21 U.S. Code § 379 - Confidential information

(a) Contractors

The Secretary may provide any information which is exempt from disclosure pursuant to subsection (a) of section 552 of title 5 by reason of subsection (b)(4) of such section to a person other than an officer or employee of the Department if the Secretary determines such other person requires the information in connection with an activity which is undertaken under contract with the Secretary, which relates to the administration of this chapter, and with respect to which the Secretary (or an officer or employee of the Department) is not prohibited from using such information. The Secretary shall require as a condition to the provision of information under this section that the person receiving it take such security precautions respecting the information as the Secretary may by regulation prescribe.

(b) Ability to receive and protect confidential information obtained from foreign governments
(1) In generalThe Secretary shall not be required to disclose under section 552 of title 5 (commonly referred to as the “Freedom of Information Act”), or any other provision of law, any information relating to drugs obtained from a foreign government agency, if—
the information concerns the inspection of a facility, is part of an investigation, alerts the United States to the potential need for an investigation, or concerns a drug that has a reasonable probability of causing serious adverse health consequences or death to humans or animals;
the information is provided or made available to the United States Government voluntarily on the condition that it not be released to the public; and
the information is covered by, and subject to, a written agreement between the Secretary and the foreign government.
(2) Time limitations

The written agreement described in paragraph (1)(C) shall specify the time period for which paragraph (1) shall apply to the voluntarily disclosed information. Paragraph (1) shall not apply with respect to such information after the date specified in such agreement, but all other applicable legal protections, including the provisions of section 552 of title 5 and section 247d–7e(e)(1) of title 42, as applicable, shall continue to apply to such information. If no date is specified in the written agreement, paragraph (1) shall not apply with respect to such information for a period of more than 36 months.

(3) Disclosures not affected

Nothing in this section authorizes any official to withhold, or to authorize the withholding of, information from Congress or information required to be disclosed pursuant to an order of a court of the United States.

(4) Relation to other law

For purposes of section 552 of title 5, this subsection shall be considered a statute described in subsection (b)(3)(B) of such section 552.

(c) Authority to enter into memoranda of understanding for purposes of information exchangeThe Secretary may enter into written agreements to provide information referenced in section 331(j) of this title to foreign governments subject to the following criteria:
(1) Certification

The Secretary may enter into a written agreement to provide information under this subsection to a foreign government only if the Secretary has certified such government as having the authority and demonstrated ability to protect trade secret information from disclosure. Responsibility for this certification shall not be delegated to any officer or employee other than the Commissioner of Food and Drugs.

(2) Written agreement

The written agreement to provide information to the foreign government under this subsection shall include a commitment by the foreign government to protect information exchanged under this subsection from disclosure unless and until the sponsor gives written permission for disclosure or the Secretary makes a declaration of a public health emergency pursuant to section 247d of title 42 that is relevant to the information.

(3) Information exchangeThe Secretary may provide to a foreign government that has been certified under paragraph (1) and that has executed a written agreement under paragraph (2) information referenced in section 331(j) of this title in only the following circumstances:
(A) Information concerning the inspection of a facility may be provided to a foreign government if—
the Secretary reasonably believes, or the written agreement described in paragraph (2) establishes, that the government has authority to otherwise obtain such information; and
the written agreement executed under paragraph (2) limits the recipient’s use of the information to the recipient’s civil regulatory purposes.
Information not described in subparagraph (A) may be provided as part of an investigation, or to alert the foreign government to the potential need for an investigation, if the Secretary has reasonable grounds to believe that a drug has a reasonable probability of causing serious adverse health consequences or death to humans or animals.
(4) Effect of subsection

Nothing in this subsection affects the ability of the Secretary to enter into any written agreement authorized by other provisions of law to share confidential information.

(June 25, 1938, ch. 675, § 708, as added Pub. L. 94–295, § 8, May 28, 1976, 90 Stat. 582; amended Pub. L. 112–144, title VII, § 710, July 9, 2012, 126 Stat. 1070.)

2012—Pub. L. 112–144 designated existing provisions as subsec. (a), inserted heading, and added subsecs. (b) and (c).

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