FDA Final Rule: Changes to Pregnancy & Lactation Labeling Info for Rx Drug and Biological Products

There are over six million pregnancies in the United States every year, and pregnant women take an average of three to five prescription drugs during pregnancy. Women with pre-existing medical conditions, such as asthma or high blood pressure, may need to continue to use prescription drugs to treat those conditions during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Women may also need to take medications for new or acute conditions that may occur during pregnancy or breastfeeding. The new labeling format and requirements reorganizes information and is structured to help inform health care professionals’ prescribing decisions and the counseling of patients using prescription drugs. The FDA is also issuing a draft guidance for industry to help drug and biological product manufacturers comply with the new labeling content and format requirements. The draft guidance provides a detailed description of how the labeling is to be formatted subsection-by-subsection, noting the type of information that should be included under each heading. Although comments on a guidance can be submitted at any time, public comments should be submitted within 60 days of publication to ensure that they are considered when the FDA begins work on finalizing the draft guidance.