- For Immediate Release:
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today announced the following actions taken in its ongoing response effort to the COVID-19 pandemic:
- Today, the FDA included, under the ventilator emergency use authorization (EUA), a ventilator developed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), which is tailored to treat patients with COVID-19. The ventilator was added to the list of authorized ventilators, ventilator tubing connectors and ventilator accessories under the ventilator EUA that was issued in response to concerns relating to insufficient supply and availability of FDA-cleared ventilators for use in health care settings to treat patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. The NASA VITAL (Ventilator Intervention Technology Accessible Locally) is intended to last three to four months and is specifically tailored for patients with COVID-19, by providing respiratory support for patients that are experiencing respiratory failure or insufficiency. The device is designed to be built with components outside the current medical device supply chain and therefore does not impact the existing supply chain of currently made ventilators.
- The FDA issued a Consumer Update, Helpful Questions and Answers about Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Your Pets, that provides answers to frequently asked questions. Based on the limited information available to date, the risk of pets spreading the virus that causes COVID-19 in people is considered to be low. At this time, there is no evidence that animals play a significant role in spreading the virus that causes COVID-19. There is a small number of animals around the world reported to be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, mostly after having close contact with a person with COVID-19.
- Today, the FDA issued a guidance highlighting flexibility under the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA). This guidance is intended to facilitate the distribution of prescription drug products needed to respond to COVID-19, including drugs to treat symptoms of COVID-19. During the COVID-19 emergency, the DSCSA requirements related to certain product tracing and product identification activities, and wholesale distribution, do not apply to qualifying distribution activities. This flexibility balances the need for effective distribution of products under emergency conditions with protecting consumers from exposure to products that may be counterfeit, stolen or otherwise harmful.
- Diagnostics Update to Date
- During the COVID-19 pandemic, the FDA has worked with more than 380 test developers who have said they will be submitting emergency use authorizations (EUA) requests to FDA for tests that detect the virus.
- To date, the FDA has issued 53 individual emergency use authorizations for test kit manufacturers and laboratories. In addition, 23 authorized tests have been added to the EUA letter of authorization for high complexity molecular-based laboratory developed tests (LDTs).
- The FDA has been notified that more than 235 laboratories have begun testing under the policies set forth in our COVID-19 Policy for Diagnostic Tests for Coronavirus Disease-2019 during the Public Health Emergency Guidance.
- The FDA also continues to keep its COVID-19 Diagnostics FAQ up to date.
The FDA, an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, protects the public health by assuring the safety, effectiveness, and security of human and veterinary drugs, vaccines and other biological products for human use, and medical devices. The agency also is responsible for the safety and security of our nation’s food supply, cosmetics, dietary supplements, products that give off electronic radiation, and for regulating tobacco products.
- Molly Block