FDA Untitled Letters: FDA Warnings with a Twist

FDA Untitled Letters: FDA Warnings with a Twist

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) has recently been issuing letters to companies that are distinct from traditional FDA Warning Letters. Referred to as FDA Untitled Letters, these letters must be taken seriously, as the terms of FDA Untitled Letters require the recipients to take immediate action once a letter has been issued. FDA Untitled Letters: Why It Matters? Many businesses may be well versed when it comes to handling FDA Warning Letters, but when it comes to FDA Untitled Letters recipients of Untitled Letters may not fully understand how to respond. Accordingly, there are a few things to…
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Cosmetic Products and the FDA

Cosmetic Products and the FDA

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FDA Regulation of Cosmetics Products Importers introducing cosmetic products into the United States must be mindful of FDA regulations, which can present a barrier to market entry if the appropriate steps are not taken to ensure compliance. The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (“FDA”) works in conjunction with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to monitor cosmetic products at the time of entry. Noncompliance with FDA regulations can result in a shipment being refused entry into the United States or a product being recalled from the market after entry. However, one may mistakenly assume that cosmetic products are subjected to the…
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FDA “Natural” Food Labeling

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On November 12, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (“FDA”) announced that it is soliciting public comments on how the Agency should define the term “natural” and regulate its use in food labeling. The FDA has engaged the public’s input after receiving two Citizen Petitions requesting the agency take action on establishing a formal definition of the term “natural” for use in food labeling and one requesting asking that the agency prohibits the use of the term “natural” on food labels. The FDA also notes that this recent move is driven by recent private litigation surrounding the term “natural” in…
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FDA Bans Trans Fats

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FDA Issues Final Determination Concerning Partially Hydrogenated Oils The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has long reacted to the public concern over trans fatty acids (also known as TFA or trans fats) found in foods as a part of Partially Hydrogenated Oils (PHOs).  FDA recently issued its final decision on how it would categorize PHOs.  Following through on an effort the FDA began in 2013, the categorization of PHOs officially changed to not generally recognized as safe (GRAS) for use in food, effectively banning trans fats.  This change in categorization now puts PHOs under the regulations that govern food…
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Potential Changes to FDA Regulation of Homeopathic Drugs

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On April 20, 2015 the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) heard testimony regarding homeopathic drugs and the Agency’s role in the regulation thereof. These two-day long hearings come after the FDA received over 1,500 public comments about the possibility of regulating homeopathic drugs in a manner consistent with over-the-counter (OTC) drugs. A primer for the public hearing can be found in the federal register, here. Homeopathy began in the 18th century, based off of teachings from a German scientist, Samuel Hahnemann. The main concept in homeopathy is that, “like cures like” (similia similibus curentur) meaning that disease causing substances can…
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Food & Drug (FDA) Attorney Katherine Giannamore Interviewed on Complexities of Marketing Cosmetics

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On March 31, 2015, Attorney Katherine Giannamore, of Mejia Shehadeh Giannamore, PLLC, was interviewed by Ryan Nelson of “The Rose Sheet” about the challenges that companies face when marketing cosmetic products. “The Rose Sheet” is one of the industry’s premier sources for specialized, in-depth coverage and analysis of regulatory and market developments across the personal care and cosmetics industries. The full text of the article interview may be accessed here. The article focuses on cosmetics companies’ efforts to simultaneously promote their products effectively while abiding by all applicable laws and regulations. On this blog, we have previously discussed the challenges…
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FDA Warns of Marketing Cosmetics with Drug Claims

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The difference between a product being marketed as a cosmetic and marketed as a drug can be a very thin line. However, the differences in regulation between the two are stark. The Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act (The Act) governs the regulation of drugs and cosmetic products. The Act defines a cosmetic, in part, as something designed for the, “cleansing, beautifying, promoting attractiveness, or altering the appearance [of a person].” By contrast, the Act defines a drug, in part, as a product “intended for use in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease," or “intended to affect…
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FDA Stops Company from Marketing Unapproved New Drugs

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On January 30, 2015, and at the request of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a federal judge granted a consent decree of permanent injunction against Laclede, a U.S.-based manufacturer in connection with the marketing of unapproved new drugs. The permanent injunction prohibits Laclede from selling and distributing unapproved new drugs or misbranded drugs and devices. According to FDA’s announcement, Laclede had a long history of violations with the FDA. In 2012, FDA inspectors found numerous violations of the Current Good Manufacturing Practice (CGMP) regulations for finished pharmaceuticals and other issues surrounding the marketing and sale of unapproved new drugs.…
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FDA Guides on General Wellness and Low Risk Devices

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On January 20, 2015, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published a proposed guidance document regarding the FDA’s current position on low risk devices and general wellness products. This guidance document directs the Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH) to deal with inquires from manufacturers asking whether or not their products qualify as “devices” under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA). Devices are defined in section 201(h) of the FDCA as an “instrument, apparatus, implement, machine, contrivance, implant, in vitro reagent, or other similar or related article, including any component, part, or accessory, which is ...intended…
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Overview of FDA’s Final Menu and Vending Labeling Rules

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Menu and Vending Labeling Rules On November 25, 2014, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) finalized two rules requiring that calorie counts be listed on menus and menu boards in certain restaurants and vending machines (menu and vending labeling rules). The full text of the menu and vending labeling rules can be found here. The menu labeling rule applies to restaurants if they are part of a chain of 20 or more locations, doing business under the same name, and offering more or less the same menu items. The 1990 Nutrition Labeling and Education Act established nutrition labeling on…
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