Joanne counsels global clients on regulatory and distribution-related considerations to bringing a new FDA-regulated product to market and how to ensure continued compliance after a product is commercialized. She also advises on the business impact of new US federal and state actions that affect those regulated products, such as drugs, foods, cosmetics, electronic nicotine delivery systems, and medical devices, including in vitro diagnostics, lab tests, and mobile medical applications. In recent years she has been advising clients in different industries regarding FDA’s approaches to precision medicine and the impact of the agency’s policies on product development and marketing plans.
Her strategic counseling and compliance support work reaches into all aspects of FDA-regulated companies’ operations, including:
- Determining regulatory status of novel products like mobile health systems and point-of-care diagnostics;
- Pre-market and post-market requirements for various regulated products;
- Restrictions on advertising and sampling, including for controlled substances;
- State licensing schemes for prescription drug manufacturers and distributors;
- Federal track-and-trace obligations for all members of the prescription drug supply chain, from manufacturers to pharmacies;
- Compliance with drug compounding regulations, both State and Federal;
- Review and approval of various types of policies and procedures for facilities that manufacture or distribute regulated products;
- Advising on clients’ written submissions to FDA requests for comments or rulemaking activities, and in some cases preparing those submissions on behalf of private companies or patient advocacy groups;
- Requirements for importing and exporting regulated products; and
- Food safety and labeling advice for human and animal food, including dietary supplements and “functional foods,” as well as alcoholic beverage products.
Joanne frequently works with clients to develop and implement their responses to common FDA actions, such as warning letters and inspectional reports (the “Form 483”). She has also been involved in advising and helping clients respond to Federal Trade Commission investigations related to product advertising and requests for substantiation of certain promotional claims.
Joanne also assists the Mintz corporate team by performing regulatory due diligence as part of potential mergers and acquisitions that involve regulated companies, and she often works in conjunction with the Firm’s intellectual property attorneys to ensure that patent and regulatory activities are strategically aligned. She has developed a distinctive relationship with Mintz attorneys who negotiate royalty monetization transactions and works closely with them in developing the terms for these unique transactions. Although the day-to-day work for clients may be different, the common thread that she enjoys most is helping companies (both start-up and established) bring their products to market – without heightened risks of enforcement actions as a result of non-compliance with sometimes-opaque regulatory requirements.
Prior to joining Mintz, Joanne was an attorney in the food and drug practice in the DC office of another law firm. She had internship experiences during law school at the Biotechnology Industry Organization and as a National Institutes of Health Fellow. Before attending law school, Joanne was assistant managing editor of a biomedical research trade publication, and prior to that she was a lab scientist studying the regulation of gene expression and the molecular basis of cancer, all valuable experiences that make her more attuned to the technical, business, and policy pressures facing companies on the cutting edge of the biotech and med-tech fields.
Joanne is an editor of and frequent contributor to the firm's Health Care Viewpoints.
- University of Maryland School of Law (JD, cum laude)
- University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (MS, Molecular Genetics & Microbiology)
- College of William & Mary (BS, Biology)
- Worked with several Mintz clients operating in non-FDA regulated industries to determine how to manufacture and distribute face shields, face masks, and alcohol-based hand sanitizers in compliance with FDA’s enforcement discretion policies during the COVID-19 pandemic, including by providing promotion and labeling advice.
- Guided clients developing COVID-19 diagnostic or serological tests on various promotional risks and regulatory obligations both before and after they secure Emergency Use Authorizations from FDA that allow the test to be distributed and used in the United States.
- Prepared a Breakthrough Designation Request on behalf of a therapeutic developer client and helped another client secure Orphan Drug Designation for its innovative drug product.
- Participates in the Medical, Legal, and Regulatory (“MLR”) Committees that are engaged in promotional review activities on behalf of multiple clients with recently approved new drugs and biologics. Also assists various companies that market non-prescription consumer products in structuring and implementing their Advertising Compliance Programs and ensuring ongoing risk mitigation in new promotional activities or when launching new products.
- Assisted multiple pharmacy clients in determining whether to register with FDA as an Outsourcing Facility and advised them regarding the compliance obligations associated with this form of compounding business, including with respect to applicable COVID-19 enforcement discretion policies.
- Negotiated with FDA on behalf of a cosmetic client when a large shipment of imported products was detained by Customs and Border Protection due to non-compliant labeling and assisted company in developing plans for reconditioning the products.
- Counseled a cosmetic company on its response to an FDA Warning Letter related to the use of drug claims to promote cosmetic products and then assisted in the company’s implementation of internal processes and procedures to avoid similar issues in the future.
- Represented an innovative beverage company with a national profile on FDA compliance issues, labeling, promotional activities, and distribution agreements.
Recognition & Awards
- William P. Cunningham Award for Achievement and Service to the School of Law, University of Maryland (2007)
- Manuscripts Editor, The Journal of Health Care Law and Policy (Vol. 10)
- Recognized by The Legal 500 United States for Healthcare: Service Providers (2020)
- Member, Food and Drug Law Institute (FDLI)
- Chair, FDLI Publications Committee
- Member, Drug Information Association (DIA)
- Member, American Bar Association (ABA), and ABA Health Law Section
- Member, American Health Lawyers Association (AHLA), and AHLA Life Sciences Practice Group
- Past Chair, FDLI Primer Committee
- Past Chair, FDLI Update Magazine Editorial Advisory Board
News & Press
Update on FDA’s Comprehensive Regenerative Medicine Framework: Looming November 2020 Deadline Preceded by a Flurry of Letters from CBER and a New JAMA Editorial
June 23, 2020 | Blog | By Joanne Hawana
Federal Appeals Court Affirms Lower Court Ruling: Drug Pricing Transparency Rule Exceeds HHS’s Regulatory Authority
June 18, 2020 | Blog | By Elizabeth Conti, Joanne Hawana
June 10, 2020 | Blog | By Benjamin Zegarelli, Elizabeth Conti, Joanne Hawana
June 1, 2020 | Blog | By Joanne Hawana
Not So Sweet: Failure to Timely Recall Contaminated Ice Cream Results in Major Consequences for Texas Manufacturer
May 11, 2020 | Blog | By Joanne Hawana, Cassandra Paolillo
May 5, 2020 | Blog | By Joanne Hawana, Hope Foster, Aaron Josephson
April 29, 2020 | Blog | By Hope Foster, Joanne Hawana
Only days before those stories ran, news outlets reported that Great Britain had paid $20 million to purchase antibody tests from China but, upon their arrival in Great Britain, those tests were found not to work. On April 26, 2020, the front page story in The New York Times headlined that “Testing Remains Scarce as States Weigh Reopening.”
Day after day, we have read conflicting stories about lab testing: do we have sufficient capacity and capability or do we not? If we do not, why don’t we? We have seen an alphabet soup of federal agencies named as being involved with clinical labs and working towards a solution to the many issues that have been raised. Having worked with labs for decades, we thought we would explore these really important questions. Which agency is responsible for what, and what are they doing? Every day we receive questions like these, and we thought that we would share what we have learned.
April 22, 2020 | Blog | By Joanne Hawana
And Now For Something Completely Different: FDA Actions to Alleviate Regulatory Burdens For Product Sponsors During the COVID-19 Pandemic
April 6, 2020 | Blog | By Joanne Hawana
As we’ve already covered in depth (see prior post here), on March 18, 2020 the agency issued guidance for clinical trial sponsors regarding how to ensure the continued safety and informed consent of human subjects. That critical guidance document was updated on March 30 to add a new appendix with common sponsor questions, and FDA has stated that it plans to further update the appendix as new questions arise. Over the past several weeks, the agency has issued the following important policies on other issues that also seek to provide some much-needed regulatory relief to FDA-regulated manufacturers and distributors.