On January 13, 2017, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA or Agency) released a discussion paper synthesizing public feedback on FDA’s 2014 draft guidance documents and outlining a possible approach to regulation of laboratory developed tests (LDTs) (Discussion Paper). This approach is intended to “advance the public discussion by providing a possible approach to spur further dialogue” and “to respond to stakeholder feedback and attempt to balance patient protection with continued access and innovation.”

This Discussion Paper has no legal status, is not enforceable, and does not address the fundamental legal question regarding FDA’s assertion of jurisdiction over LDTs. In addition, the discussion paper “does not represent a final version of the LDT draft guidance documents that were published in 2014.”

As we previously reported, FDA announced on November 18, 2016, that it would not finalize the draft guidance entitled Framework for Regulatory Oversight of Laboratory Developed Tests (Draft Guidance) prior to end of the Obama Administration.

Our detailed client alert highlights key components of the Discussion Paper’s suggested approach for prospective oversight of LDTs, some of which significantly diverge from the approach outlined in FDA’s Draft Guidance.