Pharmacovigilance of Regenerative Medicine Under the Amended Pharmaceutical Affairs Act in Japan
Two Japanese regulatory agencies, the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare and the Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Agency announced the implementation of a new review system called ‘Conditional Approval,’ specifically for the emerging field of regenerative medicine, in an amendment to the Pharmaceutical Affairs Act in 2014. Regenerative medicine was regulated in the category of ‘Medical Devices’ prior to the amendment and was not covered by the Relief Service, a system that provides financial aid to people who have experienced an adverse drug reaction and developed serious side effects as a result. Through the amendment, regenerative medicine is defined as a new category and is covered by the Relief Service under the amended Pharmaceutical Affairs Act, called the ‘Act on Securing Quality, Efficacy and Safety of Pharmaceuticals, Medical Devices, Regenerative and Cellular Therapy Products, Gene Therapy Products, and Cosmetics’ (PMD Act). This amendment allows the use of Relief Service data for pharmacovigilance activities, making the Relief Service the third adverse drug reaction reporting route in addition to the existing reporting routes from marketing authorization holders and healthcare providers. For optimum incorporation and use of this Relief Service data, earlier access should be allowed even before the reports from the Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Agency to the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare are finalized, which is mandatory under the current PMD Act.
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