An overview of the FDA publication Approved Drug Products with Therapeutic Equivalence Evaluations

Knoben, J.E.; Scott, G.R.; Tonelli, R.J.

American Journal of Hospital Pharmacy 47(12): 2696-2700


ISSN/ISBN: 0002-9289
PMID: 2278285
Document Number: 366990
The history, purpose, and content of FDA's Approved Drug Products with Therapeutic Equivalence Evaluations (the "Orange Book") are described. When cost guidelines established in the 1970s for Medicare reimbursement prompted most states to permit generic drug product selection, an official list of interchangeable drug products was needed. Regulations for determining bioavailability and bioequivalence were published in 1977, and FDA first published Approved Drug Products in 1980. The Orange Book includes products that have been fully reviewed by FDA for both safety and effectiveness and for which new drug applications (NDAs) or abbreviated new drug applications (ANDAs) and special applications (From 5s or 6s) for antibiotics have been approved. Pursuant to the 1984 Drug Price Competition and Patent Term Restoration Act, FDA added approved nonprescription products to the Orange Book along with information about patents and periods of marketing exclusivity. Orphan drug products and certain testing and application procedures are also provided. Equivalence evaluations are provided in the Orange Book only for multisource prescription drug products that contain the same active ingredients and can be expected to have the same clinical effect when administered to patients under the conditions specified in the labeling. A coding system is used to indicate the products' equivalence evaluations according to FDA criteria, and indexes by product name and manufacturer are included. Monthly Cumulative Supplements are issued. The Orange Book contains public information and advice, but it is not an official national compendium; FDA has no position on state regulation of drug product selection by pharmacists. The equivalence evaluations do not relieve practitioners from exercising care in prescribing and dispensing products according to patients' individual needs.

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