On March 3, 2021, the Food and Drug Administration granted regular approval to lorlatinib (Lorbrena, Pfizer Inc.) for patients with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) whose tumors are anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK)-positive, detected by an FDA-approved test.
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Bipartisan legislation that would require group health insurance plans to implement critical patient protections from step therapy protocols was recently introduced in the United States Senate. The Association for Clinical Oncology (the Association) supports the measure—S. 464, the Safe Step Act—and its aim to ensure patients have timely access to care. The Association is urging Senators to cosponsor the legislation.
President Biden signed an Executive Order (EO) calling for a 100-day review of the United States’ (U.S.) pharmaceutical supply chains in an effort to create more resilient and secure access to essential pharmaceuticals while reducing over reliance on foreign competitors. This EO is driven largely by the personal protective equipment and ventilator shortages healthcare workers experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic as well as other critical supply shortages in non-healthcare sectors.
On February 26, 2021, the Food and Drug Administration granted accelerated approval to melphalan flufenamide (Pepaxto, Oncopeptides AB) in combination with dexamethasone for adult patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma who have received at least four prior lines of therapy and whose disease is refractory to at least one proteasome inhibitor, one immunomodulatory agent, and one CD-38 directed monoclonal antibody.
On February 22, 2021, the Food and Drug Administration approved cemiplimab-rwlc (Libtayo, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc.) for the first-line treatment of patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) (locally advanced who are not candidates for surgical resection or definitive chemoradiation or metastatic) whose tumors have high PD-L1 expression (Tumor Proportion Score [TPS] > 50%) as determined by an FDA-approved test, with no EGFR, ALK or ROS1 aberrations.
On February 9, 2021, the Food and Drug Administration granted regular approval to cemiplimab-rwlc (Libtayo, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc.) for patients with locally advanced basal cell carcinoma (laBCC) previously treated with a hedgehog pathway inhibitor (HHI) or for whom a HHI is not appropriate and granted accelerated approval to cemiplimab-rwlc for patients with metastatic BCC (mBCC) previously treated with a HHI or for whom a HHI is not appropriate.
On January 22, 2021, the Food and Drug Administration approved the combination of nivolumab (Opdivo, Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.) and cabozantinib (Cabometyx, Exelixis) as first-line treatment for patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC).
On January 15, 2021, the Food and Drug Administration granted accelerated approval to daratumumab plus hyaluronidase (Darzalex Faspro, Janssen Biotech Inc.) in combination with bortezomib, cyclophosphamide and dexamethasone for newly diagnosed light chain (AL) amyloidosis.
On January 15, 2021, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is alerting health care professionals to labeling updates for the preparation of vinca alkaloids, a group of chemotherapy agents that includes vincristine sulfate injection, vinblastine sulfate (for) injection, and vinorelbine tartrate injection. To reduce the potential for unintended intrathecal (spinal) administration, which causes death or severe neurological injury, FDA is working with drug application holders to remove instructions for preparation of these drugs by syringe and to recommend preparation in intravenous infusion bags only.
On January 15, 2021, the Food and Drug Administration approved fam-trastuzumab deruxtecan-nxki (Enhertu, Daiichi Sankyo) for adult patients with locally advanced or metastatic HER2-positive gastric or gastroesophageal (GEJ) adenocarcinoma who have received a prior trastuzumab-based regimen.