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Health Law Highlights

How State-Level Psychedelic Medicine Legislation Raises Equity Concerns

Summary of article from Healthcare Brew, by Maia Anderson:

The FDA is likely to decide on the approval of an MDMA-based psychedelic medicine this year, with multiple states considering legalization for therapeutic use. However, there is concern about equitable access to these treatments. Psilocybin, MDMA, and a form of LSD have been granted breakthrough therapy status by the FDA, allowing for clinical trials for potential therapeutic uses. States are taking varied approaches to legislation, with some legalizing or decriminalizing psychedelics and others allowing research. There are concerns about the high cost of these therapies and their accessibility, particularly for people of color, with initiatives ongoing to educate clinicians and develop non-hallucinogenic variants to increase accessibility.

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Health Law Highlights

Louisiana Lawmakers Pass Bill Making Abortion Pills Controlled Dangerous Substances

Summary of article from AP News, by Sara Cline:

Louisiana is set to reclassify abortion-inducing drugs, mifepristone and misoprostol, as controlled and dangerous substances under a new bill that has received final legislative approval. Supporters of the bill argue it will protect women from coerced abortions, while critics, including numerous doctors, fear it will hamper their ability to prescribe these medicines for other reproductive health needs. The bill would place these drugs on the list of Schedule IV drugs under the state’s Uniform Controlled Dangerous Substances Law, requiring doctors to have a specific license to prescribe them and the drugs to be stored in certain facilities. Critics warn this could create barriers to treatment and cause unnecessary fear and confusion. The bill now awaits the signature of the conservative Republican Governor Jeff Landry, who has indicated his support.

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Profound Medical Wins FDA Nod for AI in Prostate Cancer Procedure

Summary of article from MassDevice, by Sean Whooley:

Profound Medical has received FDA 510(k) clearance for its second AI model, the Contouring Assistant, designed to treat prostate cancer. The Contouring Assistant is part of the company’s TULSA-Pro system, which uses transurethral ultrasound ablation (TULSA) to ablate diseased tissue in patients with various stages of prostate cancer, benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), or those requiring salvage therapy. The TULSA procedure uses real-time magnetic resonance guidance to preserve urinary continence and sexual function while targeting cancerous tissue. The newly cleared AI module uses machine learning to segment the prostate, aiding in the delineation of the target ablation volume. Profound Medical is also developing another TULSA-AI module, TULSA BPH, with more details expected later in 2024.

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Health Law Highlights

FDA Finalizes Rule Regulating Laboratory Developed Tests

Summary of article from Polsinelli, by Suzanne Bassett, Michael Gaba:

The FDA’s Final Rule regulating Laboratory-Developed Tests (LDTs) was published on May 6, 2024, and is expected to take effect in 60 days. The rule expands the definition of in vitro diagnostics (IVDs) to include LDTs and will significantly alter the regulatory landscape for LDTs, impacting manufacturers, patients, and healthcare providers. Despite over 6,500 comments, no substantial changes were made from the Proposed Rule to the Final Rule, but there were significant adjustments to enforcement discretion policies. The rule is expected to face legal challenges and potential legislative action from Congress. The Final Rule applies to all IVDs offered as LDTs, regardless of whether the test meets the traditional definition.

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Health Law Highlights

FDA Proposes Updated Guidance Concerning Cybersecurity of Medical Devices

Summary of article from Jones Day, by Maureen Bennett, Ryan Blaney, Alexis Gilroy, Colleen Heisey, Michael McFerran, Lauren Murtagh:

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has proposed an updated draft Premarket Cybersecurity Guidance on March 13, 2024, to aid in meeting cybersecurity requirements for FDA medical device submissions. This guidance, under Section 524B of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, applies to any submission for a “Cyber Device”, which is defined as any device containing software, with potential internet connectivity, and susceptibility to cybersecurity threats. Manufacturers are required to provide documentation that includes plans for dealing with cybersecurity vulnerabilities, assurance of device and system security, and a detailed software bill of materials. The guidance also addresses the impact of device modifications on cybersecurity and the need for a “reasonable assurance of cybersecurity” in the device’s safety and effectiveness evaluation. The FDA will finalize the draft guidance after considering comments and suggestions submitted by May 13, 2024.

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Health Law Highlights

FDA Brings Lab Tests Under Federal Oversight

Summary of article from AP News, by Matthew Perrone:

The FDA has finalized a regulation that will gradually introduce oversight for new tests developed by laboratories. The rule mandates that these tests, including those for life-threatening diseases, must demonstrate accurate results within a timeframe of 3.5 to 4 years. However, existing tests will not require federal review and will be grandfathered into approval. All lab tests will need to register with the agency and report any issues. The move has been opposed by the testing industry, which argues it will limit access to critical tests, increase healthcare costs, and stifle innovation.