21 U.S.C.
United States Code, 2010 Edition
Part A - Drugs and Devices
Sec. 356 - Fast track products
From the U.S. Government Publishing Office, www.gpo.gov

§356. Fast track products

(a) Designation of drug as fast track product

(1) In general

The Secretary shall, at the request of the sponsor of a new drug, facilitate the development and expedite the review of such drug if it is intended for the treatment of a serious or life-threatening condition and it demonstrates the potential to address unmet medical needs for such a condition. (In this section, such a drug is referred to as a “fast track product”.)

(2) Request for designation

The sponsor of a new drug may request the Secretary to designate the drug as a fast track product. A request for the designation may be made concurrently with, or at any time after, submission of an application for the investigation of the drug under section 355(i) of this title or section 262(a)(3) of title 42.

(3) Designation

Within 60 calendar days after the receipt of a request under paragraph (2), the Secretary shall determine whether the drug that is the subject of the request meets the criteria described in paragraph (1). If the Secretary finds that the drug meets the criteria, the Secretary shall designate the drug as a fast track product and shall take such actions as are appropriate to expedite the development and review of the application for approval of such product.

(b) Approval of application for fast track product

(1) In general

The Secretary may approve an application for approval of a fast track product under section 355(c) of this title or section 262 of title 42 upon a determination that the product has an effect on a clinical endpoint or on a surrogate endpoint that is reasonably likely to predict clinical benefit.

(2) Limitation

Approval of a fast track product under this subsection may be subject to the requirements—

(A) that the sponsor conduct appropriate post-approval studies to validate the surrogate endpoint or otherwise confirm the effect on the clinical endpoint; and

(B) that the sponsor submit copies of all promotional materials related to the fast track product during the preapproval review period and, following approval and for such period thereafter as the Secretary determines to be appropriate, at least 30 days prior to dissemination of the materials.

(3) Expedited withdrawal of approval

The Secretary may withdraw approval of a fast track product using expedited procedures (as prescribed by the Secretary in regulations which shall include an opportunity for an informal hearing) if—

(A) the sponsor fails to conduct any required post-approval study of the fast track drug with due diligence;

(B) a post-approval study of the fast track product fails to verify clinical benefit of the product;

(C) other evidence demonstrates that the fast track product is not safe or effective under the conditions of use; or

(D) the sponsor disseminates false or misleading promotional materials with respect to the product.

(c) Review of incomplete applications for approval of fast track product

(1) In general

If the Secretary determines, after preliminary evaluation of clinical data submitted by the sponsor, that a fast track product may be effective, the Secretary shall evaluate for filing, and may commence review of portions of, an application for the approval of the product before the sponsor submits a complete application. The Secretary shall commence such review only if the applicant—

(A) provides a schedule for submission of information necessary to make the application complete; and

(B) pays any fee that may be required under section 379h of this title.

(2) Exception

Any time period for review of human drug applications that has been agreed to by the Secretary and that has been set forth in goals identified in letters of the Secretary (relating to the use of fees collected under section 379h of this title to expedite the drug development process and the review of human drug applications) shall not apply to an application submitted under paragraph (1) until the date on which the application is complete.

(d) Awareness efforts

The Secretary shall—

(1) develop and disseminate to physicians, patient organizations, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, and other appropriate persons a description of the provisions of this section applicable to fast track products; and

(2) establish a program to encourage the development of surrogate endpoints that are reasonably likely to predict clinical benefit for serious or life-threatening conditions for which there exist significant unmet medical needs.

(June 25, 1938, ch. 675, §506, as added Pub. L. 105–115, title I, §112(a), Nov. 21, 1997, 111 Stat. 2309.)

Prior Provisions

A prior section 356, act June 25, 1938, ch. 675, §506, as added Dec. 22, 1941, ch. 613, §3, 55 Stat. 851; amended Pub. L. 102–300, §6(b)(2), June 16, 1992, 106 Stat. 240; Pub. L. 103–80, §3(o), Aug. 13, 1993, 107 Stat. 777, related to certification of drugs containing insulin, prior to repeal by Pub. L. 105–115, title I, §125(a)(1), Nov. 21, 1997, 111 Stat. 2325.

Effective Date

Section effective 90 days after Nov. 21, 1997, except as otherwise provided, see section 501 of Pub. L. 105–115, set out as an Effective Date of 1997 Amendment note under section 321 of this title.


Section 112(b) of Pub. L. 105–115 provided that: “Within 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act [Nov. 21, 1997], the Secretary of Health and Human Services shall issue guidance for fast track products (as defined in section 506(a)(1) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act [21 U.S.C. 356(a)(1)]) that describes the policies and procedures that pertain to section 506 of such Act.”