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Severe Cutaneous Adverse Reactions to Drugs – SCARs
SCARs are an important health challenge and a limitation to the safe and effective use of medicines. Premarketing randomized clinical trials have limited power to detect SCARs, and there is a lack of specific diagnostic tests for SCARs which depend on subjective causality assessment methods.
SCARs are rare but serious adverse effects, posing substantial hurdles to drug developers, medicines regulators and health professionals / patient care.
At the pharmaceutical industry level, we can observe:
- The lack of guidance regarding SCARs in special populations, especially cancer patients, patients with pre-existing autoimmune diseases, elderly, and children;
- The need for comprehensive and systematic workflows for safety data capture and analysis;
- The lack of consensus for better clinical practice.
At the regulatory level we can observe:
- The lack of harmonized definitions for SCAR case qualification, the need for ensuring completeness of safety assessment and management in drug development, as well as consensus guidance on the design of studies to develop and validate new technologies and biomarkers;
- The lack of evidence-based practice for pharmacovigilance and practice to monitor and manage SCARs in clinical trials during the drug development and post-marketing phases;
- The lack of relevant information provided in the Summary of Product Characteristics (SmPC) regarding SCARs: the “adverse effects information” is quite similar for all drugs even if they do not present the same risks of causing SCARs.
Furthermore, the magnitude of attrition during drug development puts an unsurpassable barrier for the clinical translation of new drugs: up to > 80% of new chemical entities fail to progress from phase I trials to application for regulatory approval. This has taken the industry to a point where a revision of existing strategy is overdue.
In clinical practice, there is mounting concern about the ongoing burden of SCARs, the emergence of SCARs related to novel biologics, and the increasing cost of diagnosis and management.
Working Group objectives
To establish a balanced, efficient, global perspective on SCAR detection, susceptibility factors, severity, outcome and probability through causality assessment tools, monitoring and management during the drug development and post-marketing phases.
- 1st meeting held on 2-3 February 2021 (virtual) Minutes
- 2nd meeting held on 13 April 2021 (virtual) Minutes
- 3rd meeting held on 29 June 2021 (virtual) Minutes
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