Bringing more drug competition to the market is a top priority of the Administration, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and FDA. In 2017, FDA announced the Drug Competition Action Plan (DCAP) to further encourage robust and timely market competition for generic drugs and help bring greater efficiency and transparency to the generic drug review process, without sacrificing the scientific rigor underlying our generic drug program. Through this plan, FDA is helping remove barriers to generic drug development and market entry in an effort to spur competition so that consumers can get access to the medicines they need.
To date, the Agency has focused its efforts under the Drug Competition Action Plan in three key areas:
- Maximizing scientific and regulatory clarity with respect to complex generic drugs
Complex generic products are typically harder to develop, which means that many complex products face less competition than other products, and therefore can be more expensive and less accessible to the patients who need them. The initiatives below are aimed at ensuring FDA’s regulatory requirements for complex generic drugs are streamlined, predictable, and science-based, to help reduce the time, uncertainty, and cost of drug development.
- Closing loopholes that allow brand-name drug companies to “game” FDA rules in ways that delay the generic competition Congress intended
FDA aims to reduce the so-called “gaming” that frustrates and delays generic drug approvals and extends brand monopolies beyond what Congress intended with the Hatch-Waxman Amendments of 1984. Such practices upset the careful balance that Congress sought between product innovation and access and can make the development and approval process unpredictable, and potentially more costly, for generic manufacturers.
- Improving the efficiency of the generic drug development, review, and approval process
By clarifying FDA’s regulatory expectations for new entrants and experienced drug developers alike, FDA is supporting prospective generic drug developers and improving the overall quality of ANDAs submitted to the Agency for approval. At the same time, FDA is implementing initiatives to enhance its own review process efficiency to improve the speed and predictability of the generic drug review process while maintaining our rigorous scientific standards.
Recent DCAP Updates
- In January 2024, FDA published the following guidances:
Further information on FDA’s Drug Competition Action Plan is available at the links below.