The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Amendments Act of 2007 granted the FDA new authorities to enhance drug safety by requiring application holders to submit a proposed Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS). A REMS is a required risk management plan that uses tools beyond the package insert. REMS elements may include a medication guide and patient package insert for patients and a communication plan focused on health care professionals. Elements to assure safe use (ETASUs) are put in place to mitigate a specific known serious risk when other less restrictive elements of a REMS are not sufficient to mitigate such risk. An implementation system is required for an REMS that includes the ETASUs. With approximately eight years of experience with REMS programs, many health care settings have created systems to manage REMS and also to integrate REMS into their practice settings. At the same time, there are issues associated with the development and implementation of REMS. In 2011, FDA created the REMS Integration Initiative to develop guidance on how to apply statutory criteria to determine when a REMS is required, to improve standardization and assessment of REMS, and to improve integration of REMS into the existing healthcare system. A key component of the REMS Integration Initiative is stakeholder outreach to better understand how existing REMS programs are working and to identify opportunities for improvement. This review attempts to share our company's experience with the REMS program, and to provide updates on FDA's efforts to improve REMS communication, to standardize REMS process, to reduce REMS program burdens and to build a common REMS platform.
Wu, J., & Juhaeri, J. (2016). The US Food and Drug Administration’s Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) Program – Current Status and Future Direction. Clinical Therapeutics, 38(12), 2526–2532. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.clinthera.2016.11.007