Regulatory Affairs-Interview Questions & Answers

Regulatory Affairs-Interview Questions & Answers

Regulatory Affairs in the Pharmaceutical industry is a profession that acts as the interface between the pharmaceutical industry and Drug Regulatory authorities across the world. It is mainly involved in the registration of the drug products in respective countries prior to their marketing.

What are the goals of Regulatory Affairs Professionals?

  • Protection of human health
  • Ensuring the safety, efficacy, and quality of drugs
  • Ensuring appropriateness and accuracy of product information

What are the Roles of Regulatory Affairs professionals?

  • Act as a liaison with regulatory agencies
  • Preparation of organized and scientifically valid NDA, ANDA, INDA,MAA, and DMF submissions
  • Ensure adherence and compliance with all the applicable cGMP, ICH, GCP, GLP guidelines, regulations, and laws
  • Providing expertise and regulatory intelligence in translating regulatory requirements into practical workable plans
  • Advising the companies on regulatory aspects and climate that would affect their proposed activities
  • Apart from the above main roles, there are various other roles that Regulatory Affairs professionals play.

What is an Investigational New Drug (IND) application?

It is an application that is filed with FDA to get approval for legally testing an experimental drug on human subjects in the USA

What is a New Drug Application?

The NDA is the vehicle through which drug sponsors formally propose that the FDA approve a new pharmaceutical for sale and marketing in the U.S. The data gathered during the animal studies and human clinical trials of an Investigational new drug become part of the NDA
In simple words, “It is an application which is filed with FDA to market a new Pharmaceutical for sale in the USA”

What is an Abbreviated New Drug Application (ANDA)?

It is an application filed with FDA, for a U.S. generic drug approval for an existing licensed medication or approved drug.
In simple words, “It is an application for the approval of Generic Drugs “

What is a Generic Drug Product?

A generic drug product is one that is comparable to an innovator drug product in dosage form, strength, route of administration, quality, performance characteristics, and intended use.

What is a DMF?

A Drug Master File (DMF) is a submission to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that may be used to provide confidential detailed information about facilities, processes, or articles used in the manufacturing, processing, packaging, and storing of one or more human drugs.
Important facts regarding DMFs
· It is submitted to FDA to provide confidential information
· Its submission is not required by law or regulations
· It is neither approved nor disapproved
· It is filed with FDA to support NDA, IND, ANDA another DMF, or amendments and supplements to
any of these
· It is provided for in the 21 CFR (Code of Federal Regulations) 314. 420
· It is not required when the applicant references its own information

What are the types of DMFs?

Type I: Manufacturing Site, Facilities, Operating Procedures, and Personnel (No longer accepted by FDA)
Type II: Drug Substance, Drug Substance Intermediate, and Material Used in Their Preparation, or Drug
Type III: Packaging Material
Type IV: Excipient, Colorant, Flavor, Essence, or Material Used in Their Preparation
Type V: FDA Accepted Reference Information (FDA discourages its use)

What is a 505 (b) (2) application?

505 (b)(2) application is a type of NDA for which one or more investigations relied on by the applicant for approval were not conducted by/for the applicant and for which the applicant has not obtained a right of reference.

What kind of application can be submitted as a 505(b)(2) application?

  • New chemical entity (NCE)/new molecular entity (NME)
  • Changes to previously approved drugs

What are the examples of changes to approved drug products for which 505(b)(2) application
should be submitted?

  • Change in the dosage form.
  • Change in strength
  • Change in route of administration
  • Substitution of an active ingredient in a formulation product
  • Change in formulation
  • Change in dosing regimen
  • Change in active ingredient
  • New combination Product
  • New indication
  • Change from prescription indication to OTC indication
  • Naturally derived or recombinant active ingredient
  • Bioequivalence

What are the chemical classification codes for NDA?

  • New molecular entity (NME)
  • New ester, new salt, or another noncovalent derivative
  • New formulation
  • New combination
  • New manufacturer
  • New indication
  • Drug already marketed, but without an approved
  • NDA
  • 8 OTC (over-the-counter) switch

What are the differences between NDA and 505 (b)(2) application?

New Drug Application (NDA)505 (b)(2) Application
All investigations relied on by the applicant for approval were conducted by/for the applicant and for which the applicant has the right of referenceOne or more investigations relied on by the applicant for approval were not conducted by/for the applicant and for which the applicant has not obtained a right of reference
Generally, filed for newly invented pharmaceuticals.Generally, filed for new dosage form, new route of administration, new indication, etc for all already approved pharmaceuticals.

Note: 505 (b)(2) application is a type of NDA.

What is a Marketing Authorization Application?

It is an application filed with the relevant authority in Europe (typically, the UK’s MHRA or the EMA’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP)) to market a drug or medicine. As per UK’s MHRAApplications for new active substances are described as ‘full applications’. Applications for medicines containing existing active substances are described as ‘abbreviated’ or ‘abridged applications’.

What is an ASMF?

An active substance master file is a submission that is made to EMA, MHRA, or any other Drug Regulatory Authority in Europe to provide a confidential intellectual property or ‘know-how’ of the manufacturer of the active substance. In simple words, “It is a submission made to European Drug regulatory agencies on the confidential information of Active Substance or Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API)”.

What are the types of active substances for which ASMFs are submitted?

  • New active substances
  • Existing active substances not included in the European Pharmacopoeia (Ph. Eur.) or the pharmacopeia of an EU Member State
  • Pharmacopeial active substances included in the Ph. Eur. or in the pharmacopeia of an EU Member State

What is the difference between DMF and ASMF (concerning submission)?

ASMF is submitted as Applicant’s Part (Open Part) and Restricted Part (Closed Part) There isn’t any differentiation of DMFs into parts

What is ICH?

International Conference on Harmonisation of Technical Requirements for Registration of Pharmaceuticals for Human Use (ICH): is a project that brings together the regulatory authorities of Europe, Japan, and the United States and experts from the pharmaceutical industry in the three regions to discuss scientific and technical aspects of pharmaceutical product registration.

What is CTD?

The Common Technical Document (CTD) is a set of specifications for the application dossier, for the registration of Medicines and is designed to be used across Europe, Japan, and the United States. Quality, Safety, and Efficacy information are assembled in a common format through CTD. The CTD is maintained by the International Conference on Harmonisation of Technical Requirements for Registration of
Pharmaceuticals for Human Use (ICH). CTD format for submission of drug registration applications/dossiers is widely accepted by regulatory authorities of other countries too like Canada, Australia, etc.

What are the ICH guidelines to be referred to for the preparation of registration dossiers/applications of medicines (With respect to format and contents in each module)?

  • M4 Guideline
  • M4Q Guideline
  • M4S Guideline
  • M4E Guideline

What are the modules in CTD?

  • The Common Technical Document is divided into five modules:
  • Module 1. Administrative information and prescribing information
  • Module 2. Common Technical Document summaries (Overview and summary of modules 3 to 5)
  • Module 3. Quality
  • Module 4. Nonclinical Study Reports (toxicology studies)
  • Module 5. Clinical Study Reports (clinical studies)

What is Orange Book?

It is the commonly used name for the book “Approved Drug Products with Therapeutic Equivalence Evaluations”, which is published by USFDA. It contains the list of drug products, approved on the basis of safety and effectiveness by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.

What is the Hatch-Waxman act?

It is the popular name for Drug Price Competition and Patent Term Restoration Act, 1984. It is considered the landmark legislation that established the modern system of generic drugs in the USA. Hatch-Waxman’s amendment of the federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetics Act established the process by which, would-be marketers of generic drugs can file an Abbreviated New Drug Application (ANDA) to seek FDA
approval of generic drugs. Paragraph IV of the act allows 180-day exclusivity to companies that are the “first-to-file” an ANDA against holders of patents for branded counterparts. In simple words “Hatch-Waxman Act is the amendment to Federal, Food, Drug, and Cosmetics act which established the modern system of approval of generics ”

What are the patent certifications under the Hatch-Waxman Act?

As per the Hatch and Waxman Act, generic drug and 505 (b) (2) applicants should include certifications in their applications for each patent listed in the “Orange Book” for the innovator drug. This certification must state one of the following:

(I) that the required patent information relating to such patent has not been filed (Para I certification);
(II) that such patent has expired (Para II certification);
(III) that the patent will expire on a particular date (Para III certification); or
(IV) that such patent is invalid or will not be infringed by the drug, for which approval is being sought(Para
IV certification).

A certification under paragraph I or II permits the ANDA to be approved immediately if it is otherwise eligible. A certification under paragraph III indicates that the ANDA may be approved than before the patent expires.

What is meant by 180-day exclusivity?

The Hatch-Waxman Amendments provide an incentive of 180 days of market exclusivity to the “first” generic applicant who challenges a listed patent by filing a paragraph IV certification and thereby runs the risk of having to defend a patent infringement suit. 180-Day Exclusivity could be granted to more than one applicant. A recent example is- 180-day exclusivity was granted to Ranbaxy and Watson Laboratories for marketing a generic version of Lipitor ( Atorvastatin calcium).

What are the procedures for the Approval of Drugs in the EU?

Centralized Procedure (CP)
Decentralized Procedure (DCP)
Mutual Recognition Procedure (MRP)
National Procedure (NP)

What is the Full form of the abbreviation, CEP?

Certificate of Suitability to the Monographs of the European Pharmacopoeia (or) Certificate of suitability of monographs of the European Pharmacopoeia (or) Certification of the suitability of European Pharmacopoeia monographs. It is also informally referred to as the Certificate of Suitability (COS).

What is a CEP?

It is the certificate that is issued by the Certification of Substances Division of the European Directorate for the Quality of Medicines (EDQM), when the manufacturer of a substance provides proof that the quality of the substance is suitably controlled by the relevant monographs of the European Pharmacopoeia.

Full forms of some of the Abbreviations related to Regulatory Affairs-

AbbreviationFull Form
NDANew Drug Application
ANDAAbbreviated New Drug application
INDInvestigational New Drug Application
DMFDrug Master file
ASMFActive Substance Master File
MAAMarketing Authorisation Application
CEPCertificate of Suitability to the monographs of the European Pharmacopoeia
ICHThe International Conference on Harmonisation of technical requirements for registration of pharmaceuticals for human use.
CTDCommon technical document for the registration of pharmaceuticals for human use.
APApplicant’s Part
RPRestricted Part
OPOpen Part
CPClosed Part
NMENew Molecular Entity
NCENew Chemical Entity
SmPCSummary of Product Characteristics
PLPackaging Leaflet
RMSReference Member State
CMSConcerned Member State
CHMPThe Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use
CPMPCommittee for Proprietary Medicinal Products
CVMPCommittee For Medicinal Products For Veterinary Use
SUPACScale-up and post-approval changes
BACPACBulk Active Chemicals Post-approval Changes
cGMPCurrent good Manufacturing Practice
GCPGood Clinical Practice
GLPGood Laboratory Practice

Well-known Drug Regulatory Agencies across the worldS.No. Country /Region Regulatory Agency

Country /RegionRegulatory Agency
United States of AmericaThe United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA)
United KingdomMedicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA)
European UnionEuropean Medicines Agency (EMA)
European UnionEuropean Directorate for the Quality of Medicines (EDQM)
AustraliaTherapeutic Goods Administration (TGA)
CanadaTherapeutic Products Directorate (TPD) in Health Product and food branch (HPFB) of Health Canada (HC)
JapanPharmaceutical and Medical Devices Agency (PMDA)
FranceAgence Francaise de Securite Sanitaire des Produits de Sante (AFSSAPS) Translated into English as French Agency for the Safety of Health Products
GermanyBundesinstitut für Arzneimittel und Medizinprodukte, (BfArM) Tanslated into English as- Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices
BrazilAgência Nacional de Vigilância Sanitária (ANVISA) Tanslated into English as- The National Health Surveillance Agency
IndiaDrugs Controller General of India (DCGI) who heads the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO)
SwitzerlandSwiss Agency for Therapeutic Products (SWISSMEDIC)
SingaporeHealth Sciences Authority (HSA)
New ZealandMedicines and Medical Devices Safety Authority (MEDSAFE)

The above Q & A are more suitable for the beginners/entry-level positions in the field of Regulatory Affairs

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