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Postmarketing safety of orphan drugs: a longitudinal analysis of the US Food and Drug Administration database between 1999 and 2018

Fan, M; Chan, AYL; Yan, VKC; Tong, X; Lau, LKW; Wan, EYF; Tam, EYT; ... Li, X; + view all (2022) Postmarketing safety of orphan drugs: a longitudinal analysis of the US Food and Drug Administration database between 1999 and 2018. Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases , 17 , Article 3. 10.1186/s13023-021-02166-9. Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Information about the specific regulatory environment of orphan drugs is scarce and inconsistent. Uncertainties surrounding the postmarketing long-term safety of orphan drugs remain. This study aimed to evaluate the labelling changes of orphan drugs and to identify postmarketing safety-associated approval factors. METHODS: This retrospective cohort study includes all drugs with orphan drug designation approved by the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research of the US Food and Drug Administration between 1999 and 2018. Main outcomes are safety-related labelling changes up to 31 December 2019. We defined any safety-related labelling changes as postmarketing safety events (PMSE). Safety-related withdrawals, suspensions, and boxed warnings were further categorised as severe postmarketing safety events (SPSE). Outcome measurements include frequencies of PMSE, SPSE, and association between approval factors and the occurrence of safety events. RESULTS: Amongst the 214 drugs identified with orphan drug designation (25.7% biologics), 83.6% were approved through at least one expedited programme, and 29.4% were approved with boxed warnings. During a median follow-up of 6.74 years since approval, 69.2% and 14.5% of the analysed orphan drugs had PMSE and SPSE, respectively. Safety-related withdrawal (0%, 0/214), suspended marketing (0.46%, 1/214) and new boxed warnings are uncommon (3.7%, 8/214). The safety-related labelling changes were more frequent in the drugs approved with boxed warnings [Incidence rate ratio (IRR): 1.95 (1.02-3.73)] and approved for long-term use [IRR: 2.76 (1.52-5.00)]. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: In this long-term postmarketing analysis, approximately 70% of FDA-approved orphan drugs had safety-related labelling changes although severe safety events were rare. While maintaining early access to orphan drugs, the drug regulatory body has taken timely regulatory action with postmarketing surveillance to ensure patient safety.

Type: Article
Title: Postmarketing safety of orphan drugs: a longitudinal analysis of the US Food and Drug Administration database between 1999 and 2018
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1186/s13023-021-02166-9
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1186/s13023-021-02166-9
Language: English
Additional information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.
Keywords: Adverse events, Medication safety, Orphan drug designation, Postmarketing surveillance, Risk–benefit trade-off
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > UCL School of Pharmacy
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > UCL School of Pharmacy > Practice and Policy
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10141608
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