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Notice

Draft “Guidance for Industry: Independent Consultants for Biotechnology Clinical Trial Protocols;” Availability

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

ACTION:

Notice.

SUMMARY:

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is announcing the availability of a draft document entitled “Guidance for Industry: Independent Consultants for Biotechnology Clinical Trial Protocols” dated May 2003. This draft guidance document is intended to explain when and how sponsors of clinical trials for certain products can request that FDA engage an independent consultant to participate in the review of protocols for clinical studies intended to serve as the primary basis of claims of efficacy.

DATES:

Submit written or electronic comments on the draft guidance to ensure their adequate consideration in preparation of the final document by August 5, 2003. General comments on agency guidance documents are welcome at any time.

ADDRESSES:

Submit written requests for single copies of the draft guidance to the Office of Communication, Training, and Manufacturers Assistance (HFM-40), Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER), Food and Drug Administration, 1401 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 20852-1448; or the Division of Drug Information (HFD-240), Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER), Food and Drug Administration, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20857. Send one self-addressed adhesive label to assist the office in processing your requests. The document may also be obtained by mail by calling the CBER Voice Information System at 1-800-835-4709 or 301-827-1800, or by calling the FAX Information System at 1-888-CBER-FAX or 301-827-3844. See the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for electronic access to the draft guidance document.

Submit written comments on the document to the Dockets Management Branch (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852. Submit electronic comments to http://www.fda.gov/​dockets/​ecomments.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Michael D. Anderson, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (HFM-17), Food and Drug Administration, 1401 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 20852-1448, 301-827-6210; or John Jenkins, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (HFD-020), 1451 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 20852-1448, 301-594-5421.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

FDA is announcing the availability of a draft document entitled “Guidance for Industry: Independent Consultants for Biotechnology Clinical Trial Protocols” Start Printed Page 24487dated May 2003. On June 12, 2002, the President signed the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002, which includes the Prescription Drug User Fee Amendments of 2002 (PDUFA III). Secretary Thompson's letter to Congress concerning PDUFA III included an addendum containing the performance goals and programs intended to facilitate the development and review of human drugs to which FDA had committed. One commitment was the establishment of a program that allows the sponsor of clinical trials for certain products to request that FDA engage an independent consultant to participate in the review of protocols for clinical studies that are intended to serve as the primary basis of claims of efficacy. This draft guidance document is intended to explain when and how a sponsor may take advantage of this program.

This level 1 draft guidance is being issued consistent with FDA's good guidance practices regulation (21 CFR 10.115). This draft guidance document represents the agency's current thinking on this topic. It does not create or confer any rights for or on any person and does not operate to bind FDA or the public. An alternative approach may be used if such approach satisfies the requirement of the applicable statutes and regulations.

II. Comments

This draft document is being distributed for comment purposes only and is not intended for implementation at this time. Interested persons may submit to the Dockets Management Branch (see ADDRESSES) written or electronic comments regarding this draft guidance document. Submit written or electronic comments to ensure adequate consideration in preparation of the final document. Two copies of mailed comments are to be submitted, except individuals may submit one copy. Comments should be identified with the docket number found in the brackets in the heading of this document. A copy of the document and received comments are available for public examination in the Dockets Management Branch between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

III. Electronic Access

Persons with access to the Internet may obtain the document at either http://www.fda.gov/​cber/​guidelines.htm or http://www.fda.gov/​ohrms/​dockets/​default.htm.

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Dated: April 23, 2003.

Jeffrey Shuren,

Assistant Commissioner for Policy.

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[FR Doc. 03-11214 Filed 5-6-03; 8:45 am]

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