FDA Announces Public Meeting and Request for Comments and Data on Nanotechnology

August 7, 2008

On September 8, FDA will hold a public meeting to receive data and other information on the effects of nanoscale materials on quality, safety, and effectiveness of FDA-regulated products.  FDA will consider the information that it receives in its development of guidance that addresses: (1) the data required to demonstrate safety and effectiveness of a product that contains nanoscale materials; and (2) the circumstances under which the use of nanoscale materials might change the regulatory status of a product.  There will be breakout sessions that will address different product categories, including medical devices, prescription drugs, food and color additives, dietary supplements, and cosmetics.

The issues to be addressed in the breakout sessions include: (1) characteristics of materials to be identified and evaluated; (2) availability of tools to assess characteristics of nanoscale materials that could affect safety, effectiveness, and quality; (3) whether the manufacturing processes for nanoscale materials have unique features that merit evaluation; (4) whether there are aspects of formulation, processing, or storage that affect quality, safety, or effectiveness of products that contain nanoscale materials; (5) experience with, avoidance of, and concerns about products containing nanoscale materials; and (6) whether FDA should consider additional questions regarding characterization and manufacture of products containing nanoscale materials.

FDA also is requesting data that: (1) identify Over-the-Counter (“OTC”) drug products that contain nanoscale versions of ingredients in an OTC drug monograph; (2) identify nanoscale versions of food and color additives; (3) address the safety and effectiveness of both new FDA-regulated products and those that are reformulated to contain, or increase the content of, nanoscale materials; (4) address the effects of nanoscale versions of materials on bioavailability; and (5) address the effects of nanoscale materials on the manufacturing process for FDA-regulated products.

The importance of submitting comments to FDA as the Agency works to implement the recommendations in the 2007 Nanotechnology Task Force Report and sets a course for the future regulation of nanotechnology can hardly be overstated.  Comments can be submitted to Docket No. FDA-2008-N-0416. 

By Ricardo Carvajal


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