Last Updated on
June 12, 2023
An Abbreviated New Drug Application (ANDA) is a regulatory submission to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for generic drugs. An ANDA must provide information that demonstrates a proposed generic drug is the same as an already approved reference listed drug (RLD) in terms of safety, efficacy, and quality.
This information includes details about the active ingredients, conditions of use, method of administration, form (e.g. tablet, capsule), potency, and labeling of the drug, as well as evidence of the drug’s bioavailability, which is a crucial factor in demonstrating bioequivalence between a generic drug and its reference listed drug (RLD). The FDA requires that generic drugs have comparable bioavailability to the RLD in order to be approved and sold in the market.
However, the application may include certain differences from an RLD, such as changes granted through a suitability petition or other acceptable variations, as long as clinical trials are not required to demonstrate the safety or efficacy of the drug product being proposed in the ANDA. Differences include things like inactive components, labeling, or container closure systems.
It is important to note that an ANDA cannot be submitted if clinical trials are necessary to establish the safety and effectiveness of the proposed drug product. In such cases, the drug product must undergo additional testing and evaluation before an ANDA can be submitted to the FDA.
Historically, the Drug Price Competition and Patent Term Restoration Act of 1984, commonly known as the Hatch-Waxman Act, established the ANDA process to streamline the approval of generic drugs, adding sections 505(b)(2) and 505(j) to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, or FD&C Act.
The act aimed to increase competition and reduce the cost of prescription drugs by allowing generic drug manufacturers to skip some of the more expensive clinical trials required for new medicines as long as the generic drug is considered equivalent to an already approved drug.
This has increased the availability of lower-cost generic drugs, which has played a significant role in making prescription drugs more affordable for millions of people, and reflects Congress’s efforts to strike a balance between expanding access to generic drugs and providing new incentives for drug development through exclusivities and patent term extensions.
As a result, the FD&C Act now outlines two distinct pathways for drug approval : New Drug Applications (NDAs) and Abbreviated New Drug Applications.
ANDAs can be divided into two categories:
NDAs can also be classified into two types:
The steps involved in submitting an Abbreviated New Drug Application (ANDA) for FDA approval include the following:
The time required for each step of the ANDA process can vary depending on the complexity of the drug and the availability of information. Pre-ANDA and ANDA preparation can take several months to a year, while the FDA review process typically takes around 30 months.
Furthermore, the time between submission and decision can vary depending on the type of drug and the FDA’s workload.
The decision to submit an ANDA or a 505(b)(2) application depends on several factors, including the type of product under development (its specific characteristics) and the availability of existing information about the product.
As stated, a sponsor submits an ANDA to the FDA for evaluation, which leads to the approval or rejection of a generic drug that is similar to a brand-name drug that has been approved already. The approval is based on the safety and efficacy data of the previously approved drug, only requiring supplementary data to prove its equivalence to the benchmark product.
On the other hand, a 505(b)(2) application is used for the approval of new drug products that are not identical to a previously approved drug but rely on information from a previously approved drug for some, but not all, of the required safety and efficacy data. A 505(b)(2) application may be appropriate for developing new drug products with a different formulation, dosing regimen, or route of administration than an already approved drug.
A thorough evaluation of the drug product and its development history is necessary to determine the appropriate regulatory pathway.
If you’re interested in submitting an ANDA, there are a number of resources available that help with your ANDA application and submission. They can help ensure that ANDA submissions are complete, accurate, and meet all regulatory requirements.
One of the most extensive resources for ANDA submissions is the FDA’s ANDA Forms & Submission Requirements page. It provides information on the ANDA process and the forms required for submission to the FDA.
The submission requirements for ANDA include various forms, including cover letter, application form, labeling, and scientific information. The page on the agency’s website acts like a directory that you can use to access documentation or resources that provide guidance for the ANDA process and submission requirements.
One major resource is the FDA’s guidance documents search page, found on its website. This search engine makes it easier for individuals and drug companies to find the exact guidelines they’re interested in.
Each document provides specific information and regulatory guidance for the various drug approval applications the FDA reviews. They are an essential resource for anyone who is preparing an ANDA submission and wants to understand the statutory and regulatory requirements.
Additionally, you can search for specific guidance documents for ANDA submissions by searching via the Generic Drugs Guidance page, using the search term “Generics” or “Biopharmaceutics” under topics; and you can search via the Product-Specific Guidances for Generic Drug Development page.
You can review the Good ANDA Submission Practices Guidance for Industry page or the Good Guidance Practices regulation PDF to learn more about good practices for application preparation and submission.
There is guidance information regarding amendments to ANDAs Under the Generic Drug User Fee Amendments (GDUFA) as well, which explains to sponsors the application of the review goals established by the GDUFA Reauthorization of 2017 (known as GDUFA II) and covers amendment classifications and categories and their impact on application review goal dates.
Additionally, the guidance outlines how the FDA should assess amendments submitted to ANDAs and Post Approval Studies (PASs) programs received before October 1, 2017, the effective date of GDUFA II review goals.
The FDA’s Electronic Submissions Gateway is an essential resource you can use to learn more about ANDAs. It’s the primary way sponsors can submit ANDA applications and other regulatory applications to the agency for review.
The FDA’s Drug Information Portal is another valuable resource for ANDA submissions. It provides access to information on all FDA-approved drugs, including generic drugs. You can use the portal to gather information on a reference listed drug, including its regulatory history and labeling, which is essential for preparing an ANDA submission.
Several industry organizations, such as the Association for Accessible Medications (AAM), formerly known as the Generic Pharmaceutical Association (GPhA), provide information and support to companies developing and selling generic drugs. These organizations often offer educational resources, regulatory updates, and advocacy services, which can be very useful for sponsors preparing ANDA submissions.
A number of consultants and consulting firms specialize in the ANDA process (a Google search for “ANDA consultants” typically gives you decent results). These consultants may be able to provide expertise on the regulatory and scientific aspects of ANDA submissions and help sponsors navigate the submission process.
The agency’s Manual of Policies and Procedures (MaPPs) can also be used as a resource to learn more. MaPPs offer official directives for the internal practices and procedures implemented by the staff at the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER), which are used to standardize the ANDA, NDA, and Investigational New Drug application (IND) evaluation process. The FDA’s MaPP Index provides access to all CDER MaPPs.
ANDAs are subject to various laws and regulations in the United States. The primary law that governs ANDA is the FD&C Act, which provides the legal framework for the approval and regulation of drugs in the US. The application is also governed by the rules outlined in Title 21 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).
The FD&C Act’s purpose is to assure consumers that food products are pure, safe for consumption, and produced under hygienic conditions. It is also used to ensure that drugs and medical devices are safe and effective for their intended use. Furthermore, it also governs cosmetics and ensures that cosmetic products are made of safe ingredients and are safe for use. The act also assures all labeling and packaging accurately reflects the product, is informative, and does not mislead the consumer.
These laws and regulations provide specific requirements for the content and format of an ANDA submission and the standards for generic drug equivalence and labeling.
The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) is a compilation of the United States federal regulations the Office of the Federal Register publishes annually. The CFR contains the text of rules issued by federal agencies and is organized by subject matter into 50 titles.
Title 21 of the CFR pertains to food and drugs and includes the regulations that govern the approval and regulation of ANDAs. Title 21 establishes the requirements for ANDA submissions, including the content and format of applications and the standards for generic drug equivalence and labeling. The CFR provides guidance for the ANDA process and helps ensure that generic drug products are safe, effective, and of high quality.
In other words, the CFR is a critical source of regulatory information for the ANDA process and provides the legal framework for the approval and regulation of generic drug products in the United States.
The pharmaceutical industry needs to meet extremely high quality standards, making compliance with Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) essential for all pharmaceutical manufacturing equipment.
The equipment used in different processes encompasses a broad range of items, from capsule fillers and x-ray inspection systems to spray drying components. To guarantee accurate manufacturing and formulation development, automation is often utilized extensively, resulting in equipment playing a role in almost every step of the process.
While we’d love to get more specific, the types of equipment used in the development of generic drugs really depend on the type of product being developed and manufactured, as well as the specific processes involved in manufacturing the product and the production scale. Some standard pieces of equipment used in the pharmaceutical industry for drug development and production include:
Leasing lab equipment is a valuable option for life science companies, large and small, as it offers several benefits to help support research and development activities.
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