Articles Posted in U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit

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Levoleucovorin is better known by the brand-name Fusilev, which Spectrum has sold since 2008 for the purpose of counteracting liver damage during a type of chemotherapy known as methotrexate therapy. Under the Orphan Drug Act amendments to the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, 21 U.S.C. 360aa-ee, intended to increase incentives for companies to develop new orphan drugs, Spectrum received exclusive marketing rights to the Methotrexate Indications for seven years. Spectrum then received approval from FDA to market Fusilev for an altogether new use: helping patients with advanced colorectal cancer to manage their pain. Two days after Spectrum’s exclusivity period expired for the Methotrexate Indications, Sandoz received FDA approval to market a generic version of levoleucovorin for the Methotrexate Indications. Spectrum argued that Sandoz’s sole intended use of the generic was to treat patients with colorectal cancer, even though the label provided for use only in patients undergoing methotrexate therapy. The district court granted summary judgment against Spectrum. FDA concluded that it need look no further than the use indicated in Sandoz’s abbreviated new drug application (ANDA) to make certain the generic drug will not trench on the prior grant of exclusivity to Spectrum. The court agreed and found FDA's interpretation of the Orphan Drug Act reasonable. The statute does not unambiguously foreclose FDA's interpretation that “for such disease or condition” refers only to the uses included on a drug’s label. The court noted that, to the extent FDA has discretion in choosing how best to implement the Orphan Drug Act, it is up to the agency to strike the balance between the congressional policy goals of drug affordability and innovation. The court rejected Spectrum's remaining arguments and affirmed the judgment. View "Spectrum Pharm., Inc. v. Burwell" on Justia Law

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After Congress directed the FDA to establish a twelve-member Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee to, among other things, report on the safety of menthol cigarettes, plaintiffs filed suit claiming that the FDA appointed to the Committee three members with pecuniary interests hostile to their products, in violation of relevant conflict-of-interests statutes and regulations, and that these appointments injured plaintiffs. Plaintiffs claim that the FDA’s appointments of these Committee members caused them three injuries: (1) an increased risk that the FDA will regulate menthol tobacco products adversely to plaintiffs’ interests; (2) access by the challenged Committee members to plaintiffs’ confidential information, with a probability of their using the information to plaintiffs’ detriment; and (3) the shaping of the menthol report to support the challenged members’ consulting and expert witness businesses, with injuries flowing both from the report itself and from its use as support for their expert testimony and consulting. The court concluded that plaintiffs' alleged injuries are too remote and uncertain. Because the alleged injuries are insufficiently imminent to confer standing, the court vacated the district court's grant of summary judgment for lack of jurisdiction and dissolved the district court's injunction barring the use of the menthol report and ordering the reconstitution of the Committee. View "R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. v. FDA" on Justia Law