Created on: December 19, 2012 Last Updated: January 01, 2013
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Safety and Innovation Act of 2012 was signed into law July 9, 2012, after it passed the U.S. Congress with bipartisan support. The law reauthorizes the Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA), the fifth time since it was originally enacted in 1992. It also reauthorizes the Medical Device User Fee Act (MDUFA) for the third time since it was originally enacted in 2002. The fees collected from biotech and pharmaceutical companies under these two acts fund the agency’s reviews of research products for approval to market the products to the public. The 2012 Act also includes a number of legal and regulatory provisions for innovative research that advocates expect will benefit patients.
What user fees pay for
User fees collected from the industries the FDA regulates stretch taxpayer dollars for the cost of running the agency. The FDA is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In the realm of public health, the agency is charged with approving devices, pharmaceuticals and other health-related products prior to their marketing in the United States. The purpose is to limit the risks and dangers of medical treatments and prevent fraudulent claims of scientific efficacy. The fees collected under the FDA Safety and Innovation Act cover the training and salaries of reviewers, who aim to complete their reviews in a timely manner in order to ensure that useful developments make it to patients as quickly as possible.
The fees outlined by the FDA Safety and Innovation Act of 2012 are collected for the review of medical devices, innovator drugs, generic drugs, and biosimilar biologics, and encourage pediatric drug development by making two programs permanent: the Best Pharmaceuticals for Children Act and the Pediatric Research Equity Act. The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) estimates that the Act will provide $6 billion in industry user fees to the FDA between 2012 and 2017. Though this set-up is not ideal for conflict of interest concerns, as noted in Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) in July 2012, it is necessary to counter budgetary concerns.
Other benefits of the Act
In July 2012 NORD outlined a number of other benefits of the Act beyond its budgetary value. The organization expects that the funding will allow faster access to new medical treatments and encourage the development of “humanitarian use devices” (i.e., devices of interest to small patient populations),
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Overview of the FDA Safety and Innovation Act of 2012
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