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What are the Essential Requirements for Medical Device CE Marking?

ER Table1 What are the Essential Requirements for Medical Device CE Marking?

The author reviews the essential requirements for medical device CE marking. Common mistakes to avoid, and the proposed EU regulations are also discussed.

Essential Requirements (ERs) are the requirements for safety and performance specified in Annex I of the three medical device directives. ERs are divided into Part I (i.e., – general requirements) and Part II (i.e., – requirements for design and construction). Evidence of conformity must be provided for all general requirements in Part 1 for all devices—regardless of risk classification, design or construction. The Design and construction requirements in Part 2 may be not applicable, depending upon your device.

When a Notified Body reviews your Technical File or Design Dossier for CE Marking, the auditor must verify that you have addressed each ER. This is typically demonstrated by providing an ER Checklist (ERC). You can find a template for an ERC on the International Medical Device Regulators Forum (IMDRF) website (http://bit.ly/IMDRFDoc) in Appendix A (see example in Figure 1 below) of the GHTF Guidance document explaining the use of a Summary Technical Document (STED) to demonstrate conformity with the principles of safety and performance (http://bit.ly/GHTFSTEDGuidance).

Figure 1 ERC Example What are the Essential Requirements for Medical Device CE Marking?

Figure 1: Example of an ERC

To demonstrate compliance with the ERs, you must provide the following information by filling in the four columns of the ERC:

  1. Applicability to your device,
  2. Method used to demonstrate conformity with the ER,
  3. Reference to the method(s) used, and
  4. Reference to the supporting controlled documents.
Subparts & Common Mistakes

Completing the ERC would be easy if there were only 13 ERs, but eight of the 13 ERs have multiple requirements. For example, ER 13.3 has 14 subparts (i.e., – 13.3a through 13.3n). Each subpart must be addressed when you complete the columns of the ERC table. If any of the parts in ER 7-13 are not applicable to your device, you need to provide a justification. For example, ER 11 and its subparts are not applicable to devices that do not emit radiation. This justification must be documented in the ERC for each subpart.

When you write your justification for non-applicability of an ER, you need to be careful to provide a justification for each part of the requirement. For example, there are three sub-parts to ER 7.5. Each part is a separate paragraph, but these are not identified by a letter, as is done in ER 13.3 and 13.6. Instead, each subpart is a separate paragraph. Within those paragraphs, there is further room for confusion. For example, the third paragraph states that if you use Phthalates in a product that is intended for women or children, then you must provide a justification for its use in the technical documentation, in the instructions for use, within information on the residual risks for these patient groups (i.e., –women and children) and, if applicable, on appropriate precautionary measures.

Proposed EU Regulations

The proposed EU Medical Device Regulations (MDR) are organized into Articles and Annexes–just like the current EU Directives, and the ERs will still be the first Annex of the MDR. However, there will be 19 ERs, instead of 13. The early reviews of the proposed regulations indicated that there were no significant changes, but I have learned the hard way that you should always go to the source and verify the information for yourself. The general organization of the Essential Requirements is still the same, but there are several significant changes that will require providing additional documentation in your Technical File or Design Dossier for CE Marking. Most companies will probably submit a revised ERC to address the new requirements, but you may want to read Medical Device Academy’s review of the new ERs (http://bit.ly/NewERCGap) and prepare accordingly.

Essential Principles Checklists

Health Canada has an Essential Principles checklist (EPC) that is similar to the European ERC, and Australia has a similar document (http://bit.ly/EPCTGA) with only a few minor differences, and the Global Harmonized Task Force (GHTF) created an earlier version in 2005 (http://bit.ly/EPSafetyPerf). Health Canada will typically accept your ERC developed for the European Medical Device Directive (MDD), but a gap analysis should be performed against the Australian Regulations.

Now that the ENVI vote has passed (http://bit.ly/ENVIVotepasses) I asked a new consultant working for me to create a template for the new Essential Requirements in the proposed regulations. You can download this FREE template at: http://bit.ly/NewERCTemplate. This new template also indicates the items that were recently modified (see the redlines).

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Which Countries Require CE Marking of Medical Devices?

 

28 Member States 2013 Which Countries Require CE Marking of Medical Devices?

This blog serves as a reference guide with a discussion of, information resources for, and list of which countries require CE marking of medical devices.

You can locate the current list of countries that require CE Marking of medical devices by visiting the list of Competent Authorities (CAs) on the following Europa webpage (http://bit.ly/ContactPoints). That page has 33 national CAs identified. CAs are the US FDA equivalent in the European Union (EU). In addition to member states in the EU, the CAs list also includes signatories (i.e., – countries that have signed the 1985 Schengen Agreement to allow people to pass between countries with no border controls) and EU candidate member states. For the most current status of candidate member states and potential candidate member states, you can visit the following Europa webpage: (http://bit.ly/EuropaCountries). As of September 21, 2013, the status of the 33 CAs are categorized in the list at the end of this blog posting.

Australia-EU Mutual Recognition Agreement

In addition to the 33 countries listed below, the Australia Therapeutics Goods Administration (TGA) has a mutual recognition agreement with the EU—the EC MRA (http://bit.ly/TGA-EU-MRA). This agreement, however, has limitations. The agreement includes a rule of origin clause which excludes products manufactured outside the EU and Australia. Other restrictions include:

  • Radioactive medical devices
  • High-Risk, Class III devices
  • Excluded barrier contraceptives, including condoms
  • Devices, including medicinal and those of biological origin
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

In the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), you can begin the medical device registration process if your company has regulatory approval from one of the founding members of the Global Harmonization Task Force (GHTF). The five founding members are: 1) USA, requiring a 510(k) or PMA; 2) Canada, requiring a Medical Device License; 3) Europe, requiring CE Marking; 4) Australia, requiring Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG); and 5) Japan, requiring Japanese Pharmaceutical Affairs Law (JPAL) certification or approval. The next step is to select an Authorized Representative in the KSA and submit a Medical Device Marketing Authorization (MDMA) application. For low and medium risk device classifications (i.e., – Class I, IIa and IIb), you may begin marketing your device in the KSA prior to obtaining formal regulatory approval (this regulation is subject to potential change). For higher risk devices (i.e., – Class III), you must first obtain MDMA certification prior to distribution of the device in the KSA. The medical device regulations for the KSA are interim regulations. You can verify the current regulations by visiting the Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA) website (http://bit.ly/SFDAMedicalDevices).

Other Countries

Many other countries have alternate abbreviated processes similar to Australia and the KSA if your medical device is already approved by one of the GHTF countries. Often, this is stated as “country of origin approval.” Countries recognizing country of origin approval that offer an abbreviated approval process include: Argentina, Singapore, China, etc. These countries do not simply “rubber stamp” the approval, but the approval process is less rigorous.

If your product is manufactured in the U.S., but you do not have a PMA or 510(k) issued by the US FDA, a CE certificate is not enough. Your company must establish country of origin status in Europe to take advantage of the abbreviated approval processes. This is sometimes done by establishing a facility in Europe, but the CE certificate must be issued to the European facility. Other workarounds have been developed, but that is beyond the scope of this blog.

2 EU Candidate Member States with Competent Authorities

These two countries below are candidate member states for joining the EU. These countries are not signatories, but both countries have established a competent authority for reporting recalls and vigilance related to medical devices distributed within their borders. Turkey has also has established four Notified Bodies.

  1. Iceland
  2. Turkey

3 EEA Signatories with Competent Authorities

For a long time, Switzerland was neither a member of the EU, nor a signatory. However, in 2008, Switzerland became the 25th country to sign the Schengen Agreement which allows people to pass between countries with no border controls. All three countries below have established a competent authority. Switzerland has established five Notified Bodies, and Norway has two.

  1. Liechtenstein
  2. Norway
  3. Switzerland

28 EU Member States with Competent Authorities

The list below identifies the 28 members of the EU. The date in parenthesis is the year that each member joined the EU. All of these countries have competent authorities that regulate medical devices, and many of these countries have established Notified Bodies. Germany, Italy and the UK have the greatest number of Notified Bodies.

  1. Austria (1995)
  2. Belgium (1952)
  3. Bulgaria (2007)
  4. Croatia (2013)
  5. Cyprus (2004)
  6. Czech Republic (2004)
  7. Denmark (1973)
  8. Estonia (2004)
  9. Finland (1995)
  10. France (1952)
  11. Germany (1952)
  12. Greece (1981)
  13. Hungary (2004)
  14. Ireland (1973)
  15. Italy (1952)
  16. Latvia (2004)
  17. Lithuania (2004)
  18. Luxembourg (1952)
  19. Malta (2004)
  20. Netherlands (1952)
  21. Poland (2004)
  22. Portugal (1986)
  23. Romania (2007)
  24. Slovakia (2004)
  25. Slovenia (2004)
  26. Spain (1986)
  27. Sweden (1995)
  28. United Kingdom (1973)

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EU Takes Next Step in Approving Proposed Medical Device Regulations

Brussels, September 24-25, 2013

EC Press Release EU Takes Next Step in Approving Proposed Medical Device Regulations

This article provides analysis and interpretation of how the EU took the next step in approving the proposed medical device regulations.

Today, the EU Parliament Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) approved~900 amendments; estimated by Amanda Maxwell (http://bit.ly/AmandaMaxwell) in today’s Clinica article; to the proposed EU medical device regulations. Today’s approval by the ENVI Committee should be a warning sign that the new regulations will ultimately be approved, and this will be the most significant change in the medical device industry since the implementation of the QSR (http://bit.ly/QSRpreamble) in the 1990’s.

The amendments were originally released by the EU Commission on September 26, 2012 (http://bit.ly/EUProposal).

In addition, last night the EU Commission announced the adoption of two new stricter rules regarding Notified Bodies (NBs) and their role in CE Marking of medical devices. The lack of resistance to controversial elements within the proposal was shocking, and the coordinated release of new Notified Body requirements should be a warning sign to the medical device industry. The European CE Marking process will be changing soon.

Click here to download the above documents from the Medical Device Academy website.

EU Commission Press Release

The Commission’s press release announced two new documents. The first is a regulation for NBs. The regulation is dependent upon four things: 1) formation of a Medical Device Advisory Committee (MDAC), 2) formation of a Medical Device Coordination Group (MDCG), 3) identification and qualification of Special Notified Bodies (SNBs), and 4) formation of an Assessment Committee for Medical Devices (ACMD). These new entities were passed in the compromise amendment, but these groups and committees will consist of representatives from multiple member states and from multiple NBs. This type of matrix organization will require extensive planning and preparation. Until an implementation plan is well-defined, I don’t expect a plenary vote. For now, we have a compromise that was voted on by a committee.

The second document released by the Commission is the recommendation concerning NBs performing conformity assessments. The recommendation is not limited to just unannounced audits. There are three Annexes:

  1. Annex I – Product Assessment
  2. Annex II – Quality System Assessment
  3. Annex III – Unannounced Audits

You should also note that Annex II includes a section specific to “General advice in case of outsourcing of the production via subcontractors or suppliers.” This requirement will challenge companies that have outsourced manufacturing, and the wording of this section can easily be misinterpreted by an auditor and the NBs. Annex III also includes a requirement regarding the contractual arrangement between the NB and the manufacturer. This will force NBs to revise and execute new contracts with all of their clients in order to allow these new conformity assessment procedures to be fully implemented.

Eucamed’s Political Positioning

On January 30, 2013, Eucamed released an industry position paper on the proposed regulations (http://bit.ly/EucamedPositionPaper). In general, the position paper supported the proposal. However, the position paper also states that it is in support of regulations that:

  • ensures timely access to the latest innovative technologies, and
  • maintains an environment that encourages and keeps research and innovation in Europe.

On September 12, 2013, Eucamed released the results of an industry survey (http://bit.ly/CostofEURegs) stating that the cost of the proposed regulations would be €17.5 Billion Euros. The details of the survey indicate that the implementation of the Unique Device Identifier (UDI) system, improved labeling and clinical performance data will require a €7.5 billion Euro investment. In addition, industry survey respondents indicated that an additional €2.5 million Euro investment will be required for each new Class III device that is required to undergo the proposed Scrutiny process in Article 44. The release of the Eucamed survey was only six days before the rescheduled ENVI vote on September 18, 2013—which was delayed for the third time until today.

Next Step in the Proposed Medical Device Regulations Approval Process

Now that the amended proposal has passed the vote, the next step is the plenary vote. This is scheduled for October 22, 2013, but there is some discussion as to whether the plenary vote should occur within 21 days of the ENVI vote to comply with a previous legal ruling. October 22nd does not give Parliament adequate time to make any significant revisions to the compromise amendments—let alone 21 days. Therefore, I DO NOT expect the plenary vote to pass. In fact, I do not expect a vote. I expect Eucamed and industry lobbyists to be busy during the next few weeks. Opponents of the regulations will focus on three failures of the compromise amendment:

  1. the implementation cost is not acceptable during a European economic crisis
  2. the scrutiny mechanism in Article 44 of the proposal has the potential to delay CE Marking of Class IIb and Class III device by an additional 3-6 months, and the scrutiny process is guaranteed to result in more conservative NB recommendations
  3. the Europeans do not want to hear a great sucking sound as research and clinical study dollars are rapidly moved from Europe to more favourable nations
Why is there a Rush?

European elections are in 2014. The government officials in office want to approve the regulations before the elections, but it’s not going to happen. In order to address the public concern related to the PIP scandal (http://bit.ly/MHRAReport) where industrial silicone was fraudulently used for breast implants, the EU Commission has finally taken actions they promised:

  1. NBs are being re-evaluated according to far more stringent regulations (download Commission Implementing Regulation IP-13-854 from our website),
  2. Two NBs are no longer allowed to issue new certificates, and
  3. Recommendations for conducting unannounced inspections are released (yesterday), and NBs are conducting unannounced inspections (11 so far, and 19 by the end of the year).

This is significant progress, but the regulations are missing a mechanism from the scrutiny process resulting in CE Marking delays that would impact future investment in Europe, and timely access to the latest medical devices. Parliament also needs time for a rebuttal of the Eucamed industry survey claiming high costs of implementation.

My prediction is that we will not see a vote for approval in parliament on October 22. However, today’s approval by the ENVI Committee should be a warning sign. The new regulations will ultimately be approved, and this will be the most significant change in the medical device industry since the implementation of the QSR (http://bit.ly/QSRpreamble) in the 1990’s.

Medical companies should be paying more attention to the proposed regulations. In order to comply, you will need to make significant changes to your supplier quality agreements and your Technical Documentation (i.e., – Technical File/Design Dossier). You should be drafting a quality plan for implementation of these changes to your quality system now, because it will take you more than a year to achieve compliance with these changes.

For additional information, visit the Europa website: http://bit.ly/ECUpdates.

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What Does the CE Mark Mean, and What is its Purpose?

CE Marking Examples What Does the CE Mark Mean, and What is its Purpose?

The author answers the question of what does the CE Mark mean, what its purpose is related to medical devices and regulatory requirements, if applicable.

In order to facilitate trade throughout the European Economic Area (EEA), products need to be clearly identified as compliant with regional and national regulations. In the EEA, this identification is the CE Mark. “CE” is not an acronym. The mark indicates compliance of your product with the essential requirements in the applicable directive. In the case of medical devices, there are three directives:

  1. Medical Device Directive, 93/42/EEC (http://bit.ly/M5MDD),
  2. Active Implantable Medical Devices Directive, 90/385/EEC (http://bit.ly/AIMDDirective)
  3. In Vitro Diagnostics Directive, 98/79/EC (http://bit.ly/currentIVDD).

Prior to existence of these three directives, medical devices were compliant with the regulations of individual member states. These regulations were extremely detailed, and created a barrier to transport of products between the member states. With the implementation of the new approach directive (http://bit.ly/Resolution85), companies were able to CE Mark medical devices in accordance with one of the three device directives, and medical device products began to flow smoothly throughout the EEA.

Notified Body Numbers

The images at the top of this blog posting are examples of CE Marks from two of the largest medical device Notified Bodies. The four-digit numbers identifies the Notified Body (NB) that issued the CE Certificate for the medical device. This number is only used for medical devices requiring NB involvement. Therefore, non-sterile Class I medical devices that do not have a measurement function are required only to have the “CE” on their labeling. All other medical devices are required to have the “CE” with the NB four-digit number. If one of the Competent Authorities (CAs), the equivalent to the U.S. FDA in each member state, wants to determine which Notified Body is authorizing the CE Marking of a medical device, the CA will look-up the four-digit number on the following NB database (http://bit.ly/NBDatabase).

How to Reproduce the Mark

It is the legal manufacturer’s responsibility to design their own labeling with the CE and NB number—if applicable. This labeling is included in the company’s Technical File, and the NB reviews the Technical File for compliance with the essential requirements in one of the three device directives. For medical devices, the instructions for CE Marking are defined in Annex XII of 93/42/EEC. For active implantable devices, the requirements are found in Annex 9 of 90/385/EEC. For in vitro diagnostic devices, the requirements for CE Marking are found in Annex X of directive 98/79/EC.

These three Annexes are identical, and provide a graduated drawing showing the exact proportions of the “C” and “E” relative to one another. These Annexes also state that “The various components of the CE marking must have substantially the same vertical dimension, which may not be less than 5 mm.” You can obtain a free download of the mark on the Europa website (http://bit.ly/DownloadCE).

The four-digit NB number is intended to be the same boldness and font as the “CE” characters. Therefore, NBs have interpreted the requirement to specify numbers that are at least half the height of the “C” and “E”—or at least 2.5 mm. Each NB also provides instructions to legal manufacturers on how to present the CE characters with their four-digit NB number. Usually, there are a couple of different orientations that are allowed by the NB. For small products, it may not be possible to mark the device with a “C” and “E” that is at least 5 mm. Therefore, the directives waive this minimum dimension for small-scale devices. Most companies, however, will place a “C” and “E” on their labeling that is at least 5 mm in height, instead of marking parts with a “CE” that is illegible.

Use and Misuse of CE Marking

Most companies want to use CE Marking on all product labeling, even for product sold outside the EEA, because other countries recognize it and associate it with safety and performance. It is also acceptable to use the “CE” in product literature. However, it is important that it appears next to product images, or descriptions that have a valid CE Certificate. It is not acceptable to use the “CE” in a way that it might imply that other products have a CE Certificate when the products do not. It is also not acceptable to use the “CE” in a way that it might imply a corporate entity is “CE Marked.” CE Certificates are for products—not for companies.

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CE Marking Routes to Regulatory Approval

ce marking routes CE Marking Routes to Regulatory ApprovalThe author reviews the conformity assessment process contained in Annexes VII, II, V and III related to a company seeking CE Marking regulatory approval.

CE Marking of medical devices requires technical documentation (i.e., – a Technical File or Design Dossier)—regardless of the device classification. However, the classification of the device has a significant impact on the regulatory approval pathways available to your company. Therefore, the first step in the process to CE Marking of medical devices is to determine the risk classification (http://bit.ly/riskclass). There are four device classifications: Class I, IIa, IIb and III.

Once your company has determined the risk classification of the device, then you must determine which conformity assessment procedure you will follow to receive CE Marking approval. The conformity assessment procedures available for each classification are identified in Article 11 of the Medical Device Directive (http://bit.ly/M5MDD), and additional detail is provided in the various Annexes (i.e., – Annex II, III, IV, V, VI and VII). The following table below summarizes the options for each classification:

ce marking chart CE Marking Routes to Regulatory Approval

If your product is a Class I device that is non-sterile and non-measuring, then you will not require a Notified Body (NB). However, all other products will require your company to select a NB (http://bit.ly/SelectingRegistrar).

Annex VII – Declaration of Conformity

If your company does not require NB involvement, then you will be able to issue a Declaration of Conformity in accordance with Annex VII. You will also need to register your product with one of the Competent Authorities (CA) in Europe. CAs are the U.S. FDA equivalent in each EU member state. The following is a list of contact information for all the CAs: http://bit.ly/ContactPoints. If your company does not have a physical presence in Europe, you will also need to select a European Authorized Representative (AR). My recommendation is to select an AR that is one of the 15 members of the European Association of Authorized Representatives (http://bit.ly/EAARMembers).

Annex II – Full Quality Assurance

Most companies use the Annex II conformity assessment process to achieve CE Marking. In this process, the NB reviews your Technical File for conformity, and also reviews your quality system for conformity with regulatory requirements in the applicable directives. As part of the Annex II process, the NB will audit your design process to ensure that you have adequate design controls, and that your process for establishing and maintaining a Technical File is adequate. Once your company has adequately addressed any findings from the audit, the NB will issue your company a Full Quality Assurance (FQA) CE Certificate in accordance with Annex II.3. Once you have the certificate, your company will be able to launch new products without prior approval from the NB. The only requirement is that the new products are within the scope of the Annex II.3 certificate.

Annex V – Production Quality Assurance

The Annex V conformity assessment process is the most common route to CE Marking for companies that outsource product design to a third-party. If your company outsources design, Clause 7.3 is excluded from your ISO 13485 Certification, and you cannot demonstrate “Full Quality Assurance.” Therefore, the NB will issue an Annex V certificate for “Production Quality Assurance.” Annex IV and Annex VI are alternate conformity assessment procedures, but these are used less frequently for medical devices, and are outside the scope of this blog.

Annex III – Type Examination

The Annex III conformity assessment process is a type examination that is performed for higher risk devices where the company does not have an Annex II certificate. This type examination involves a review of your company’s design dossier, and the NB issues a Type Examination CE Certificate. This Certificate cannot be used alone for CE Marking. Type Examination Certificates must be used in conjunction with another CE Certificate, such as the Annex V certification for Production Quality Assurance. This combination would be used for Class IIb and Class III devices in lieu of an Annex II CE Certificate.

If your company needs help with CE Marking, including training on the medical device directive, please contact Medical Device Academy at: rob@13485cert.com. We are also developing a webinar series for this purpose. If you interested in more services, try viewing the following blog category page: http://bit.ly/CEMarking.

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Medical Device CE Marking: Writing a Classification Rationale

%name Medical Device CE Marking: Writing a Classification RationaleThe author reviews considerations in “how to” write a classification rationale for medical device CE marking (i.e., questions for applying classification rules).

 CE Marking of medical devices requires technical documentation (i.e., – a Technical File or Design Dossier). One of the requirements of this technical documentation is to establish the risk class of a device in accordance with the classification rules in Annex IX. The requirement to include this classification rationale in the Technical File is not well defined in Article 9, Classification, of the Medical Device Directive (http://bit.ly/M5MDD), but the guidance document for Technical Documentation (http://bit.ly/NBMED251Rec5) clearly defines this requirement in Section 3.2 (viii). Establishing a classification rationale is the first step to establishing the regulatory pathway that will be required to CE Mark your medical device.

What are the Classifications?

There are four different classifications of medical devices in Europe: Class I, Class IIa, Class IIb and Class III. These four classifications are also referred to as “risk class.” The lowest risk classification is Class I, and the highest risk classification is Class III. Class IIa is considered a “medium risk,” while Class IIb is considered a “high risk” medical device. Notified Body involvement and a CE Certificate from the Notified Body is required for almost all medical devices distributed in Europe, however, Class I devices that are non-sterile and do not perform a measurement function do not require Notified Body involvement. Class I devices that are sterile are often referred to as “Class I-S,”but this is not a term used in the Directive. The same is true of “Class I-M” for Class I devices with a measurement function.

Applying the Rules for Medical Device CE Marking

In order to apply the classification rules as defined in Annex IX of the MDD, the following questions must be answered for the device or device family:

  1. Is the device invasive? –  Invasiveness of a device is an important criterion, because non-invasive devices are generally Class I, and there is typically no Notified Body involvement required for these devices.
  2. Is the device surgically invasive, or invasive with respect to body orifices?  If a device is surgically invasive with respect to a body orifice, Rule 5 is the most likely classification rule. For all other devices that are surgically invasive, the duration of use is important
  3. How long is the device used inside the body? The primary difference between Rules 6, 7 and 8 is the duration of use. In general, permanent implants are subject to Rule 8, and are Class IIb devices. The other surgically invasive devices are generally Class IIa devices. Devices under Rule 6 are for “transient” use (i.e., – intended for continuous use for less than 60 minutes). Devices under Rule 7 are for “short-term” use (i.e., – intended for continuous use for between 60 minutes and 30 days.). There are multiple exceptions to each rule, and these exceptions should all be considered.
  4. Is the device electrically powered (i.e., – an active device)? Active devices are subject to rules 9, 10, 11 and 12.
  5. Do any of the “Special Rules” apply? It is recommended to actually start with Rules 13-18 to ensure that one of the special rules do not apply. For example, if you are making blood bags, there is no need to read anything in Annex IX except Rule 18.
Guidance Document for Classification

Annex IX defines the classification rules for Europe, but there is also a guidance document (http://bit.ly/EUClassification) published that helps to explain the classification rules with examples. This guidance document is extremely important, because it provides clarification of rules based upon interpretations that have been made by Competent Authorities with Notified Bodies and companies. For example, critical anatomical locations are defined in Section 3.1.3: “For the purposes of the Directive 93/42/EEC, ‘central circulatory systemmeans the following vessels:…”.

When you write a classification rationale for your technical documentation, it is important to reference this document—as well as Annex IX of the MDD. Your rationale should address each of the questions above for applying the classification rules. In addition, your rationale should indicate that none of the “Special Rules” (Rules 13-18) are applicable to your device or device family.

Mixed Classifications

It is possible to have a device family, contained within one Technical File or Design Dossier, that has more than one Classification. For example, you could choose to group a family of vascular grafts together in one Technical File that are permanent implants and non-absorbable. Normally, these devices would be Class IIb in accordance with Rule 8. However, if one or more of the grafts is intended for vessels included in the central circulatory system, then these grafts would be Class III devices. If a graft can be used for either indication, then the higher classification should be applied.

Proposed EU Regulations

On September 26, 2012, the European Commission released a draft proposal for a new medical device regulation. The expected implementation transition period for these proposed regulations is 2015-2017. In Annex II of the proposed regulations (http://bit.ly/EUProposal), it specifies that the risk class and applicable classification rationale shall be documented in the technical documentation. This appears as item 1.1e) under the heading of “Device description and specification.”

The MDD defines the classification rules for medical devices in Annex IX, while in the proposed EU regulations classification, rules are now in Annex VII. The MDD also has 18 rules, while the proposed regulations have 21 rules. In order to download a Gap Analysis of the Classification Rules for CE Marking, please visit the following page on this website: http://bit.ly/gapanalysiscmda.

If you need assistance with medical device CE Marking, or you are interested in training on CE Marking, please contact Medical Device Academy at: rob@13485cert.com. Medical Device Academy is developing a webinar series specifically for this purpose. You can also call Rob Packard by phone @ 802.258.1881. For other blogs on the topic of “CE Marking,”please view the following blog category page: http://robertpackard.wpengine.com/category/ce-marking/

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EU Medical Device Directive: 6 New Essential Requirements

%name EU Medical Device Directive: 6 New Essential RequirementsEssential Requirements (ER) changes  in the proposed EU Medical Device Regulations versus the ER in Annex I of the EU Medical Device Directive are reviewed.

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Annex I of the European Medical Device Directive (http://bit.ly/M5MDD) is titled “Essential Requirements.” Most companies demonstrate that their device meets the 13 Essential Requirements (ERs) by creating an Essential Requirements Checklist (ERC). I have no idea what the origin of the ERC is, but you know that regulators love tables and checklists. This particular checklist is so commonly used that the Global Harmonization Task Force (GHTF) included an example of an ERC, called an “Essential Principles Checklist” (EPC) at the end of a guidance document on how to create Summary Technical Documentation (STED) for In Vitro Diagnostic devices (http://bit.ly/STEDIVD)—which is now maintained on the IMDRF.org website.

On September 26, 2012, the European Commission released a proposal for new EU Medical Device Regulations (http://bit.ly/EUProposal). This proposal still includes ERs in Annex I, but there are 19 ERs in the proposal. One regulatory professional recently sent me a follow-up question in response to an audio seminar I conducted in November (). Her question was, “What are the six new ERs?”

A few of the early reviews of the proposal indicated that there were no significant changes, but I have learned the hard way that you should always go to the source and verify the information for yourself (i.e., – Genchi Genbutsu). Here’s what I found:

General Requirements (ER 1-6a)

  1. No real change to this requirement.
  2. This requirement was reworded to clarify the intent (see Annex ZA of EN 14971:2012 for more info @ http://bit.ly/ISO14971-2012changes).
  3. It appears as though the Commission thought the current ER 3 was redundant, and the requirement was addressed by ER 1 and ER 5 already.
  4. This is now the new ER 3, and the requirement now clarifies how Notified Bodies shall apply this requirement in cases where a lifetime of the device is not stated.
  5. This is now the new ER 4, and there is no real change.
  6. This is now the new ER 5, and the wording has been clarified.

ER6a is conspicuously missing from the proposed ERs, but don’t get excited. Clinical evaluations are still required as part of the Technical Documentation in Annex II, Section 6.1c: “the report on the clinical evaluation in accordance with Article 49(5) and Part A of Annex XIII.”

Chemical, Physical & Biological Properties (ER 7)

ER 7.1 has one new requirement: “d) the choice of materials used, reflecting, where appropriate, matters such as hardness, wear and fatigue strength.” ER 7.2 and 7.3 remain unchanged. ER 7.4 has been simplified to what is proposed as the new, shorter ER 9. ER 7.5 is now the new ER 7.4, and the changes reflect the current status of phthalate regulations and similar issues. ER 7.6 is now the new ER 7.5, but there is no change to the content. The new ER 7.6 requires that manufacturers address risks associated with the size and properties of particles—especially nanomaterials. The changes associated with this section will impact certain device types more than others—such as orthopedic implants.

Infection & Microbial Contamination (ER 8)

ER 8 is still ER 8, but ER 8.1 is now prescriptive regarding design solutions, and the current ER 8.2 is now the new ER 10. The new ER 10 is expanded and references the new EU regulations regarding devices manufactured utilizing tissues or cells of animal origin: Commission Regulation (EU) No 722/2012 of 8 August 2012 (http://bit.ly/AnimalTissueReg). The new ER 8.2 is a new requirement that was an oversight of the MDD, and the new ER 8.7 now clarifies that the labeling must differentiate sterile and non-sterile versions of the product; packaging is no longer an acceptable mechanism for differentiation. The balance of ER 8 remains unchanged.

Construction & Environmental Properties (ER 9)

This ER is now identified as the new ER 11, and this section is expanded. This reflects the emphasis on the need to evaluate the safety of devices with accessories, compatibility with other devices, and the effects of the use environment.

Devices with a Measuring Function (ER 10)

This ER is now identified as the new ER 12, but ER 10.2 from the current Directive appears to be missing. What’s up?

Take a look at the new ER 11. ER 10.2 is now the new ER 11.6.

Protection Against Radiation (ER 11)

This ER is now identified as the new ER 13, but there is nothing new.

Requirements for Devices Connected to or Equipped with an Energy Source (ER 12)

ER 12.1 and 12.1a are now ER 14. This section is specific to software requirements and has more detail than the current Directive. IEC 62304:2006, “Medical device software – Software life cycle processes,” is the Standard that will be expected by Notified Bodies as a reference for ER 14. ER 12.2 through ER 12.6 are now ER 15, but there is nothing new. Section ER 12.7 and its sub-parts are now addressed by ER 16. ER 12.8 and its subparts are now addressed by ER 17.

Information Supplied by the Manufacturer (ER 13)

This is now identified as ER 19: “Label and Instructions for Use.” This section is simplified from ER 13 (i.e., – there are fewer sections), but this ER does not seem to be any shorter. ER 19.1 has subparts a-g, and this ER section incorporates the concepts previously addressed by ER 13.1, 13.2, 13.4 and 13.5. ER 19.2 is a new and improved version of the previous ER 13.3 specific to labeling requirements. This labeling section is expanded from subparts “a” through “n” to “a” through “q.” The UDI requirement is subpart “h”. ER 13.6 is now ER 19.3 specific to the Instructions For Use (IFU). This section is expanded from subparts “a” through “q” to “a” through “t.”

The number of subparts to ER 19.3 doesn’t reflect the additional requirements for IFUs that are proposed by the Commission. The subsections of this part warrant special attention. Items that frequently are found missing from IFUs on the market today include:

  1. ER 19.3c – performance intended by the manufacturer
  2. ER 19.3h – installation and calibration instructions
  3. ER 19.3k – how to determine if a reusable device should be repaired/replaced
  4. ER 19.3m – restrictions on combinations with other devices
  5. ER 19.3o – detailed warning information
  6. ER 19.3p – information about safe disposal of the device
  7. ER 19.3t – notice to user/patient to report adverse events

ER 18 – Use by Lay Persons

This is a short section, but the requirement is new. There are now additional requirements for products intended for use by a lay person. The risk management report, design validation, and clinical evaluation report will need to include specific evidence to demonstrate conformity with this ER. The post-market surveillance plan for these products should carefully verify the accuracy of risk estimates. Post-Market Clinical Follow-up (PMCF) studies would be challenging in the past, but the prevalence of social media and product registration databases may facilitate conducting PMCF studies for these products in the future.

Australia & Canada

There is also an EPC that is required by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) in Australia, (http://bit.ly/EPCTGA) and  Therapeutics Product Directorate (TPD) in Canada (http://bit.ly/CanadianSTED). If you would like to learn more about the Essential Principles of Safety and Performance, you should also review the GHTF guidance document on this topic (http://bit.ly/EPSafetyPerf) on the IMDRF.org website. This 2012 version of the document supersedes GHTF/SG1/N041:2005.

I have observed approval of products where the European ERC was submitted in lieu of an EPC for Australia and Canada. I guess they are a little more rational than some other regulators, but if you have experienced any “push back” regarding this approach please share this by posting a comment or by sending an email.

If you need assistance with medical device CE Marking, or you are interested in training on CE Marking, please contact Medical Device Academy at: rob@13485cert.com. Medical Device Academy is developing a webinar series specifically for this purpose. You can also call me by phone @ +1.802.258.1881. For other blogs on the topic of “CE Marking”, please view the following blog category page: http://robertpackard.wpengine.com/category/ce-marking/.

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EU Medical Device Proposed Regulations: The “Scrunity Process”

This blog discusses the “scrutiny process” of the proposed EU medical device regulations, whereby authorities can take a 2nd look at audit findings…

For those of you that are not familiar with the “Scrutiny Process”, I am referring specifically to Article 44 of the proposed EU regulations for medical devices. This process is first alluded to at the end of section 3.5 in the “Explanatory Memorandum” (i.e. – the 13 pages preceding the proposal for the regulation of medical devices).

The U.S. already has a pre-market approval process that we fondly refer to as the PMA process. In response to the PIP scandal, the European Parliament’s ENVI Committee (Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety) proposed a pre-market approval process as part of a press release issued on April 25, 2012. In response to this political pressure, the Commission has proposed a “Scrutiny Process” that involves preparation of a Notified Body “Summary Evaluation Report,” and verification that the conformity assessment was adequate by the Coordinating Competent Authority.

A similar process is outlined in MEDEV 2.11/1 rev. 2, a guidance document regarding animal tissues, and the Commission Regulation (EU) No 722/2012 of 8 August 2012. The proposed scrutiny process allows competent authorities to take a “second look” and review the findings of the Notified Body that would be issuing a CE Certificate for these high risk devices. The review process is supposed to be concluded within 60 days, but the review time limit is suspended if the Competent Authorities request additional information or product samples within the first 30 days.

In section 3.5 of the Explanatory Memorandum, the Commission states that this scrutiny process “should be the exception rather than the rule and should follow clear and transparent criteria.” The criteria for invoking the scrutiny process are defined in five points 5a) through 5e) of Article 44. The five points leave room for interpretation by Competent Authorities, and the medical device industry is concerned that the review process for Class IIb and Class III devices will be delayed by at least 60 days on a regular basis. The process could easily be delayed by as much as six months when there are requests for additional information and samples.

The “Legislative Financial Statement” (i.e., – the 19 pages immediately following the proposal for the regulation of medical devices) defines a monitoring process for the scrutiny process in the “Indicator of results and impact” (Section 1.4.4). The risk of delaying access to market for innovative devices is also identified in the “Risk(s) identified” (Section 2.2.1). Therefore, the need for a control mechanism is identified in “Control method(s) envisaged” (Section 2.2.2). This will be the responsibility of the Commission to draft a guidance document to define the control method(s). Until industry has an opportunity to review such a guidance document, executives will continue to voice their concerns and apply their own political pressure to the European Parliament.

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What is an NB-MED?

The author defines what an NB-MED is, Team NB and their role, provides a regulatory update and some information sources.

Each time I review a list of external standards I notice at least a few references that are out-of-date. Occasionally, I am surprised and everything appears to be current, but it is almost impossible to stay current with all the external standards. The most difficult standards to maintain are those that are untracked. Untracked standards are difficult to stay current with because it requires manually checking each source to determine if a standard has been updated. One of these sources is Team NB.

Team NB

Team NB describes itself as the “European Association of Notified Bodies for Medical Device.” Team NB is an organization comprised by Notified Bodies (NBs). These NBs create guidance documents in order to clarify the interpretation of regulations in the EU. Since NBs are generating the documents, rather than Competent Authorities (CAs), it is possible for Team NB to reach a consensus more quickly than CAs. Since these documents are guidance documents, the NB-MED documents are not enforceable or binding. However, in all likelihood, your NB will interpret ISO 13485 and the MDD (93/42/EEC as modified by 2007/47/EC) in accordance with these guidance documents.

The website link I provide in my “Helpful Links” page includes many links to important guidance documents. Among the recently updated NB-MED documents is: NB-MED 2.5.2/rec 2. The “rec” is not the same as a revision. For example, rec 2 is “Reporting of design changes and changes of the quality system,” while rec 1 is “Subcontracting – QS related.” The link I have provided will land you directly on the list of NB-MED documents and the right-hand column identifies the date the document was added to the list. Therefore, if you want to know about new and revised NB-MED documents, you merely need to read the documents that are identified as being added since your last visit.

NB-MED 2.4.2/rec 2

At this time, NB-MED 2.5.2/rec 2 is the only recent addition—and you should read it. Many companies struggle with design changes, and they don’t know if the change is significant or not. Revision 8 of this document includes helpful examples. I recommend reading this document carefully, and then revising your own change notification procedure to match the document. If you don’t have a change notification procedure, your QMS auditor has been lazy. Don’t let them give you the excuse of “It’s just a sampling.” This document has been published for a long time, and the intent has not changed since 2008—just new examples to clarify the interpretations.

There is a posting from 1/14/11. This is an excellent list of all the NB-MED documents. I recommend printing this document and using it to compare against your current external standards list. There is a very recent posting from 2/7/12 that answers frequently asked questions about the implementation of EN 60601. If you don’t know what this is, you probably don’t have an active device.

On 3/27/12 there was a letter from Team NB indicating that they condemn Poly Implant Prothèse (PIP) for committing fraud (well duh). Who would endorse them?

Finally, on April 17, 2012, meeting minutes were posted from an April 5th meeting of Team NB. The NBs indicated that the medical device authorization system is good! This is not a surprise, since any other response would be a self-criticism and potentially career limiting. The minutes also indicate that the Team wants as many of the members to endorse the “Code of Conduct” (CoC) that was recently drafted by the “Big 5” NBs. So far, the acceptance of this Code is limited, but the Competent Authorities have other plans.

Competent Authorities (CAs) are currently evaluating the NBs with regard to competency for handling Class III devices. In addition, there is a plan to revise the regulations in Europe (2014 is the guess). These changes will be major. The Team NB website could be a source of information about rapid changes in the next 12 months, but for now, it’s the quiet before the storm. The Great Consolidation of European Regulators is about to begin (or maybe all the NBs will endorse the CoC and the CAs will forget about it).

 

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What is a MEDDEV?

The author defines what a MEDDEV is, recent updates and information resources to learn more.

The most important part of my website is the “Helpful Links.”  These are the links that I use most in Regulatory Affairs. It started as an auditor’s toolbox, but now I am morphing it into a place to review updates to regulatory requirements and external standards. The MEDDEV’s are on the top of my list. These are the guidance documents written by Competent Authorities, but most of the Notified Bodies treat them as requirements, and often write nonconformities against at least one of them: MEDDEV 2.12/1 – Medical Device Vigilance System.

Many companies rely on RSS feeds to keep them current on the latest external standards, but this doesn’t work for a MEDDEV. For MEDDEV’s, your best bet is to go to the source. Sure, you can hire a consultant that will try and keep you current. You can also wait until your NB auditor lets you know the hard way (i.e,. – time to write another administrative CAPA).

For those of you who don’t know the source, it is my #1 “Helpful Link”:

http://ec.europa.eu/health/medical-devices/documents/guidelines/index_en.htm

When asked how to keep current, my advice is to have a systematic process for checking various sources of external documents. At a minimum, you should be checking all of the possible sources just prior to each Management Review. This will give you something to include for the requirement in clause 5.6.2h) of the ISO 13485:2003 Standard. “More preferably,” as lawyers would say, check out the website link above at least once per month. For those of you that are completely out of touch, and those that just fell off the University hay ride, the following explains why you can’t get away with saying:

“There haven’t been any new or revised regulatory requirements since the last Management Review.”

MEDDEV Updates

There were several updates to the MEDDEVs released as supporting documents for the M5 version of the MDD (93/42/EEC as modified by 2007/47/EC). Specifically, there were four in December, 2009 and one in June, 2010. Then there were two more MEDDEVs released in December, 2010 related to clinical study requirements in Europe. In January, 2012, another six MEDDEVs were released, and one more was released in March. Not all of these updates apply to every company, but every RA professional working on CE Marked products has been busy reading themselves to sleep at night.

I could spend some time here telling you a couple of sentences about each of these new MEDDEVs, but someone already did that for me:

http://www.eisnersafety.com/eu-medical-device-meddevs-guidance-docs-newly-rlsed-or-updated/#.T8Oml7Dy-So

One fellow blogger indicated that the MEDDEV 2.5/10, about Authorized Representatives (ARs), was disruptive:

http://medicaldeviceslegal.com/2012/02/09/new-meddev-on-authorised-representatives-everything-you-know-is-wrong/

I don’t really agree with Erik Vollebregt about it being disruptive. Erik feels that we can all expect substantial revisions in the AR contracts, but I think the Germany AR’s I have worked with were already moving in this direction. Emergo has been a strong AR all along—with a distinctly more friendly Dutch style to their processes. In the end, I just don’t see Notified Bodies (NBs) making these contracts a priority initiative. I think we’ll see more auditors verifying that contracts are in place and current, but I don’t expect auditors to receive guidance on how to review contracts anytime soon.

The real changes will be in the smaller AR’s that are not European Association of Authorized Representatives (EAAR) members. The Competent Authorities (CAs) have been knocking on the door of various “wanabee” AR’s for a few years now. I think they have done a nice job of shutting down illegitimate representatives, and the member companies of EAAR (http://www.eaarmed.org/) have done well in raising awareness. The next logical step was to provide some guidance, so that there is more consistency among the ARs. I see this as just the beginning of the CA’s moving toward one approach.

Another article was written by Erik about MEDDEV 2.12/2 on the subject of Post-Market Clinical Follow-up (PMCF):

http://medicaldeviceslegal.com/2012/01/17/new-eu-guidance-on-post-market-clinical-follow-up-studies-published-and-other-meddev-guidance-announced/

Erik just touched on this MEDDEV briefly, but if your company is a manufacturer of a Class III device that is CE Marked—YOU NEED TO READ THIS MEDDEV!

MEDDEV Whitepaper

As in all things post-market related, BSI has taken the lead by publishing an article that is almost as long as the original MEDDEV. This white paper was written by Dr. Hamish Forster, BSI’s Orthopedic & Dental Product Expert, and the document is called “The Post-Market Priority.” I think you can only obtain a copy of this white paper by requesting it from BSI online, but the customer service person that follows up is quite polite.

BSI’s leadership role in PMCF is not new either. Gert Bos gave a presentation that highlighted the importance of PMCF back on March 31, 2010:

http://www.bsigroup.nl/upload/Presentatie%2031%20maart%20-%20Gert%20Bos.pdf

My advice for anyone that has a Class III device that is CE Marked is to read this MEDDEV a few times, Annex X 1.1c of the MDD, read the whitepaper and review these presentations by Gert Bos. This will help you prepare for what is coming. For those of you that think you know something about PMCF, and have justified why your company doesn’t need to do it, think again. You should review the 16 bullet points in the MEDDEV on page 14 and 15 (17 bullets in the whitepaper, but one was just split into two parts). Identify how many of these points apply to your Class III device. The more points that apply to your product, the more extensive the NB’s will expect your PMCF plans to be.

 

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