Today, we’re taking a key step forward in implementing the Drug Quality and Security Act (DQSA) and section 503B of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. Among other things, these provisions limit the bulk drug substances that outsourcing facilities can use in compounding. It directs the FDA to develop a list of bulk drug substances for which there is a clinical need – the 503B bulks list.
Today, we’re issuing a critical policy document that addresses how that list will be formulated, and what bulk drug substances the outsourcing facilities can use to compound drugs.
Compounding can be critical for advancing the health of patients who have specific medical needs that cannot be met by FDA-approved drugs. However, because compounded drugs are not FDA-approved and do not undergo premarket review by the FDA for safety, effectiveness and quality; they also present a greater risk to patients than FDA-approved drugs. This was illustrated by the 2012 nationwide fungal meningitis outbreak. This tragic outbreak led to more than 750 cases of illness and the deaths of 64 individuals who had used a compounded drug for injection that was supposed to be sterile, but became contaminated.
In response to that public health tragedy, Congress enacted the DQSA in 2013 to enhance the safety and quality of these medicines. Advancing the FDA’s compounding program is a high priority for the agency. We’re fully committed to implementing the DQSA requirements in a way that preserves access to compounded drugs for patients who have a medical need for them, while protecting patients from poor quality or otherwise unsafe compounded drugs that could cause them serious harm.
The draft guidance we’re releasing today is one part of a comprehensive policy framework. In January, we released our compounding policy priorities plan, which lays out how the agency will implement, over the course of 2018, certain key provisions of DQSA and other requirements of the law relevant to compounders. The plan is comprised of a series of draft and final gui