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Joanne S. Hawana

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[email protected]

+ 1.202.434.7349

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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. 

Education

  • 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)

Experience

  • 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)

Involvement

  • 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

Recent Insights

News & Press

Events

Viewpoints

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As we discussed in our last update on the Food and Drug Administration’s Comprehensive Regenerative Medicine Policy Framework back in December 2019 (during the much simpler, pre-COVID-19 world), this coming November will conclude the three-year period of enforcement discretion announced by the agency when it first articulated the policies and goals of this “comprehensive framework.” In particular, under the dual-track program announced in 2017, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been focused on: (1) clarifying the regulatory criteria for product marketing through guidance and providing support to legitimate product developers through formal and informal interactions; and (2) removing unapproved, unproven, and potentially unsafe products from the U.S. market.
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A panel of federal appellate judges has sided with drugmakers by upholding a lower court ruling from 2019 that struck down a regulation proposed by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). In a closely watched case, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued a decision on June 16, 2020 affirming the district court’s judgement that vacated the HHS Drug Pricing Disclosure Rule. This ruling is yet another example of a court invalidating the Drug Pricing Disclosure Rule, which sought to require drugmakers’ television advertisements to disclose the list prices of their prescription drug products.
Read more
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OTC Monograph Reform: Key Takeaways and What Industry Can Expect

June 10, 2020 | Blog | By Benjamin Zegarelli, Elizabeth Conti, Joanne Hawana

On March 27, 2020, the President signed into law the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), which in part describes reforms to modernize the regulatory framework for over-the-counter (OTC) monograph drugs. We previously blogged about the surprise addition of the OTC monograph reforms within the CARES Act. On May 29, 2020, the Office of Nonprescription Drugs within the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) held a webinar titled “Monograph Reform is Here!” (a recording of the webinar is available here), which included key highlights from the OTC monograph reform.
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We have been blogging about the various actions that numerous government agencies were taking to combat COVID-19 fraud (see here and here). These agencies and their respective law enforcement efforts have yet to slow down and appear to have accelerated as greater coordination begins to take root. As of May 29, 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued 64 warning letters to companies making claims about a product alleged to be a COVID cure, treatment, or preventative product, while the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) had issued many, many more than that. In some cases, these warning letters are joint letters that come from both government agencies, which is never a good sign. The FTC in particular is making announcements on a regular basis about large batches of warning letters being issued, such as this one from May 21 highlighting that 50 more marketers of fraudulent COVID-19 products had received such a missive from the FTC. 
Read more
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Earlier this month, Blue Bell Creameries L.P. (Blue Bell) agreed to plead guilty to charges that it distributed contaminated ice cream products that were linked to a 2015 listeriosis outbreak.  The Blue Bell outbreak made headlines in 2015, largely because it resulted in multiple cases of listeriosis and, tragically, three deaths.  Aside from the obvious health-related consequences to the public and reputational harm to the nationally-known manufacturer of sweet treats, the basis for the various charges and causes of action related to the outbreak demonstrate the broad range of legal consequences, both civil and criminal, that can result from the failure to address food safety requirements and regulatory compliance more generally.
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Rough Seas for COVID-19 Serology Tests Lead to Course Correction by FDA

May 5, 2020 | Blog | By Joanne Hawana, Hope Foster, Aaron Josephson

Responding to increased public and congressional criticism of its arguably too-flexible approach to regulatory oversight of serological tests used to detect COVID-19 antibodies, on May 4, 2020 the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a revised policy aimed at reducing the risks associated with such tests.
Read more
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COVID-19 and Lab Testing: What’s the Story Behind the Story?

April 29, 2020 | Blog | By Hope Foster, Joanne Hawana

Recently, newspapers and television news programs have been full of stories about laboratory testing and the important role it will play in containing the spread of COVID-19 and reopening U.S. economic activity. But these stories have told a mixed tale. The Washington Post and The New York Times both ran front page stories on April 19, 2020 about how the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had bungled production of the first U.S. test kits for detecting the presence of the novel coronavirus by manufacturing them in a lab contaminated with the virus, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA, which regulates test kits, testing materials, and testing instruments, had investigated the causes of its sister agency’s failure, which delayed by weeks the nation’s fight against the virus.

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.
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Since our last roundup-style blog post on the response of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to the COVID-19 public health emergency, the agency has taken a wide variety of additional actions with the goal of getting much-needed medical products into the hands of health care providers on the frontlines of the pandemic as it hits the United States hard. We’ve already covered recent FDA policy changes aimed at expanding the availability of face masks, face shields, and respirators (see prior post here), so today’s post will focus on other emergency actions outside of the personal protective equipment space. Mintz clinical laboratory experts are also preparing separate articles on the diagnostic and antibody testing issues ongoing with the COVID-19 response, so we are not going to discuss testing in today’s post either.
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We’ve been blogging periodically on the various actions taken and enforcement policies being developed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to support and expand the national response to the declared COVID-19 public health emergency. At the same time, however, the agency has also been taking various steps to help medical product sponsors and consumer product manufacturers and distributors prioritize their ongoing regulatory compliance activities during this challenging period for business-as-usual.

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.
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Health Care Viewpoints Thumbnail
As a follow up to our recent blog post, FDA User Fees: Highlights from FDARA & Our Forecast for the Next Round, President Trump signed the bipartisan over-the-counter (OTC) monograph teform bill into law on March 27, 2020.  The passage of the OTC monograph reform bill is a surprise addition into the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), the third COVID-19 stimulus bill enacted since the pandemic began. The reform legislation represents the first significant update to federal oversight of OTC drug products since 1972. It enables the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to quickly respond to safety concerns and keep pace with innovation in hopes of protecting consumers from unsafe drugs and permitting manufacturers to market new products more expeditiously. 
Read more

News & Press

Press Release Thumbnail
In the latest guide, Mintz garnered rankings as a top national firm in eight practice areas, and 32 firm attorneys were individually recognized.
News Thumbnail
Mintz Member Joanne Hawana is quoted in an article published by MedCity News discussing the latest decision by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granting an emergency use authorization for hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine for COVID-19, and the balance the agency is taking with the current pandemic.
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Mintz Member Joanne Hawana, Senior Director of ML Strategies Aaron Josephson, and Mintz Associate Benjamin Zegarelli co-authored an article published in Law360 discussing the latest actions from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in response to COVID-19.
This Law360 analysis piece looks at how the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is easing concerns about off-label marketing restrictions without antagonizing the plaintiffs bar or public health advocates. FDA attorney Joanne Hawana is quoted providing third-party commentary in the piece.
This piece looks at what could make the proposed Making Objective Drug Evidence Revisions for New Modern Labeling (MODERN) Act stronger - primarily liability protection for generics. Joanne Hawana is among the FDA industry sources quoted providing commentary in the piece.
Arameh O’Boyle, a Member and Nada Shamonki, Of Counsel in the Mintz Los Angeles office, and Joanne Hawana, Of Counsel in the firm’s Washington, DC office collaborated on an article published in Law360 on regulatory changes to the cosmetics and personal care products industries.
Mintz attorney Joanne Hawana authored an article published by ICIX assessing the performance of FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb’s first four months on the job.
The Food and Drug Administration quietly announced and enacted significant organizational changes. FDA and Health Law attorney Joanne Hawana is quoted in this article discussing the potential impacts of these changes could include faster FDA factory inspections and audits.
Joanne Hawana, an attorney in Mintz’s FDA and Fraud & Abuse, Compliance & Regulatory Counseling Practices, is included in this piece which discusses changes the Trump administration could make to Food Safety Compliance and the dangers of lawsuits against the government amid deregulatory efforts.
Health Law and FDA attorneys Bethany Hills and Joanne Hawana are among the industry sources quoted in this piece analyzing new statistics from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration showing a relatively quiet 2016, but a busier year for enforcement in 2017.   
In this Law360 feature article, Joanne Hawana and Dan Herling discuss the release of data regarding adverse events received by the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, whether the timing of the release matters, and what greater AER transparency means for litigations risks.
This article, published in Medical Marketing & Media, addresses the FDA’s new approach to regulating drugmakers’ advertising and promotion. Mintz FDA team members Bethany Hills and Joanne Hawana offer insight. 
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This Bloomberg BNA Health Law article discusses the FDA's controversial guidance on the naming of biological products, designed to prevent inadvertent substitution and support safety monitoring when they are on the market.
Three attorneys from Mintz authored the initial installment of a four-part series recapping key government policies, regulations, and enforcement actions from 2016 and discussing their potential impacts on 2017.
FDA and Health Law attorney Joanne Hawana is quoted in this Medical Marketing & Media article on the FDA off-label hearing. The article discusses possible results from the hearing which could facilitate a regulatory resolution to the off-label pharmaceutical promotion issue.
Joanne S. Hawana, Of Counsel for Mintz's Health Law Practice, is participating in two sessions at the 2016 TEDCO Entrepreneur Expo. The event will bring together entrepreneurs, business executives, investors, economic development officials, and legislators.
FDA and Health Law attorney Joanne Hawana is quoted in this Refrigerated and Frozen Foods article on why frozen food manufacturers and grocery retails must remain diligent about checking that their safety procedures and policies still comply with best practices.
FDA and Health Law attorney Joanne Hawana is quoted in this Bloomberg BNA Health Care Policy Report article on how pharmacists and medical providers are calling upon the FDA for quick guidance on biosimilars.  
Dan Herling, a Litigation Member in the Mintz San Francisco office, and FDA attorney Joanne Hawana authored this San Francisco Daily Journal article covering the predicted impact of the FDA's food safety regulations on California tort law.  
Health Law attorney Joanne Hawana and Associate Benjamin Zegarelli authored a Law360 column on how the Senate Appropriations Committee’s approval of the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies 2017 appropriations bill sets the stage for GMO legislation. 
FDA and Health Law attorney Joanne Hawana and New York Associate Benjamin Zegarelli authored this Law360 column discussing the growing public support for genetically modified organism and genetic engineering labeling on appropriate food products across the board.
The Parental Drug Association (PDA) has published a book by Washington, D.C. FDA and Health Law attorney Joanne Hawana. According to the PDA, the book “presents a condensed overview of the regulatory systems and processes for marketing a drug product in the three major global regions.”  
FDA and Health Law attorney Joanne Hawana is quoted in this Medical Marketing and Media article on how despite calls for change from pharmaceutical marketers, it is not likely that limitations on direct-to-consumer practices will become a reality.

Events

May
18
2020

DIA Advertising and Promotion Regulatory Affairs Conference

Engaging with Patients to Diversify Advertising and Promotional Activities

Online Event

Apr
14
2020

FDA in the Time of COVID-19

View the Webinar Recording

Mar
31
2020
Jan
15
2020

ELabs NYC

Planning for Success: Integrating Product Development with Intellectual Property and Regulatory Strategies

New York, NY

Panelist
Sep
24
2019

Six-Month Assessment: The Impact of Gottlieb’s Departure on FDA Priorities

Mintz, 3580 Carmel Mountain Road | Suite 300, San Diego, CA

Speaker
Jun
20
2019

RAPS Virtual Program: US Regulation of Advertising, Promotion, and Labeling for Medical Devices (2-Part Series)

Navigating Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Requirements for Medical Products

Moderator
May
3
2019

Food and Drug Law Institute Annual Conference

Regenerative Medicine, Gene Therapies, and FDA Regulation

Washington, DC

Speaker
Feb
6
2019

FDLI's Introduction to Drug Law and Regulation Course

Regulation of Over-the-Counter OTC Drugs

Lake County, Illinois

Speaker
Jan
16
2019

ELabs NYC

Planning for Success: Integrating Product Development with Intellectual Property and Regulatory Strategies

New York, NY

Moderator
Nov
13
2018
Speaker
Nov
6
2018

The 9th Annual Advertising and Promotion of Medical Devices Conference

FTC’s Authority Applied to the Regulation of Medical Devices

The Madison Hotel, Washington, D.C.

Moderator
May
4
2018

Emerging Issues for Drug Compounders

Food and Drug Law Institute

Washington, DC

Speaker
Faculty
Moderator
Speaker
Jan
24
2017
Panelist
Nov
14
2016

Entrepreneur Expo 2016

TEDCO

Hilton Baltimore 401 W. Pratt Street Baltimore, MD 21201

Speaker