Posts in Medical Devices.
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At the end of 2022, FDA published a draft guidance on Voluntary Malfunction Summary Reporting (VMSR) Program for Manufacturers. The draft guidance explains several aspects of the VMSR Program, including FDA’s approach to determining the eligibility of product codes for the program.  Consistent with the goals outlined in the Medical Device User Fee Amendments of 2017 (MDUFA IV) Commitment Letter, the VMSR Program streamlines reporting of device malfunctions. The program began in 2018 when FDA issued an order granting an alternative reporting approach under 21 CFR 803.19.  The ...

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Today, on April 29, 2024, following more than a decade of discourse, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA” or the “Agency”) released its long-awaited “Medical Devices; Laboratory Developed Tests” Final Rule (the “Final Rule”) formalizing the Agency’s authority to regulate laboratory developed tests (“LDTs”) as medical devices.

Since FDA issued its Proposed Rule (the “Proposed Rule”) in the Fall of 2023, Epstein Becker Green (EBG) and other industry stakeholders have eagerly awaited FDA’s issuance of the Final Rule and have speculated as to the provisions the Agency would choose to finalize.

Now, with the wait finally over, EBG joins the rest of industry in our review of the Final Rule, and we will be preparing a more in-depth analysis of the Final Rule and its potential impact on laboratories and the nationwide healthcare system. For now, here are important preliminary takeaways from the Final Rule.

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Combination products present a tremendous opportunity to improve health outcomes, because they leverage multiple disciplines.  If we were, for example, to focus on drugs alone with little thought to how they might be delivered, we would be surely missing a chance to enhance safety or effectiveness.  Likewise, many devices can be made more effective or safer if paired with a drug.

At the end of 2016, FDA finalized a rule covering Postmarket Safety Reporting for Combination Products that now can be found at 21 C.F.R. Subpart B.[1]  A few years later, in July 2019, FDA finalized a guidance ...

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As of Monday March 4, 2024—just three months after the end of its comment period on December 4, 2023—FDA’s rule on regulation of laboratory developed tests (“LDTs”) as medical devices is under review by the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (“OIRA”) within the Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”). While review by OIRA is capped at 90 days by Executive Order 12866, there is no minimum period required, and therefore action can be taken any time between now and June.

During this election year, FDA’s efforts to push the rule forward fairly quickly is ...

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FDA’s January 3, 2024, Federal Register notice soliciting comments on the agency’s plan to implement best practices for guidance development got me thinking.  What do the data show regarding FDA’s performance in moving proposed guidance to final?

If you haven’t read it, the Federal Register notice explains that the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023 directs FDA to issue a report identifying best practices for the efficient prioritization, development, issuance, and use of guidance documents and a plan for implementing those practices. The comment period on ...

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This post was co-authored by David Schwartz, CEO and Co-Founder at Ethics Through Analytics, and Michael Shumpert, Data Science Executive at Mosaic Data Science.

As you may know, we have been submitting FOIA requests asking FDA to share data from its various programs.  In October, FDA granted[1] our April FOIA request in which we asked the agency to add back demographic data fields that it had previously removed from its public Medical Device Report (“MDRs”) databases. To find potential bias, we encourage manufacturers to use this data to look for any disproportionate impact its ...

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Frequently, I am asked by clients to predict how long it will take for FDA to review and clear a 510(k).  At a high level, I observe that on average clearance can take 160 days according to the data.  Then, beyond that, I observe that review times are highly variable among differing product codes, and the very first Unpacking Averages post I wrote in October 2021 provided a graphic to show just how much variation there was depending on the technology.  Here, though, I want to dive into yet another separate factor that should be taken into account, the seasonality of FDA ...

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Those who have been reading this blog know that I like to analyze collections of documents at FDA to discern, using natural language processing, whether, for example, the agency takes more time to address certain topics than others. This month, continuing the analysis I started in my October post regarding device-related citizens petitions, I used topic modeling on the citizens petitions to see which topics are most frequent, and whether there are significant differences in the amount of time it takes for FDA to make a decision based on the topic.

Discerning the Topics

As you probably ...

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