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Unannounced Audits: When will your Notified Body’s next audit be?

The author reviews details of the European Commission’s recommendations for medical device auditing by Notified Bodies–including unannounced audits, joint audits of Notified Bodies, and the likelihood of Notified Body mergers.

Were Back 300x146 Unannounced Audits: When will your Notified Body’s next audit be?

On September 25, I posted a blog about the release of the EU Commission’s recommendation on medical device audits and assessments performed by Notified Bodies (http://bit.ly/ENVIVotepasses). You can download the final released version of the recommendation directly from the Official Journal of the European Union (http://bit.ly/ECRecommendation). The most talked-about component of the recommendation is Annex III, which is specific to unannounced audits. I had the pleasure of being invited and attended a TUV SUD.

Training session two weeks ago in Boston (post-RAPS). Hans Heiner Junker (http://bit.ly/Hans-Heiner-Junker) reviewed the recommendation with attendees line-by-line, and there were several items where he said we don’t know what this means, or how this would be implemented. Notified Bodies that are part of Team-NB have met to discuss the interpretation of earlier drafts of the announcement, and each member state is expected to adopt the EC recommendation. For more details about the Team-NB position on the EC recommendation, you can download an article written by Gert Bos of BSI (http://bit.ly/UnannouncedAuditPrep).

Below are the more notable aspects of the EC recommendation.

Annex II – Quality System Assessment

#15 in the list states that “Notified bodies should check the coherence between the quantity of produced or purchased crucial raw material or components approved for the design and the number of finished products.” This recommendation is a direct response to the PIP scandal (http://bit.ly/MHRAReport), but how would an auditor perform a physical inventory during a quality system audit?

At the end of Annex II, the Commission makes recommendations regarding subcontractors. It states that “Notified bodies should refrain from signing arrangements with manufacturers unless they receive access to all critical subcontractors and crucial suppliers and thus to all sites where the devices or its crucial components are produced, regardless of the length of the contractual chain between the manufacturer and the subcontractor or supplier.” Does your supplier quality agreement have this provision?

If you think the above recommendation is unreasonable, items a, b, c, and d at the end of the section, stretch credibility to the limit. My personal favorite is item (b), “Notified bodies should note that manufacturers…do not fulfill their obligation to have at their disposal the full technical documentation and/or of a quality system by referring to the technical documentation of a subcontractor or supplier and/or to their quality system.” If your supplier has confidential processes and trade secrets, your company has no choice but to reference the subcontractor’s documentation. Therefore the requirement to have full technical documentation will need to be addressed by the use of supplier agreements, which allow Notified Bodies access to the Technical Documentation. This requirement will also need to be clarified by the Commission.

Annex III – Unannounced Audit

#1 in the list recommends that unannounced audits shall be conducted once every three years, and more frequently for high-risk devices. The recommendation also states that at least two auditors shall conduct the audits. This represents a 25-50% increase in the number of QMS audit days in a three-year certification cycle. I wonder where Notified Bodies will find 25-50% more auditors to perform these unannounced audits?

This annex includes a requirement that Notified Body contracts with manufacturers would require the manufacturer to inform the Notified Body of the period when devices will not be manufactured. The rationale behind this requirement is so that Notified Bodies will know when they can visit and observe manufacturing actually in progress. However, most Notified Body auditors are scheduled for their audits at least 90 days in advance. Therefore, auditors will have great difficulty ensuring that unannounced audits coincide with the timing of manufacturing lots.

The recommendations also call for unannounced audits of critical suppliers. How will Notified Bodies find the resources to perform these audits when there is already a shortage of qualified auditors?

Notified Body Consolidation is Coming Soon

You may have noticed Notified Bodies are already making a few changes to address the need for qualified auditors:

  1. Unhappy auditors are being lured away from one Notified Body by another
  2. Notified Bodies are using recruiters and advertising open positions with high pay
  3. Sub-contractors are being offered part-time jobs as 3rd party auditors

The compromise amendment 44a to the proposed European Medical Device Regulations (http://bit.ly/EMDR-Frankenstein), creates a new class of Notified Body—the “Special Notified Body” (SNB). This will eliminate the most profitable business for any Notified Body that is not deemed “Special.” This may create an opportunity for larger SNBs to hire the key employees away from smaller Notified Bodies more rapidly.

Competent Authorities have also started performing joint inspections of Notified Bodies this year as a pilot program. There were 11 joint audits performed earlier this year, and eight more are scheduled for the remainder of 2013. As a result of these audits, two Notified Bodies are no longer able to issue new certificates until issues are resolved. This will increase the pressure further for smaller Notified Bodies to merge with larger SNBs.

Will the EC Commission Achieve its Goal?

The EC Commission began pushing for the unannounced audits and increased scrutiny of Notified Bodies in response to the Poly Implant Prosthèse (PIP) breast implants scandal (http://bit.ly/MHRAReport). This was a case of fraud—not neglectful auditing. Some of the solutions proposed by the EC Commission, such as unannounced audits and performing physical inventories, are intended to prevent fraud. In 2014 we will see if these methods are effective. Still, I suspect auditors will remain a step or two behind companies committing fraud, and the only impact will be higher operating costs for medical device manufacturers.

Posted in: CE Marking

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European Medical Device Regulations: A Bureaucratic Frankenstein

Author reviews details of the latest proposal for medical device CE Marking regulations in Europe–including recommendations and predictions for the plenary vote by the European Parliament.

The Future of Medical Device CE Marking European Medical Device Regulations: A Bureaucratic Frankenstein

Who will approve medical device CE Marking in the future?

Last year we were concerned about the potential for delays caused by the “Scrutiny Process”—Article 44 of the proposed European Medical Device Regulations (EMDR). Two weeks ago, we reported on the vote by the EU Parliament Committee for the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI). The EVNI vote was in favor of the compromise amendments to the EMDR. This vote eliminated Article 44 and replaced it with Article 44a. Article 44a is a “case-by-case” assessment procedure for certain high-risk devices.

Comparison of Article 44a with the US FDA’s pre-market approval (PMA) process was made (http://bit.ly/EucomedSep25PressRelease), but the compromise amendment is unique. Three things differentiate the EMDR from any other system used in the World:

  1. Instead of a centralized regulatory authority like the US FDA, CE Marking will continue to use Notified Bodies. Still, we will now have two distinct classes: Regular Notified Bodies and Special Notified Bodies.
  2. The proposed “case-by-case” assessment process will involve the most complicated bureaucratic maze of three and four-letter acronyms in the World:
    1. Medical Device Advisory Committee (MDAC)
    2. Medical Device Coordination Group (MDCG)
    3. Special Notified Bodies (SNBs)
    4. European Medicines Agency (EMA)
    5. Assessment Committee for Medical Devices (ACMD)
  3. This insane process will be expanded to a broader range of devices than just Class III devices:
    • Class III devices,
    • Implantable devices,
    • Devices utilizing non-viable tissues/cells of human/animal origin or their derivatives,
    • Devices incorporating a medicinal, and
    • Devices for delivery of a medicinal.

What Will the Future CE Marking Process Be?

I started to draft a process flow chart for the case-by-case process, but others have already done this, and I have zero confidence that the current draft will be adopted. I hope that the following elements of the compromise proposal are eliminated:

  1. Existence of a Medical Device Advisory Committee (MDAC)
  2. Existence of an Assessment Committee for Medical Devices (ACMD)
  3. Direct Involvement of the Commission in the CE Marking Process
  4. Independent review of CE Marking in parallel with Notified Bodies, special or otherwise

The following elements of the compromise proposal are probably here to stay:

  1. Regular Notified Bodies will no longer be allowed to approve CE Marking of high-risk devices.
  2. High-risk devices will be expanded beyond Class III devices—as indicated above.
  3. The role of the EMA will be expanded to include oversight of Special Notified Bodies.
  4. The proposed MDCG will be created to interpret regulations and recommend changes, but the Commission will control the MDCG.

The following element is missing from the draft legislation: a lack of emphasis on post-market monitoring of device safety and performance. Post-market monitoring is critical because no regulatory process will ever be perfect. Regulators need a mechanism for efficiently identifying unsafe devices that are on the market and removing them quickly.

Predictions for the Plenary Vote on October 22

The Plenary vote by the EU Parliament is the next step of the legislative process. As I stated in my earlier blog (http://bit.ly/ENVIVotepasses), I do not expect a vote in favor of these amendments on October 22. There are currently too many unanswered questions about the details, and the cost will be great for implementing the ill-conceived compromise. European politicians need time to develop a plan for creating each of the new organizations, time to clarify the compromises, and time to quantify the economic impact of implementing the EMDR—especially in a fragile European economy.

The failure to pass accept the draft legislation and send it on to the Council for adoption would be bad. Still, other legal experts (i.e., Erik Vollebregt) believe that the actual situation is worse. In his October 1 blog posting, Erik suggested that Parliament would not amend the draft legislation further and would approve it. This forces the Council to accept the Frankenstein-like compromise that rapporteur Dagmar Roth-Behrendt has facilitated (http://bit.ly/DraftLegislation), or the Council must see past the political circus of the EU Parliament and draft a new proposal that makes sense.

If you want to learn more about the European legislative process, the procedure is explained in the following infogram: http://bit.ly/EULegislativeProcedure. I hope for outright rejection of the draft legislation in the Plenary, but Erik is probably right. Insanity will probably win, and we will be forced to watch in horror as the legislative process proceeds to the European Council.

Posted in: CE Marking

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Risk Control Selection – Deviation #5 in ISO 14971

ISO 14971:2012 deviation #5 is specific to selecting risk control options and protective measures for CE Marking medical devices.

%name Risk Control Selection   Deviation #5 in ISO 14971If your company is CE Marking medical devices, you are required to satisfy the Essential Requirements for Safety and Performance as defined in the three European Directives: the MDD, the AIMD, and the IVDD. Throughout these Essential Requirements, there is a requirement to reduce risks “as far as possible” (AFAP) by implementing risk controls. At one time, the expectation was for companies to implement state of the art concerning risk controls, and “state of the art” was interpreted as the latest version of the harmonized ISO Standards. However, lawyers dominating the European Commission appear to disagree with the status quo.

Therefore, in 2012, the European National (EN) version of the Medical Device Risk Management Standard was revised. There is no change to the content of Clauses 1 through 9. Instead, the European Commission identified seven content deviations between the ISO 14971 Standard and the EU Directives. These deviations are identified and explained in Annexes ZA, ZB, and ZC. This blog is the fifth installment of Medical Device Academy’s seven-part blog series on this topic. The goal of the series is to identify solutions for meeting the Essential Requirements by suggesting changes to the current best practices of implementing a risk management process for medical device design.

Discretion as to the Risk Control Options/Measures

Essential Requirements 1 and 2 require that risk control options are implemented for all risks before determining the acceptability of residual risks. The 2nd Essential requirement also requires manufacturers to implement all risk control options—unless the risk controls do not further reduce risk.iso14971 deviation 5 Risk Control Selection   Deviation #5 in ISO 14971

Clause 6.2 of the 14971 Standard suggests that you only need to use “one or more” of the risk control options, and Clause 6.4 indicates that further risk control measures are not required if the risk is acceptable. There is an apparent contradiction between the intent of the Standard and the Directives.

If risk acceptability has no impact on whether you will implement risk controls, there is no need for performing a preliminary risk evaluation. Therefore, I have three recommendations for changes to your current risk management process:

  1. Ignore Clause 5 of the 2007/2009 version of ISO 14971
  2. Eliminate the second step of risk assessment from your flow chart for risk management (see Figure 1 from the 14971 Standard)
  3. Define risk management policies upon clinical benefits, rather than absolute risks

Instead of performing a preliminary risk evaluation (Clause 6.5), risk/benefit analysis should be moved to Clause 7, where the evaluation of overall residual risk acceptability is required. By making this change, risk controls will be implemented, regardless of risk acceptability, and the acceptability of risks will be dependent upon the risk/benefit analysis alone.

Impact of this Deviation

Implementing changes to your risk management process to address this deviation has great potential to impact the design of devices—not just the risk management documentation. Design teams will no longer be able to stop the design process with an initial design that has an “acceptable risk.” Instead, design teams will be forced to implement additional risk controls and protective measures for device designs that already have a low risk of harm for specific failure modes.

The requirement to implement additional risk controls will increase the cost of devices that may have been relatively safe without the risk controls. For example, if a device is not intended to be implanted, it is a potential foreseeable misuse. Your company may have used the instructions for use to communicate the residual risk associated with misuse of the device. However, now your company will have to implement design controls (e.g., –a selection of materials suitable for implantation) to eliminate the risks associated with misuse and protective measures (e.g., – radio-opaque thread) to help retrieve product that was implanted in an “off-label” usage.

If you are interested in risk management training, Medical Device Academy offers a risk management training webinar.

Posted in: ISO 14971:2019 (Risk Management)

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Procedure template for ISO ISO 13485:2016 quality systems

This 12 part procedure template for your medical device QMS can result in writing shorter, more effective documents that are easier to train personnel on.%name Procedure template for ISO ISO 13485:2016 quality systems

We all have a standard template for our quality system procedures. Typically, we begin with purpose, scope, and definitions. This 12-part procedure template for your medical device QMS  can result in shorter, more effective documents that are easier to train personnel on.

1. Purpose. Often I read something like, “This purpose of this document is to describe the CAPA procedure.” That necessary information is the reason why we title procedures. A better statement of purpose would be, “The purpose of this procedure is to provide a process for identifying, preventing and eliminating the causes of an actual or potential nonconformity, and using risk management principles.” The second version gives readers a better indication of the purpose of the procedure.

2. Scope. This section should identify functions or situations that the procedure applies to, but it is even more critical to identify which situations the procedure does not apply too.

3. References and Relationships. Reference documents that apply to the entire quality management system (e.g., – ISO 13485 and 21 CFR 820) only need to be listed in the Quality Manual. This reduces the need for future revisions to the procedures. I list here any procedure-specific external standard (e.g., – ISO 14971) in the applicable procedure. The relationship between procedures is more important than the references. Therefore, I prefer to use a simple flow diagram, with inputs and outputs, similar to the one below for a document control process.

sys 001 Procedure template for ISO ISO 13485:2016 quality systems

4. Document Approval. Who must sign off on the procedure? Keep this list short. Ideally, just the primary process owner and Quality Manager (to ensure consistency and integrity across the quality management system).

5. Revision History. A brief listing of each revision and a brief description of what was changed in the procedure.

6. Responsibilities and Authorities. A listing of the main areas of responsibility for each role. Remember to include the title of managers who may be required to approve forms, or make key decisions.

7. Procedure. I prefer to create a detailed flowchart outlining each step of a process before writing the procedure. Each task box in the flowchart will include a reference number. If you organize the reference numbers in an outline format, then you can write the text of your procedure to match the flowchart—including the numbering of the flow chart task boxes.

example Procedure template for ISO ISO 13485:2016 quality systemscapa Procedure template for ISO ISO 13485:2016 quality systems

8. Monitoring and Measurement. An explanation of how the process is monitored and measured, who does it, how often, format, method of communicating the analysis, and what process that analysis will be an input into, e.g., Management Review.

9. Training/Retraining. Tabulated, which roles need to be trained in this procedure, and to what level? The example below is also from a Document Control procedure.role Procedure template for ISO ISO 13485:2016 quality systems

10. Risk Management. This section identifies risks associated with each procedure and how the procedure controls those risks. As well as complying with the requirement to apply risk management throughout product realization (i.e., Clause 7 of ISO 13485), including a section specific to risk management forces the author of the procedure to think of ways the process can fail and to develop ways to avoid failure. Risks can also be a starting point for training people on the procedure.

11. Records. Tabulated, form number and names, a brief description of its purpose, and a column for retention and location. This column also allows for reference to compilations if the record becomes part of, e.g., Design History File, Device Master Record, or the Risk Management File.

12. Flowcharts. Step-by-step through the process, saying who performs the step when it isn’t apparent. I keep task shapes simple: rectangles for tasks, rounded rectangles for beginnings and endings, diamonds for decision boxes, and off-page reference symbols.

When the task needs supporting text, e.g., guidance or examples, put a number in the box and a corresponding number in the table in (7) above.  Ideally, the flowcharts are placed in the document with the Notes table on the same page or the opposite page. In practice, I often put them at the end to simplify the layout. One of my clients loves her flowcharts and puts them on the front page.

Benefits of this Approach

Information is well structured and presented consistently across procedures, more so than can be achieved through narrative.

  • The flowchart is the primary means of documenting the procedure.
  • Tables provide details that are not clear in the flowchart.

The procedure structure described above facilitates a consistent training approach built around the document. Purpose and scope are presented first, and then the Risk section is presented to explain what is essential in the procedure and why. The flowchart, the table, and the formwork together to describe each step of the procedure. Finally, a PowerPoint template can be used to guide process owners in developing their training.

And to make it even easier, you have already spelled out who needs to be trained and to what level.

Posted in: ISO Certification

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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. The 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 do not apply to your device, you need to provide a justification. For example, ER 11 and its subparts do not apply to devices that do not emit radiation. This justification must be documented in the ERC for each subpart.

When you write your justification for the 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. Still, 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. Nevertheless, several significant changes 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. 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 new EU MDR regulations. You can download the MDD ERC Template and the new EU MDR Template. This new template also indicates the items that were recently modified (see the red lines).

Posted in: CE Marking

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What is the IEC 60601 Scope?

This blog will help you understand the IEC 60601 scope and to determine if and how the IEC 60601-1 Standard applies to your medical electrical product.  Definitions, third-party testing, etc. discussed.60601 300x274 What is the IEC 60601 Scope?One of the first questions clients ask before a project starts is, “Does this medical electrical product fall under IEC 60601-1?” Another common question clients ask is whether IEC 60601-1 applies to battery-operated medical devices. To answer these questions, we must review and understand the scope (sub-clause 1.1) of IEC 60601-1 to determine if and how the IEC 60601-1 Standard applies to a medical electrical product.

The title of IEC 60601-1:2005 (3rd edition) (http://bit.ly/IEC60601-1) is Medical electrical equipment – Part 1: General requirements for basic safety and essential performance. The IEC 60601-1 Standard itself states, “This…Standard applies to…MEDICAL ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT and MEDICAL ELECTRICAL SYSTEMS…referred to as ME EQUIPMENT and ME SYSTEMS.”

*Note: ALL CAPITAL LETTERS identifies a defined term for the IEC 60601 series of standards within this blog. “IEC” is an acronym for the International Electrotechnical Commission (http://bit.ly/IECwebsite). IEC is a non-profit, non-governmental international standards organization that prepares and publishes International Standards for all electrical, electronic, and related technologies.

All clause references in this blog are to both IEC 60601-1:2005 (3rd edition) and IEC 60601-1:2005 (3rd edition) + Amendment 1:2012, or the consolidated version IEC 60601-1:2012 (edition 3.1), but the actual text comes from edition 3.1.

Definitions 

The ME EQUIPMENT definition (sub-clause 3.63) is:

“…equipment…

a)    provided with not more than one connection to a particular SUPPLY MAINS, and

b)    intended by its MANUFACTURER to be used:

1)    in the diagnosis, treatment or monitoring of a PATIENT; or

2)    for compensation or alleviation of disease, injury, or disability.”

and “…having an APPLIED PART or transferring energy to or from the PATIENT or detecting such energy transfer to or from the PATIENT….”

Note: The above definition aligns well with the description of medical electrical devices in the European Medical Device Regulation.

From the definition above, we know that a device can have up to one power cord, or be hard-wired to the building’s power by one power line, and/or be battery powered.

We also need to understand the term APPLIED PARTS (sub-clause 3.8): “Part of…ME EQUIPMENT…in NORMAL USE necessarily comes into physical contact with the PATIENT for…” the device “…to perform its function.” Classification of the different types of APPLIED PARTS and other classifications (there are eight different classification criteria in the IEC 60601 Standard) need to be completed early in the process of setting up a test plan for design verification to determine the applicable testing requirements, and to develop an appropriate test plan.

Examples within Scope of IEC 60601-1:2005

Examples of electrical medical products fitting the definition above are broad and include battery-operated thermometers, gamma imaging systems, endoscopic cameras, and infusion pumps. IEC 60601-1 may also apply to many ACCESSORIES (sub-clause 3.3) used with ME EQUIPMENT.

Examples not within Scope of IEC 60601-1:2005

The scope of IEC 60601-1 also identifies which devices are not included in the IEC 60601 series:

  • “in vitro-diagnostic equipment…IEC 61010 series;
  • implantable parts of active implantable(s) … ISO 14708 series…;
  • medical gas pipeline systems…ISO 7396-1…”
IEC 60601 & ISO 13485

Design verification must confirm that design outputs (i.e., – product specifications) meet design inputs (e.g., – product must meet IEC 60601-1 requirements).

Many projects don’t identify all the applicable IEC 60601 standards. This could cause multiple nonconformances during an audit by the national regulatory body (i.e., FDA, EU Notified Body), or that you don’t obtain approval to sell and distribute your device from the national regulatory body.

A test plan, with multiple test protocols, is developed from the product specification. This test plan should identify all the requirements of the IEC 60601 series of standards, in addition to any other applicable standards and regulations that apply to the device before performing device testing.

Third-Party Testing

IEC testing can be performed by a third-party test house (i.e., – a safety certification agency, such as a UL, CSA, TÜV SÜD),  an independent test lab (i.e. Medical Equipment Compliance Association), or the manufacturer can conduct the testing if they have the proper equipment, trained personnel and a good understanding (i.e., – used the Standard on several projects, and successfully tested previous similar electrical medical device(s) by a third-party test lab, and been approved by a national regulatory body) of the Standard (s).

Design verification reports generated from the test process are either the applicable IEC 60601, and IEC 80601 series of standards test report forms or the manufacturer’s generated test reports.

If your company needs help with IEC 60601-1 gap analysis, preparation of the risk management file for the third edition, or training on the Standard, please contact Leo Eisner. We are also developing a webinar series on IEC 60601-1, 3rd edition.

Posted in: IEC 60601

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New Release of TGA’s 2013 Assessment of Orthopaedic Implant Revision Rates

%name New Release of TGA’s 2013 Assessment of Orthopaedic Implant Revision Rates

October 1, 2013—Today, the Therapeutics Goods Administration (TGA) published their assessment of the Australian Orthopaedic Association’s National Joint Replacement Registry (AOANJRR) report.

This data will be fundamental to orthopedic companies as a recent source of post-market surveillance for their products and competitors and the development of Post-Market Clinical Follow-up (PMCF) study protocols.

You can download the most recent annual report, and the thirteen supplemental reports, from the following website: (http://bit.ly/AOA2013Reports). As you can see from the list below, this release is more extensive than previous annual reports that did not include the supplementary reports. This should be especially important for spinal companies that will be reclassifying (http://bit.ly/gapanalysiscmda) their CE Marked products from Class IIb to Class III and submitting a Design Dossier in 2014/2015.

2013 Annual Report

  • Hip & Knee Arthroplasty (September 1999 to December 2012) – 213 pages

2013 Supplementary Reports

  1. Analysis of State and Territory Health Data All Arthroplasty – 19 pages
  2. Cement in Hip & Knee Arthroplasty – 15 pages
  3. Demographics and Outcomes of Elbow & Wrist Arthroplasty – 32 pages
  4. Demographics and Outcome of Ankle Arthroplasty – 11 pages
  5. Demographics and Outcomes of Shoulder Arthroplasty – 65 pages
  6. Demographics of Hip Arthroplasty – 28 pages
  7. Demographics of Knee Arthroplasty – 23 pages
  8. Demographics of Spinal Disc Arthroplasty – 11 pages
  9. Lay Summary 2013 Annual Report Hip and Knee Replacement – 13 pages
  10. Metal on Metal Total Conventional Hip Arthroplasty – 13 pages
  11. Mortality following Primary Hip and Knee Replacement – 10 pages
  12. Revision of Hip & Knee Arthroplasty – 21 pages
  13. Unispacer Knee Arthroplasty – 6 pages
Post-Market Clinical Data

The requirement to conduct PMCF studies is not new. Release of MEDDEV 2.12/2 rev 2 (http://bit.ly/PMCFMEDDEV) in 2012 increased the orthopedic industry’s awareness of this tool’s purpose and importance. In Europe, Notified Bodies are required to verify that manufacturers have included a PMCF protocol as part of the Post-Market Surveillance (PMS) plan. The requirement for PMCF studies is found in Annex X, 1.1c of the Medical Device Directive (http://bit.ly/M5MDD).

Most orthopedics manufacturers attempt to provide a justification for not conducting PMCF studies, yet implant recalls, and the prevalence of revision surgery have increased the scrutiny around these justifications. Hamish Forster (www.linkedin.com/pub/hamish-forster/19/643/494), a Notified Body auditor for BSI, wrote a white paper on “The Post-Market Imperative: Understanding the requirements for effective post-market clinical follow-up.” You can find his article on Orthoworld’s BoneZone website (http://bit.ly/BZPMCF).

If you are interested in reading more about the requirements for PMCF studies, you can also read the article that Dr. Dov Gal (http://bit.ly/DovGal) and I wrote for BoneZone (http://bit.ly/BZPMCFArticle) that was published on September 3, 2013.

Posted in: Clinical Studies & Post-Market Surveillance

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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 a 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 is 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 Therapeutic 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) the 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 before 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 before 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 merely “rubber stamp” the approval, but the approval process is less rigorous.

If your product is manufactured in the US, 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 a 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 1990s.

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

Also, 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 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 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 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. Also, industry survey respondents indicated that an additional 2.5 million Euro investment would be needed 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 22 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. 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 favorable nations
Why is there a Rush?

European elections were in 2014. The government officials in the office want to approve the regulations before the elections, but it’s not going to happen. 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 1990s.

Medical companies should be paying more attention to the proposed regulations. 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 the 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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8 success tips for the first 30 minutes of an FDA inspection

fda30min 300x156 8 success tips for the first 30 minutes of an FDA inspectionThe author presents an 8 item action plan and discussion for getting your FDA inspection off to a good start, beginning when the FDA enters your facility. When an FDA inspector arrives at the reception desk of your facility, the last thing that you want is a Keystone Kops scenario with people running around in a panic and keeping the inspector waiting. This is your first opportunity to make a professional impression, and you never want to give an inspector the impression that you have something to hide. What happens during the first 30 minutes of arrival is critical. While medical device inspections are often announced several days in advance, there is no obligation for the Agency to do so. Therefore, your team needs training and a plan. This training should involve more than just reading the Quality System Inspection Technique (QSIT) manual (http://bit.ly/QSITManual), and conducting a mock FDA inspection. Last year, Rob Packard wrote a blog about “10 FDA Inspection Strategies that Don’t Work” (http://bit.ly/QSITmistakes), but the following activities need to be executed in the first 30 minutes to ensure your next inspection starts smoothly.

The FDA Inspection: 8 Immediate Actions to Take
1. Receptionist-Personnel Contacts  (Time Zero)

I once witnessed a receptionist sarcastically comment to an inspector that people must be thrilled when they walk in the door. That was not a great start to the inspection. Ensure that your receptionist and additional personnel who may sit at the desk are trained, understand what to do, and know-how to behave when an FDA inspector(s) arrives. This exercise should not cause panic. You need a simple work instruction located at the reception desk and a list of key staff members to contact immediately. The head of the Quality department, or Management Representative, is usually the first call.

2. Have Chain of Command in Place (Time = 1 minute)

DO NOT keep the inspector waiting in the lobby. Have a communication chain in place to ensure that other appropriate personnel is available in the event that the first point of contact cannot be reached. It is reasonable to ask the inspector to return at a later date ONLY if all individuals with the technical expertise to participate in the inspection are not on-site, or are out of the country. The agent will decide whether to honor this request, but the expectation is that there is always someone with whom they can work with. Never make this request to put off the inevitable.

3. Ask To See Inspector Credentials (Time = 2 minutes)

Ask to see the inspector’s credentials, and ensure that you give them more than a cursory glance. This is important to avoid allowing an imposter posing as an Agency employee from gaining access to your business. While a rare occurrence, it has been known to happen. Some investigators are officers of the Public Health Service and may be in uniform. However, even these officers are not required to wear a uniform for all visits. Note:  Section 5.1.1.2 of the FDA Investigations Operations Manual (http://bit.ly/FDAIOM) instructs inspectors to provide their credentials to top management, but copying of official credentials is not allowed.

4. Escort Inspector to Inspection Room (Time = 5 minutes)

Make sure that you can have the inspector escorted to a suitable room with the respective hosts within five minutes of arrival. This will involve ensuring that it is clearly understood by all administrative staff and key management that any other meeting may need to be curtailed, or moved immediately to another location to provide an appropriate space for the inspection. Providing substandard accommodations, such as a very cold or warm room, is not a good strategy for shortening the inspection time, and is a ploy easily recognized by the Agency, though not appreciated. Note:  Rob Packard taught an audio seminar earlier this year, where the use of inspection war rooms was covered in more detail—including a diagram with a proposed layout for the room (http://bit.ly/FDAInspectionSeminar).

5. Ready the FDA Inspection War Room (Time = 10 minutes)

Immediately after your inspection room is identified, you need to prepare your backroom or “war room.” This room should be located near the inspection room and set up at a moment’s notice with staff who can expertly execute their respective roles. You will need a mode of communication between the inspection and war rooms, runners to retrieve documents and records in the shortest time possible, as well as a technical individual to review these documents to ensure that they are appropriate and accurate before being provided to the inspector. This room should be ready within ten minutes of arrival.

6. Ensure You Have Emergency Supplies & Copies (Time = 15 minutes)

Your war room will need supplies. You should have a mobile cart equipped with inspection supplies ready and waiting at all times. Suggestions for the contents of your war room cart include a laptop, projector, staplers, staples, pens, blank folders, a label maker, and a stamp for “uncontrolled copies.” Your supplies need to make it to the war room within 15 minutes of arrival.

7. Ready the Frequently Requested Documents (Time = 25 minutes)

Don’t wait for the inspector to tell you which documents are invariably requested at the outset of any inspection. This includes, but is not limited to, the organizational chart, an index of all procedures, CAPA log, and your nonconformance logs for medical devices—all dating back to the last inspection. This doesn’t mean that you should offer these documents to the inspector. You want to prepare these before they are requested so that they can be provided quickly, but you should keep the copies in the war room until the inspector requests each document and record. Copies of these records and documents should be stamped and ready within 25 minutes of arrival.

8. Relax (Time = 30 minutes)

It sounds as though this process is a race against time. It is not. No one engaging with the inspector should be running in and out of the room, gasping for breath, or sweating profusely from the effort. Keeping the inspector waiting can be perceived as a stall tactic, perhaps arousing suspicion that you are creating records “on the fly” in the war room (definitely not a strategy that I recommend), or that you are having difficulty locating the requested documents, and are not in control of your Quality Management System (QMS). The most important aspect is to manage your QMS so that you are always ready for an inspection at a moment’s notice. If you prepare in advance, you shouldn’t need to do anything more than ask if the inspector would like coffee before the inspection begins.  

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