FDA to Emphasize Safety in Approving Drug Names

July 31, 2008

The way in which the FDA approves proposed drug names is changing as the agency increases its focus on drug safety through preventing medication errors.

The Division of Medication Error Prevention (DMEDP) is taking the lead in regulatory actions related to proprietary name review and medication error prevention, Susan Proulx, president of Med-ERRS, said at an FDAnews audioconference last week.

Previously, DMEDP checked proposed drug names to see if they were similar enough to existing drug names to potentially cause medication errors. It then issued a recommendation to the relevant drug-reviewing division, which could overrule it.

Under a memorandum of agreement signed this month between the FDA’s Office of New Drugs and Office of Surveillance and Epidemiology (OSE), “there will be more transparency, and DMEDP will have more say,” Proulx said.

DMEDP may get the final say on whether a proposed drug name can be approved rather than the reviewing division, she added. The goal is to improve drug safety by decreasing the risk of medication errors caused by name confusion.

SEC Slaps CPA Firms for Not Registering

July 31, 2008

The Securities and Exchange Commission took action against several small accounting firms and their principals, saying they audited public companies without having registered with the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB).

Each of the firms and individuals consented to the issuance of the SEC orders without admitting to or denying any of the findings.

FDA flubs off-label enforcement

July 30, 2008

The FDA takes too long to warn a pharmaceutical company about off-label promotion, according to a Government Accountability Office (GAO)

According to the GAO, the FDA:
  • Takes an average of seven months to warn a company about possible violations
  • Is unable to review all submissions because of the volume of materials it receives
  • Prioritizes reviews to examine those with the greatest potential impact on human health
  • Relies on staff to sort though large volumes of material and prioritize them for review
  • Is hampered by the lack of a system that consistently tracks the receipt and review of submitted materials

Between 2003 and 2007, the FDA issued 42 letters requesting companies stop marketing products for off-label uses, but did not refer any of the violations to the Department of Justice (DOJ) for enforcement actions. During the same time, the DOJ settled 11 civil and criminal cases that involved off-label marketing to some extent.

Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) requested the review.
Source: ePharmaceuticals

PCAOB Approves Succession Rule

July 30, 2008

The change will make it easier for accounting firms to continue their work after a merger.

The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board on Tuesday approved a new rule that will allow accounting firms to keep their registered status after a merger or change of name.

The rule—and the accompanying form—spells out the circumstances where a firm can keep its registration status even if it becomes a new “legal entity.” First proposed in May 2006, the new rule is intended to protect auditors from having to stop their work because of a gap in their registration status.

“Today’s action will allow for registered firms—in appropriate and well defined circumstances—to provide audit services without a break in their PCAOB registration status when there has been some change in their legal form,” PCAOB Chairman Mark Olson said. “The rules would provide flexibility that is important given the serious implications of a firm operating without registration.”

The circumstances include any changes in a firm’s legal organization or the jurisdiction in which it’s organized. A registered firm can also continue operating if it acquires or combines with an unregistered firm to form a new company.

“An issuer’s compliance with federal law and regulations depends upon its auditor being registered,according to the proposal, which added that “disruption of a firm’s registration should not be taken lightly.”

The PCAOB unanimously approved the new rule, which will be submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission for final approval.

Source: CFO.com

The Top 10 Enterprise Risk-Management Myths

July 30, 2008

To address Sarbanes-Oxley compliance, many companies put in place technology platforms that now support a variety of risk and compliance initiatives. Sarbanes-Oxley solutions were generally purchased with the tacit approval of IT, but few IT organizations standardized on a strategy for managing risk and compliance data.

A lot of companies have moved to augment enterprise risk management platforms with dedicated governance, risk and compliance (GRC) solutions. That trend isn’t going to disappear anytime soon, but some companies will likely come away disappointed with the results. It’s fair to say that automation can seem like anything but in a lot of cases. Newsfactor.com offers a list of 10 ERM-GRC myths.

Few companies can grow without taking risks. But poor risk management leads to surprises in business operations that can impact shareholder confidence, regulatory oversight and the bottom line. An unprecedented wave of regulatory oversight in recent years has convinced many organizations how inadequate their enterprise risk management (ERM) policies and procedures really are.

  1. Myth Number 10: IT Risk Management = Information Security
  2. Myth Number 9: CIOs Embraced Enterprise GRC
  3. Myth Number 8: A Rigid, Standardized Approach Is Best
  4. Myth Number 7: You Can Manage Risk Only from the Center
  5. Myth Number 6: You Can Manage Risk and Compliance with Spreadsheets
  6. Myth Number 5: Traditional Audit Planning Is Good Enough
  7. Myth Number 4: Enterprise Risk Management Is Dead!
  8. Myth Number 3: It Just Takes Common Sense
  9. Myth Number 2: TJX — It Can’t Happen Here
  10. The Number One Myth about ERM: You Can’t Plan for the Unknown

Sketch of Gujarat blast suspect released

July 29, 2008

It is the first clear lead in the Gujarat terror strike. The police has a sketch of a suspect to work on. He was allegedly seen putting explosives in one of the cars found in Surat on Sunday. Luckily that bomb was defused.

Minutes after yet another bomb was detected in the textile town and defused before it could cause damage.

This is the third narrow escape for people in Surat in the last twenty-four hours. The device is a cocktail of ammonium nitrate, shrapnels, timer-device, at a place where people congregate.

Surat on alert; more bombs recovered

July 29, 2008

Just two days after four bombs were found in Surat, six more live bombs were found in the city, four of which were defused by the Bomb Disposal Squad. Efforts are on to defuse the fifth and sixth bombs.

Earlier, the first bomb was found near the Ladeshwar Police Chowky in the Varaccha area of the city. Another live bomb was recovered from a market in Santosh Nagar, and was confirmed by Assistant Commissioner of Police, Surat. The other explosives were reportedly recovered from the Mini Diamond market in Varaccha area of the city.

Following initial reports of the same, Surat police officials rushed to the area. The bombs were reportedly detonators, which could have gone off causing minor damage to the surroundings.

The bombs recovered by the Bomb Disposal squad bare an uncanny resemblance with each other and the ones that were found on Sunday (July 27). The explosives are reportedly wrapped in a newspaper which looks to be from the city of Vadodara.

Police officials suspect that more explosive-like substances have been planted in different parts the city. Following the alerts, the police cordoned off the area and restricted the traffic. Pedestrians were asked to keep off the area for security reasons.

RS Brar, Commissioner of Surat Police said, “We have cordoned off the area. We have appealed to the public to inform us if they find any objects of suspicion. We will take immediate action and are doing our best to ensure safety in the city.”

Meanwhile, there were reports that the OPD at the Ahmedabad’s Civil Hospital had been evacuated after authorities reportedly received a call informing of a possible bomb. However, the police confirmed that it was a hoax call.

High alert had been sounded in Surat after four live bombs were defused on the outskirts of the city on Sunday (July 27)