Food, Healthcare Institutions, Life Sciences, Regulatory Focus News Letter

Investigation of Listeria monocytogenes

Welcome to FWQRC Regulatory focus news LetterHere we are going to review on the Outbreak Investigation of Listeria monocytogenes Linked to Hard-Boiled Eggs, December 2019FDA, CDC, and state and local partners are currently investigating a multistate outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes infections linked to foods that contain hard-boiled eggs. On December 20, 2019, Almark Foods recalled and suspended production of hard-boiled and peeled eggs in pails due to the potential for contamination with Listeria monocytogenes. These hard-boiledand peeled eggs were sold in pails under the following names: Rainbow Select Hard-cooked Eggs, Rainbow Select Hard-cooked Eggs in Vinegar, Nic’s Salad Hard-boiled Eggs, Almark Hard-cooked Eggs, and Sutherland Select Hard-cooked Eggs. A full list of recalled products is included below.RecommendationFood processors, restaurants, and retailers should not sell or serve any of the recalled hard-boiled and peeled eggs in pails from Almark Foods. These products were not sold directly to consumers.Additionally, FDA recommends that food processors, restaurants and retailers who have received Almark Foods bulk, fresh hard-boiled eggs, use extra vigilance in cleaning and sanitizing any surfaces that may have come in contact with these products, to reduce the risk of cross-contamination.Background:As of December 17, 2019, a total of seven people infected with the outbreak strain of Listeria monocytogenes have been reported from five states. In interviews, ill people answered questions about the foods they ate and other exposures in the month before they became ill. Of the five people for whom information was available, four reported eating products containing eggs. Three of these people reported eating hard-boiled eggs in deli salads purchased from grocery stores and in salads eaten at restaurants. Illnesses started on dates ranging from April 10, 2017 to November 12, 2019.Additionally, based on whole-genome sequencing, the Listeria monocytogenes found in environmental samples collected at the firm’s processing facility during an FDA inspection conducted in February 2019 is a genetic match to the outbreak strain. FDA is conducting additional inspections and sampling. Almark Foods has been cooperating with the ongoing investigation and announced a voluntary recall of hard-boiled and peeled eggs in pails on December 20, 2019.This outbreak strain was found during environmental sampling in 2017 of one other food facility. That facility is not currently handling food and ceased operation in 2018.Thank you for viewing FWQRC blogs….

Regulatory Focus News Letter, Your Partner

National Drug Code(NDC)

Hi, Welcome to FWQRC Regulatory focus News Letter….

Here we are going to review the historic step taken by Trump Administration to lower U.S. prescription drug prices

Proposed rule could allow certain prescription drugs to be imported from Canada; draft guidance explains how manufacturers could import drugs, biological products originally intended for sale in another country

Today, President Trump, along with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) that, if finalized, would allow for the importation of certain prescription drugs from Canada. In addition, the Administration is announcing the availability of a new draft guidance for industry that describes procedures drug manufacturers can follow to facilitate importation of prescription drugs, including biological products, that are FDA-approved, manufactured abroad, authorized for sale in any foreign country, and originally intended for sale in that foreign country.
The NPRM issued today is the first step in implementing a provision of federal law that would allow for the importation of certain prescription drugs from Canada under specific conditions that ensure the importation poses no additional risk to the public’s health and safety while achieving a significant reduction in the cost of covered products to the American consumer. The draft guidance issued today describes procedures for a drug manufacturer to submit documentation that demonstrates that the product offered for import from any foreign country is, in fact, an FDA-approved drug product, including that it is manufactured in accordance with the FDA-approved application.

“Today’s announcement outlines two pathways for the safe importation of certain prescription drugs to help provide safe, effective, more affordable drugs to American patients,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar. “These are historic actions by HHS and the FDA, and they represent the bold nature of President Trump’s agenda for lowering drug costs. The President has recognized the opportunity to lower costs for American patients through safe importation, and we at HHS and FDA are delivering on that possibility through a safe, commonsense approach.”

The NPRM would allow states and certain other non-federal government entities to submit importation program proposals to the FDA for review and authorization. An importation program could be co-sponsored by a pharmacist, a wholesaler, or another state or non-federal governmental entity. Referred to as Section 804 Importation Programs, these programs would be authorized by the FDA to manage the importation of certain prescription drugs that are approved in Canada and also meet the conditions in an FDA-approved drug application. Eligible prescription drugs would have to be relabeled with the required U.S. labeling prior to importation and undergo testing for authenticity, degradation, and to ensure that the drugs meet established specifications and standards. Notably, these programs would also have to demonstrate significant cost reductions to the American consumer.

“The FDA continues to assess and act on multiple opportunities to promote competition that can, in turn, help reduce drug prices and improve access to medicines for Americans,” said Assistant Secretary for Health Brett Giroir. “The proposed rule and draft guidance include procedures intended to protect the public’s health and safety. We look forward to receiving public comment on these draft policies, and we will take timely comments into account as we work to finalize the rule and guidance. Our ultimate goal is to provide a robust program that clearly lays out procedures to import drugs that could provide lower prices while also maintaining the high quality Americans expect.”

Of note, the draft guidance describes procedures drug manufacturers could follow to obtain an additional National Drug Code (NDC) for certain FDA-approved prescription drugs, including biological products, that were originally manufactured, and intended to be marketed, in a foreign country. The use of an additional NDC would allow greater flexibility for drug companies to offer these products at a lower price than what their current distribution contracts require.

The draft guidance also recommends that the drug manufacturer include a statement on the product’s label and in the prescribing information to assist pharmacists to accurately identify, dispense and bill for these products. Prescription drugs, including biological products, imported under the pathway described in the draft guidance could be available to patients in a variety of settings, including hospitals, health care providers’ offices, or licensed U.S. pharmacies, and would include the FDA-approved labeling (including prescribing information).

Comments on the NPRM are being accepted for 75 days after publication in the Federal Register and comments on the draft guidance are being accepted for 60 days after publication in the Federal Register

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