We review the activities of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s approval of drugs and biologics on a regular basis to understand the potential effects for both our providers and members.


The FDA approves new drugs/biologics using various pathways of approval. Recent studies on the effectiveness of drugs/biologics going through these different FDA pathways illustrates the importance of clinicians being aware of the clinical data behind a drug or biologic approval in making informed decisions.


Here is a list of the approval pathways the FDA uses for drugs/biologics:

  • Standard review – The standard review process follows well-established paths to help ensure drugs/biologics are safe and effective when they reach the public. From concept to approval and beyond, FDA performs these steps: reviews research data and information about drugs and biologics before they become available to the public; watches for problems once drugs and biologics are available to the public; monitors drug/biologic information and advertising; and protects drug/biologic quality. Click this link to learn more about the standard review process.
  • Fast track – Fast track is a process designed to facilitate the development, and expedite the review of drugs/biologics to treat serious conditions and fill an unmet medical need. Click this link to learn more about the fast track process.
  • Priority review – A priority review designation means FDA’s goal is to take action on an application within 6 months. Click this link to learn more about the priority review process.
  • Breakthrough therapy – A process designed to expedite the development and review of drugs/biologics that may demonstrate substantial improvement over available therapy. Click this link to learn more about the breakthrough therapy process.
  • Orphan review – Orphan review is the evaluation and development of drugs/biologics that demonstrate promise for the diagnosis and/or treatment of rare diseases or conditions. Click this link to learn more about the orphan review process.
  • Accelerated approval – These regulations allowed drugs/biologics for serious conditions that filled an unmet medical need to be approved based on a surrogate endpoint. Click this link to learn more about the accelerated approval process.


New molecular entities approvals: January - August 2020

Certain drugs/biologics are classified as new molecular entities (NMEs) for purposes of FDA review. Many of these products contain active ingredients that have not been approved by FDA previously, either as a single ingredient drug or as part of a combination product; these products frequently provide important new therapies for patients.


We review the FDA-approved NMEs on a regular basis. To help facilitate the decision-making process, we have attached to this article a list of NMEs approved from January to August 2020 along with the FDA approval pathway utilized. 

Source: www.fda.gov



Featured In:
October 2020 Anthem Maine Provider News