United States Code

USC most recently checked for updates: Feb 03, 2023

§ 360cc.
Protection for drugs for rare diseases or conditions
(a)
Exclusive approval, certification, or license
Except as provided in subsection (b), if the Secretary—
(1)
approves an application filed pursuant to section 355 of this title, or
(2)
issues a license under section 262 of title 42
for a drug designated under section 360bb of this title for a rare disease or condition, the Secretary may not approve another application under section 355 of this title or issue another license under section 262 of title 42 for the same drug for the same disease or condition for a person who is not the holder of such approved application or of such license until the expiration of seven years from the date of the approval of the approved application or the issuance of the license. Section 355(c)(2) 1
1
 See References in Text note below.
of this title does not apply to the refusal to approve an application under the preceding sentence.
(b)
Exceptions
During the 7-year period described in subsection (a) for an approved application under section 355 of this title or license under section 262 of title 42, the Secretary may approve an application or issue a license for a drug that is otherwise the same, as determined by the Secretary, as the already approved drug for the same rare disease or condition if—
(1)
the Secretary finds, after providing the holder of exclusive approval or licensure notice and opportunity for the submission of views, that during such period the holder of the exclusive approval or licensure cannot ensure the availability of sufficient quantities of the drug to meet the needs of persons with the disease or condition for which the drug was designated; or
(2)
the holder provides the Secretary in writing the consent of such holder for the approval of other applications or the issuance of other licenses before the expiration of such seven-year period.
(c)
Condition of clinical superiority
(1)
In general

If a sponsor of a drug that is designated under section 360bb of this title and is otherwise the same, as determined by the Secretary, as an already approved or licensed drug is seeking exclusive approval or exclusive licensure described in subsection (a) for the same rare disease or condition as the already approved drug, the Secretary shall require such sponsor, as a condition of such exclusive approval or licensure, to demonstrate that such drug is clinically superior to any already approved or licensed drug that is the same drug.

(2)
Definition

For purposes of paragraph (1), the term “clinically superior” with respect to a drug means that the drug provides a significant therapeutic advantage over and above an already approved or licensed drug in terms of greater efficacy, greater safety, or by providing a major contribution to patient care.

(3)
Applicability

This subsection applies to any drug designated under section 360bb of this title for which an application was approved under section 355 of this title or licensed under section 262 of title 42 after August 18, 2017, regardless of the date on which such drug was designated under section 360bb of this title.

(d)
Regulations

The Secretary may promulgate regulations for the implementation of subsection (c). Beginning on August 18, 2017, until such time as the Secretary promulgates regulations in accordance with this subsection, the Secretary may apply any definitions set forth in regulations that were promulgated prior to such date, to the extent such definitions are not inconsistent with the terms of this section, as amended by such Act.

(e)
Demonstration of clinical superiority standard
To assist sponsors in demonstrating clinical superiority as described in subsection (c), the Secretary—
(1)
upon the designation of any drug under section 360bb of this title, shall notify the sponsor of such drug in writing of the basis for the designation, including, as applicable, any plausible hypothesis offered by the sponsor and relied upon by the Secretary that the drug is clinically superior to a previously approved drug; and
(2)
upon granting exclusive approval or licensure under subsection (a) on the basis of a demonstration of clinical superiority as described in subsection (c), shall publish a summary of the clinical superiority findings.
(June 25, 1938, ch. 675, § 527, as added Pub. L. 97–414, § 2(a), Jan. 4, 1983, 96 Stat. 2050; amended Pub. L. 98–417, title I, § 102(b)(6), Sept. 24, 1984, 98 Stat. 1593; Pub. L. 99–91, §§ 2, 3(a)(3), Aug. 15, 1985, 99 Stat. 387, 388; Pub. L. 103–80, § 3(v), Aug. 13, 1993, 107 Stat. 778; Pub. L. 105–115, title I, § 125(b)(2)(J), (K), Nov. 21, 1997, 111 Stat. 2326; Pub. L. 107–281, § 4, Nov. 6, 2002, 116 Stat. 1993; Pub. L. 115–52, title VI, § 607(a), Aug. 18, 2017, 131 Stat. 1049; Pub. L. 116–260, div. BB, title III, § 323, Dec. 27, 2020, 134 Stat. 2933.)
cite as: 21 USC 360cc