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Joanne S. Hawana

Member

JSHawana@mintz.com

+ 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 so-called functional foods.

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. 

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)
  • JD Supra: Top Author, Readers' Choice Awards – Life Sciences (2021)

Involvement

  • Member, Food and Drug Law Institute (FDLI)
  • Member, FDLI Publications and Academic Programs 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 Publications Committee
  • Past Chair, FDLI Primer Committee
  • Past Chair, FDLI Update Magazine Editorial Advisory Board

Recent Insights

News & Press

Events

Viewpoints

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FDA’s Unapproved Drugs Initiative Revived, with Gusto!

June 7, 2021 | Blog | By Joanne Hawana

Although we’ve now entered June of 2021 and President Biden has yet to nominate someone to serve as the Commissioner of Food and Drugs, current Acting Commissioner Janet Woodcock and her Senate-confirmed boss, Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra, have wasted no time reviewing and revoking regulatory actions implemented in the waning days of the prior Administration’s tenure in charge of the Executive Branch. As we reported in April, the two leaders co-signed a decision to reverse January 2021 actions by the Trump Administration to exempt a large number of medical device types from Food and Drug Administration (FDA) premarket review, noting in their rationale that not only was FDA not consulted in the prior action but HHS’s original determinations “lacked adequate scientific support, contained multiple errors, and were ultimately flawed.”

On May 27, a similar reversal notice with strikingly similar language about the lack of FDA input or the inclusion of appropriate regulatory expertise in the decision-making process – and once again co-signed by Secretary Becerra and Dr. Woodcock – was published in the Federal Register. The target this time was the prior Administration’s announcement in November 2020 that it was withdrawing all FDA guidance documents prepared and issued as part of the agency’s Unapproved Drugs Initiative (UDI) and terminating the UDI program; that termination notice cited drug costs and competition-related concerns as well as the FDA’s failure to develop and announce the UDI through notice-and-comment rulemaking. We discussed this surprise action by the prior HHS leadership in our 2020 year-in-review blog post and speculated whether a more consumer-protective Department led by Secretary Becerra would be likely to reverse course (see here).
Read more
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Health Law Diagnosed — Hot Topics in FDA Regulation and Enforcement

May 12, 2021 | Podcast | By Nili Yolin, Joanne Hawana, Benjamin Zegarelli

This past year has been a busy one for the FDA, but it hasn’t all been about the pandemic.
Read more
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The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have the authority to regulate clinical trial reporting requirements. Despite this authority, FDA and NIH have scantly enforced this area since the requirements were created by Congress in 2007, hindering the clinical trial transparency promised to the public. However, there may be a shift in the lackadaisical enforcement over such reporting. On April 28, 2021, Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock, M.D., announced that that the agency had sent more than 40 pre-notices to sponsors of clinical trials for failing to submit required clinical trial results to ClinicalTrials.gov. Notably, a Notice of Noncompliance was issued for the first time.
Read more
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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), industry, policymakers, and consumers share a common goal of ensuring that the foods and beverages Americans eat and drink are safe, and the law has long prohibited the adulteration of a food that “contains any poisonous or deleterious substance which may render it injurious to health.” As science and technology advance, so too does our collective understanding of what that famous statutory phrase from the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act should mean. Accordingly, FDA’s mission in overseeing the safety of the food supply is constantly subject to change. One excellent example of that is playing out in real time, because due to enhanced methods of detecting toxic elements in food, consumer interest groups and Congress have raised questions about FDA’s apparent lack of interest in looking for potential contaminants in our foods (even as available data show that the levels of some metals, like lead, have been in a general decline in the food supply as manufacturing also becomes more sophisticated and controlled and industry invests in better detection methods in the advancement of the shared goal of food safety).
Read more
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FTC Engages in First Enforcement Action under COVID-19 Consumer Protection Act

April 27, 2021 | Blog | By Joanne Hawana, Samantha Kingsbury

In its first exercise of a newly granted authority, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC or the Commission) on April 15, 2021 charged a St. Louis-based chiropractor and his company (the Defendants) with violating the COVID-19 Consumer Protection Act (the COVID-19 Act) and the Federal Trade Commission Act (FTC Act).  The Commission’s allegations focus on the deceptive marketing of products containing Vitamin D and Zinc as being scientifically proven to treat or prevent COVID-19 and as being equally as effective as or more effective than currently available COVID-19 vaccines.
Read more
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In an unexpected twist to a troubling situation that began over two years ago, U.S. Special Counsel Henry Kerner penned a letter to President Biden on March 31, 2021 questioning the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) handling of a whistleblower case that alleged improprieties surrounding compliance inspections of vaccine manufacturing facilities. Special Counsel Kerner’s letter to the President coincided with his closing of the investigation and his conclusion that the agency’s actions met “all the statutory requirements” but that they nonetheless “do not appear reasonable.” What the new leadership at the FDA’s parent Department of Health and Human Services or within Congress may do with these findings remains to be seen and certainly bears watching in the coming weeks and months. The March 31 letter was also provided to the Democratic Chairs and the ranking Republicans on the Senate Health Committee and the House Energy & Commerce Committee, which oversee FDA operations, increasing the likelihood of additional investigation and potentially public hearings, especially with congressional reauthorization of the various user fee programs looming as a must-pass action for 2022.
Read more
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Webinar Recording: FDA in 2021: A Look Ahead

February 18, 2021 | Webinar | By Joanne Hawana, Anthony DeMaio

In this fireside discussion, Mintz attorney Joanne Hawana and Aaron Josephson and Anthony DeMaio from ML Strategies explored policy activities that will likely have the greatest impact on stakeholders in 2021, and how the new Administration may impact the FDA in the year ahead and beyond.
Read more
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Recent Amendments to the FDA Laws Attempt to Clarify and Improve Existing Systems

January 28, 2021 | Blog | By Joanne Hawana, Elizabeth Conti

Although the Biden-Harris Administration that assumed control of the Executive Branch on January 20, 2021 immediately ordered a regulatory freeze of new or pending rules while the new administration gets its bearings (as reported by our colleagues in this post), several important changes to the laws enforced by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) were recently enacted by Congress. As legislative actions, those changes are of course unaffected by President Biden’s regulatory freeze and so we thought worth a summary to ensure our readers are up to speed on the large amount of activity that occurred in the final weeks of the 116th Congress and the Trump Administration.
Read more
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Webinar Recording: Mandatory or Voluntary Workplace Vaccination – Guidance for Employers

January 15, 2021 | Webinar | By Geri Haight, Joanne Hawana, Jennifer Rubin

Watch this webinar in which Mintz’s Employment, Labor & Benefits and Health Law attorneys and noted immunologist Dr. Darryl Carter discussed key takeaways from the EEOC’s recently updated vaccination guidance and other COVID-19–related workplace questions.
Read more
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WEBINAR REMINDER: Mandatory or Voluntary Workplace Vaccination — Guidance for Employers

January 13, 2021 | Blog | By Geri Haight, Jennifer Rubin, Joanne Hawana

Please join Mintz’s Employment, Labor & Benefits and Health Law attorneys and noted immunologist Dr. Darryl Carter for a webinar to discuss key takeaways from the EEOC’s recently updated vaccination guidance and other COVID-19–related workplace question.
Read more

News & Press

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Mintz Member Joanne S. Hawana was quoted in an analysis article published by Law360 on the biggest COVID-19 product scams and actions taken by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to tackle fraudsters during the ongoing crisis.
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Mintz Members Brian P. Dunphy, Joanne S. Hawana, and Jennifer B. Rubin co-authored a Bloomberg Law insights column examining potential legal liabilities for employers implementing Covid-19 workplace vaccination programs, explaining that immunity under the federal Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act (PREP Act) is not absolute.
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An article published by Inside Health Policy featured extensive commentary from Senior Director of ML Strategies Aaron Josephson on priorities for the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee following the 2020 Presidential election. Mintz Member Joanne Hawana was also quoted in the article.
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Mintz Member Joanne Hawana was quoted extensively in an article published by the International Bar Association on how consumer protection bodies, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, are dealing with the proliferation of fake products and treatments related to COVID-19.
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.
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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. 
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.
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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.
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

Speaker
Jun
17
2021

US Regulation of Advertising, Promotion and Labeling for Medical Devices

Regulatory Affairs Professional Society (RAPS)

Online Event

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Moderator
Speaker
Feb
18
2021

FDA in 2021: A Look Ahead

Mintz & ML Strategies

Webinar

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Oct
8
2020

Food and Drug Law Institute Annual Conference

FDA’s Amended Intended Use Regulation – Has It Finally Hit the Sweet Spot?

Online Event

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May
18
2020

DIA Advertising and Promotion Regulatory Affairs Conference

Engaging with Patients to Diversify Advertising and Promotional Activities

Online Event

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Apr
14
2020

FDA in the Time of COVID-19

View the Webinar Recording

Webinar Reference Image
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
Seminar Reference Image
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