In a letter dated Nov. 30, 2023, the Food and Drug Administration informed isotretinoin manufacturers that they have 6 months to make five changes to existing iPLEDGE Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) requirements for the acne drug isotretinoin.
The development follows a March 2023 joint meeting of the FDA’s Drug Safety and Risk Management Advisory Committee and the Dermatologic and Ophthalmic Drugs Advisory Committee about iPLEDGE REMS requirements, which included feedback from patients and dermatologists and recommendations for changes to the REMS program, aimed at minimizing the burden of the program on patients, pharmacies, and prescribers while continuing to maintain safe use of the highly teratogenic drug for patients.
The five changes include the following:
- Remove the requirement that pregnancy tests must be performed in a specially certified (i.e., Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments [CLIA]) laboratory. In the opinion of John S. Barbieri, MD, MBA, director of the Advanced Acne Therapeutics Clinic at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, this change “may make it easier to perform pregnancy tests in a clinic setting without needing to send the patient to a separate lab,” he said in an interview.
- Allow prescribers the option of using home pregnancy testing for their patients during and after isotretinoin treatment. Prescribers who rely on the patient to perform a home pregnancy test need to take steps to minimize patients falsifying the results of these tests. According to Dr. Barbieri, this means that two pregnancy tests prior to starting isotretinoin must be done in a lab or office setting. “However, all the pregnancy tests on therapy can be either in a medical setting or using a home pregnancy test,” he told this news organization. “This option facilitates the use of telemedicine so that patients would not need to come in; they can just share a pregnancy test with their name and date with their dermatologist.”
- Remove the waiting period requirement — also known as the “19-day lockout” — for patients if they do not obtain isotretinoin within the first 7-day prescription window. According to Dr. Barbieri, this change helps to ensure that patients can begin isotretinoin in a timely manner. “Insurance and pharmacy delays that are no fault of the patient can commonly cause missed initial window periods,” he said. “Allowing for immediate repeat of a pregnancy test to start a new window period, rather than requiring the patient to wait 19 more days, can ensure patient safety and pregnancy prevention without negatively impacting access.”
- Revise the pregnancy registry requirement to remove the objective to document the pregnancy and fetal outcomes for each pregnancy.
- Revise the requirement for prescribers to document patient counseling in patients who cannot become pregnant from monthly to only at enrollment. Dr. Barbieri characterized this change as “major” and said that it could eliminate the need for monthly visits for persons of non–childbearing potential. “This could substantially reduce logistical burdens for patients and reduce wait times to see a dermatologist,” he said.
Future changes to iPLEDGE that Dr. Barbieri would like to see include allowing for home pregnancy tests prior to starting therapy — particularly the test after the 30-day window period. “In addition, it would be good to be able to reduce the 30-day waiting period prior to therapy to something shorter,” such as 14 days, which would still “reliably exclude pregnancy, particularly for those on stable long-acting reversible contraception,” he said. There are also opportunities to improve the iPLEDGE website functionality and to ensure that the website is accessible to patients with limited English proficiency, he added.
He also recommended greater transparency by the Isotretinoin Products Manufacturers Group and inclusion of input from diverse stakeholders such as dermatologists, patients, and pharmacists.
Dr. Barbieri reported personal fees from Dexcel Pharma.
This article originally appeared on MDedge.com, part of the Medscape Professional Network.
Source link : https://www.medscape.com/s/viewarticle/fda-mandates-changes-ipledge-program-isotretinoin-2023a1000uiy?src=rss
Publish date : 2023-12-06 21:30:40
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