The Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH) recently issued strategic priorities for 2016-17.  The primary strategic priorities include:

  1.  Establish a National Evaluation System for Medical Devices (NEST), to efficiently harness real-world “evidence of clinical experience.” Actions taken to date include, among others:
  • A multi-stakeholder Planning Board and the Medical Device Registry Task Force issued a series of reports that outline the organizational structure and infrastructure for the NEST Coordinating Center, in February 2015, April 2016, August 2015, and September 2016.
  • The FDA awarded $3 million the Medical Device Innovation Consortium (MDIC) and $1 million to other organizations toward this goal in 2016.
  • CDRH issued draft guidance describing how real-world evidence may be used to support pre- and post-market regulatory decisions.
  1. Partner with patients, and work together to advance development and evaluation of innovative devices, and monitor performance of marketed devices. Actions taken to date include, among others:
    Continue Reading FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health Issues Strategic Priorities

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it was delaying until March 19, 2018, a Final Rule that has been viewed as having a chilling effect on scientific speech in attempting to broaden FDA’s authority to find an “intended use” for an approved or cleared medical product.  FDA extended the effective date to allow additional public comments after a petition filed on behalf of various industry groups challenged the Final Rule (dockets FDA-2011-P-0512, FDA-2013-P-1079, FDA-2015-N-2002, and FDA-2016-N-1149).

In the Final Rule, FDA had amended the intended use regulations for drugs and devices at 21 C.F.R 201.128 (drugs) and 21 C.F.R. 801.4 (devices).  In announcing the delayed implementation, FDA attempted to clear up what it viewed as a misunderstanding about the Final Rule.  FDA emphasized that one of the revisions was meant to clarify that mere knowledge that the product was being prescribed or used by healthcare providers for an unapproved new use would not be sufficient on its own for FDA to find an unapproved new intended use for an approved or cleared drug or device.  In addition, the Final Rule was “intended to embody FDA’s longstanding position . . . that intended use can be based on ‘any relevant source of evidence,’ including a variety of direct and circumstantial evidence.”  The Final Rule used the phrase “the totality of the evidence” to accomplish this goal.

Continue Reading FDA Delays Intended Use Regulations

On March 2, 2017, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that the United States had reached an agreement with the European Union (EU) that will allow FDA and EU regulators to use each other’s good manufacturing practice (GMP) inspections of pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities.  The agreement, entered into after several years of joint collaboration and

Below is a summary of some of the key provisions relevant to investigators and research sites included in the recently enacted, bipartisan 21st Century Cures Act, including human subjects protections and the privacy and security of health information used in clinical research.  Among other requirements, the Act:

*requires the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to harmonize the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Human Subjects Regulations with the HHS Human Subject Regulations (the Common Rule), which should help streamline research that falls under both sets of regulations;

*requires the harmonization of financial conflict-of-interest disclosure policies and regulations of research funding agencies, including minimum reporting thresholds, and the implementation of other measures by HHS to reduce administrative burdens on researchers;

*modifies FDA regulations to allow informed consent to be waived or altered for clinical research that “poses no more than minimal risk” and includes “appropriate safeguards” which are required to be promulgated by HHS, bringing the FDA regulations in line with the Common Rule; and

*allows research sites to use central IRBs for all research studies, including those involving medical devices.
Continue Reading 21st Century Cures Act – Implications for Investigators and Research Sites

On December 28, 2016, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued guidance on Postmarket Management of Cybersecurity in Medical Devices. The guidance clarified aspects of the reporting requirements under Part 806 (21 CFR part 806), which require device manufacturers and importers to report certain device corrections and removals to the FDA. Most actions taken by manufacturers to address cybersecurity vulnerabilities and exploits are considered “routine updates and patches” that do not require advance notification or reporting. However, actions taken by manufacturers to correct device cybersecurity vulnerabilities and exploits that may pose a risk to health must be reported to the Agency. The guidance:

  • Clarified the changes to devices that are considered cybersecurity routine updates and patches (e.g., certain actions to maintain a controlled risk to health); and
  • Outlined circumstances where FDA does not intend to enforce reporting requirements under Part 806 for specific vulnerabilities with uncontrolled risk.


Continue Reading FDA Guidance on Cybersecurity in Medical Devices

On December 20, 2016, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published regulations (Final Rule) establishing postmarketing safety requirements for combination products, which are products comprised of:

(1) a drug and a device;

(2) a device and a biological product;

(3) a biological product and a drug; or

(4) a drug, a device, and a biological product.

“Postmarketing safety” involves manufacturing events, device malfunctions, and events causing injury to users, and the reporting requirements relating to product and patient safety arising from these events. 
Continue Reading FDA Final Rule on Postmarketing Safety Reporting for Combination Products

On October 24, 2016, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published a joint announcement of their plan to continue the Program for Parallel Review of Medical Devices.

The Program is a collaborative effort that is intended to reduce the time between FDA marketing approval and Medicare