Conditional approval: discussion points from the PSI conditional approval expert group.

Pharmaceutical statistics

PubMedID: 17847030

Carroll K, Ross HC, Evans D, France L, Hemmings R, Hughes S, Lynn F, Mahoney P, Phillips A. Conditional approval: discussion points from the PSI conditional approval expert group. Pharm Stat. 2008;7(4):263-9; discussion 270-1.
The European Agency for the Evaluation of Medicinal Products has recently completed the consultation of a draft guidance on how to implement conditional approval. This route of application is available for orphan drugs, emergency situations and serious debilitating or life-threatening diseases. Although there has been limited experience in implementing conditional approval to date, PSI (Statisticians in the Pharmaceutical Industry) sponsored a meeting of pharmaceutical statisticians with an interest in the area to discuss potential issues. This article outlines the issues raised and resulting discussions, based on the group's interpretation of the legislation. Conditional approval seems to fit well with the accepted regulatory strategy in HIV. In oncology, conditional approval may be most likely when (a) compelling phase II data are available using accepted clinical outcomes (e.g. progression/recurrence-free survival or overall survival) and Phase III has been planned or started, or (b) when data are available using a surrogate endpoint for clinical outcome (e.g. response rate or biochemical measures) from a single-arm study in rare tumours with high response, compared with historical data. The use of interim analyses in Phase III for supporting conditional approval raises some challenging issues regarding dissemination of information, maintenance of blinding, potential introduction of bias, ethics, switching, etc.