Postmarketing Safety-Related Modifications of Drugs Approved by the US Food and Drug Administration Between 1999 and 2014 Without Randomized Controlled Trials

Daniel Shepshelovich, Ariadna Tibau, Hadar Goldvaser, Alberto Ocana, Bostjan Seruga, Eitan Amir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: To investigate whether US Food and Drug Administration approval of new drugs without randomization or an active drug comparator is associated with more postmarketing safety-related label modifications. Methods: We searched Drugs@FDA for new drugs approved from January 1, 1999, through December 31, 2014. Drugs approved without supporting randomized controlled trials (RCTs) were matched to between 1 and 2 controls from similar therapeutic categories approved with supporting RCTs within 3 years of the reference drug. Study characteristics, regulatory pathways, and label modifications up to December 2017 were collected from drug labels. Differences in postmarketing safety modifications between cases and controls were assessed using conditional logistic regression. Results: The study cohort included 52 drugs approved without supporting RCTs and 91 matched controls. Drug approvals not supported by RCTs were associated with lower sample size (odds ratio [OR] per 100 patients, 0.77; 95% CI, 0.68-0.87) and were more likely to receive orphan drug designation (OR, 5.10; 95% CI, 2.23-11.69), fast-track designation (OR, 4.80; 95% CI, 2.25-10.23), and accelerated approval (OR, 7.00; 95% CI, 3.14-15.60). Drugs approved without supporting RCTs were associated with more modifications in black box warnings (28.8% vs 13.2%; OR, 2.67; 95% CI, 1.13-6.27), warnings and precautions (73.1% vs 52.7%; OR, 2.43; 95% CI, 1.16-5.09), and common adverse reactions (48.1% vs 23.1%; OR, 3.09; 95% CI, 1.49-6.41). Conclusion: Food and Drug Administration approval of new drugs without supporting RCTs is associated with more postmarketing safety-related label modifications than drugs approved with supporting RCTs. Robust postmarketing studies are required for drugs approved without supporting RCTs. Health care professionals should be vigilant for unrecognized adverse effects when prescribing these drugs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)74-83
Number of pages10
JournalMayo Clinic Proceedings
Volume94
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2019

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