial audit program could include at least two different, but related areas. In the first of these, the financial expert(s) look into many records, primarily these:

  • The profit and loss statements;
  • Balance sheet.
One of the core components of a financial audit program is the profit and loss statement, which reflects how the company is placed financially. A good financial expert can discern the exact health of the company by analyzing the profit and loss statement.

A balance sheet constitutes another of the components of a financial audit program, as it is in this that the financial activities of the company for a fixed period of time -usually a financial year -are measured and assessed.

Other components of a financial audit program

What are the components of a Financial Audit Program3

Among other components of a financial audit program; it is important for companies to know how to conduct itself during an audit. This is all the more important during external audits. The company has to comply with regulatory requirements to ensure that it supplies all the records and data that the independent auditor may ask. Failing to provide them, or proof of fudging of accounts is a serious offence and can attract major penalties. So, it is crucial for companies to keep note of the components of a financial audit program, so that it stays compliant and maintains a name in the industry.

 

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