Regulatory science underpins innovation and practices in drug manufacturing. The most common definition of regulatory science is a discipline that creates new tools, standards, and approaches for use in assessing the safety, effectiveness, quality, and performance of products.
In October 2010, FDA issued a framework for advancing regulatory science for public health, which focused on the following: accelerating delivery of new medical treatments; improving pediatric and children's health; protecting against emerging infectious diseases and terrorism; enhancing safety and health through informatics; protecting the food supply; modernizing safety testing; meeting challenges for regulating tobacco; and setting a collaborative implementation framework.
Following that framework, in August 2011, the agency released a strategic plan for advancing regulatory science at FDA, largely focused on science-based decision-making to improve public health. Part of this initiative identifies specific standards, methods, and questions for drug reviewers to use in their review process. The overall effort builds upon the agency's Critical Path Initiative, launched in 2004, to drive innovation in scientific processes, which includes the 2011 report that prioritized eight areas, which included support for new approaches to improve product manufacturing and quality.