For 510k submissions for electrosurgical devices, the author provides insight into FDA’s two new guidance documents, including how to document compliance.
A colleague asked me if I had noticed any changes to the FDA webpage summarizing the content requirements for a 510(k) submission (http://bit.ly/510k-Content). The page was last updated on March 18, 2014. However, when I compared the current page with a version I had saved in August 2013, I was able to confirm that there were no changes to the page, except for hyperlinks to the content referenced on the page. FDA released six new guidance documents in March, but two of these were specific to electrosurgical devices:
- Premarket Notification [510(k)] Submissions for Electrosurgical Devices for General Surgery (http://bit.ly/Electrosurgical-510k)
- Premarket Notification [510(k)] Submissions for Bipolar Electrosurgical Vessel Sealers for General Surgery (http://bit.ly/Bipolar-510k)
For those of you that are preparing 510(k) submissions, you may find the draft guidance documents for electrosurgical devices and bipolar electrosurgical vessel sealers to be quite helpful–even if you are are not submitting a 510(k) for these types of devices. These two draft guidance documents include specific recommendations for the content and format of the substantial equivalence table and performance data presented. Also, labeling requirements for the device include a long list of warnings that should be included in the IFU for this type of device.
Electrosurgical Devices for General Surgery
This guidance was released on March 24, 2014, and provides an update to the 510(k) submission requirements for electrosurgical devices in general. If you are preparing a 510(k) submission for this type of device, you should systematically verify and document how your submission complies with this guidance. Compliance with this guidance is not instead of but in addition to FDA guidance on the format and content of a 510(k) submission. Specifically, you should incorporate a table into one of the sections of the submission that lists each of the recommendations of the product-specific guidance document.
Bipolar Electrosurgical Vessel Sealers
This guidance was also released on March 24, 2014, and provides an update to the 510(k) submission requirements of bipolar electrosurgical vessel sealers for general surgery. This guidance includes all the same requirements as the guidance for Electrosurgical Devices, but the bipolar vessel sealing draft guidance also has one additional requirement. The draft guidance provides a prescriptive outline for a preclinical chronic animal study, including the minimum number of animals and the number of weeks post-procedure that the animals should be studied. In the past, the FDA has requested clinical studies in humans to demonstrate the long-term safety of the sealed vessels. Still, this draft guidance specifically states that human clinical studies are not required unless the device being submitted uses different “device technology and/or mechanism of action is significantly different when compared to the predicate.”
How to Document Compliance in Your 510(k) Submission
Medical Device Academy’s consulting team created a template for Section 9 of a traditional 510(k) submission that includes an overview document with the following sub-sections:
- FDA Special Controls
- FDA Device-Specific Guidance
- Voluntary Product Safety Standards
- FDA Recognized Standards
Sub-Section 1 of Medical Device Academy’s template for Section 9 of a traditional 510(k) submission includes a brief statement that there is no Special Controls guidance document for the product being submitted. For sub-section 2, we use a table identifying where each of the requirements of product-specific guidance documents can be located. If one of these two draft electrosurgical guidance documents is applicable to your device, we recommend including a table in Section 9 of your submission. For sub-sections 3 and 4, FDA requires that manufacturers complete a Standards Data Report for 510(k)s (FDA Form 3654, http://bit.ly/Form-FDA-3654) for each of the applicable test standards FDA recognizes. Failure to complete Form 3654 for 100% of the applicable standards FDA recognizes results in an immediate Refusal to Accept (RTA, http://bit.ly/FDA-RTA-Policy) letter.
58% of 510(k) submissions were rejected in 2013 during the initial 15-day administrative review. If you received already “Refusal to Accept” (RTA) letter, or you need help preparing your submission, please contact Glenn Melvin, Director of Business Development; by phone at (561) 308-3093 or by email at email@example.com; to learn more about our consulting services, to schedule a call or to request a proposal.