On January 30, 2015, and at the request of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a federal judge granted a consent decree of permanent injunction against Laclede, a U.S.-based manufacturer in connection with the marketing of unapproved new drugs. The permanent injunction prohibits Laclede from selling and distributing unapproved new drugs or misbranded drugs and devices.
According to FDA’s announcement, Laclede had a long history of violations with the FDA. In 2012, FDA inspectors found numerous violations of the Current Good Manufacturing Practice (CGMP) regulations for finished pharmaceuticals and other issues surrounding the marketing and sale of unapproved new drugs. As explained by FDA, the company undertook steps to correct the violations, but the Agency deemed the response ineffective. In February 2013, the FDA issued a warning letter to the company for violations of the CGMP and the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) by manufacturing and marketing both over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription drug products without an approved application (unapproved new drugs). According to the FDA Warning Letter, the Agency deemed the products to be drugs due to certain disease claims made in the Company’s marketing materials and since no approved applications were held by the Company, the products were deemed unapproved new drugs. For example, some of the claims at issue included: “Methods and composition for the treatment of vaginal diseases employing peroxide-producing enzymes and peroxidases,” “Helps Prevent The Causes Of Vaginosis, Yeast Infection and Bad Odor,” and “Probiotics: Potential to Prevent HIV and Sexually Transmitted Infections in Women.” Accordingly, the Company’s labeling was one of the major issues that led to FDA’s finding of unapproved new drugs, prompting FDA enforcement action.
On June 25, 2014, the FDA filed for a permanent injunction , as the Agency argued that the Company’s operations remained non-compliant with FDA regulations. That injunction was granted on January 30, 2015. One of the main issues here was Laclede’s failure to properly label their products. The consent decree for permanent injunction specifies that Laclede may not market any products with the words “prebiotic” or “actibiotic” on its labels or packages without first obtaining the FDA’s approval. In addition, Laclede may not market any products referencing “lubrication” without appropriate FDA approval.
In sum, properly labeling products is one of the most critical steps in the product development process. Compliance with the regulations is a must to ensure that your products stay on the shelf and that your company is not the subject of FDA enforcement action. Our firm offers comprehensive label reviews and packaging requirement assistance to help our clients ensure that their products are fully compliant with all applicable rules and regulations. If you would like assistance with your products, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.