On 25 October 2018, the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) held in Case C-527/17 Boston Scientific that, where a medical device incorporates an ancillary drug substance, that substance will not be entitled to supplementary protection certificate (SPC) protection. That is the case even if the drug substance has been subjected to an evaluation of its safety, quality and efficacy that is analogous to the authorisation procedure for medicinal products, which are entitled to SPC protection.
Earlier this month, the European Commission published a “rolling plan” for the implementation of the new Medical Devices Regulation (MDR) and In Vitro Diagnostics Regulation (IVDR). As we mentioned in our blog from last year, CAMD’s (Competent Authorities for Medical Devices) Implementation Taskforce published a high-level MDR/IVDR roadmap setting out how the Regulations will be implemented, and the order in which key guidance and clarification will be developed. Now, the Commission has published the rolling plan, which contains a list of the essential implementing acts and actions that need to be introduced, as well as providing information on expected timelines and the current state-of-play.
On 12 October 2018, the MHRA issued Guidance for products without an intended medical purpose (Annex XVI) under the new Medical Device Regulation (EU 2017/745) providing guidance on the expansion of scope of the medical devices regime to include certain products which had been previously unregulated at EU level.
Article 1(2) of the Medical Devices Regulation (MDR), in force from 25 May 2017, explains that the MDR will regulate “certain groups of products without an intended medical purpose” as though they were medical devices.
There are currently six types of products in this category which are listed at Annex XVI of the MDR.
In July, we considered the implications of the UK Government’s Brexit White paper, setting out its proposals for the UK’s ongoing relationship with the EU post-Brexit and how this would apply to the supply and manufacture of medicinal products and medical devices. Acknowledging the need for a contingency plan if no agreement can be reached, the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has now published guidance entitled “How medicines, medical devices and clinical trials would be regulated if there’s no Brexit deal“. Below, we set out the key points arising from that guidance.
The regulation of medicines and medical devices in the UK is currently subject to both EU and UK legislation and oversight. For example, in relation to medicinal products, Directive 2001/83 and Regulation 726/2004, which govern marketing and supply in the EU, are implemented into UK law by the Human Medicines Regulations 2012 (HMR). For medical devices, Directives 93/42 (on medical devices), 98/79 (on in vitro medical devices) and 90/385 (on active implantable medical devices) set out the regulations in the EU, and are implemented in the UK through the Medical Devices Regulations 2002 (MDR). In addition, the new Regulations 2017/745 (on medical devices) and 2017/746 (on in vitro medical devices) will apply from 2020 and 2022, respectively.
In the event of a no-deal Brexit, full regulatory authority will pass to the UK, and the European legislation will cease to apply to the UK on 29 March 2019 (exit day), although UK legislation that implements EU law will remain in force. Under the EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018 (EUWA), all existing EU rules will be converted into UK law at the moment of exit to the extent they are not already part of UK law.
Data-driven technologies, particularly artificial intelligence and other complex algorithms, have the potential to enhance patient care and catalyse medical breakthroughs. However, these technologies are heavily reliant on data, which poses challenges in ensuring that patient information is handled in a safe, secure and legally compliant way.
In response to early issues with the deployment of artificial intelligence and other algorithmic tools in healthcare, on 5 September 2018 the UK Department of Health & Social Care (DH) published an Initial Code of Conduct for Developers and Suppliers of Data-driven Health and Care Technology (the Code). The Code is not legally binding but aims to raise standards by establishing best practices.
Last week, MedTech Europe, the European trade association representing the medical technology industries, published a position paper calling on the European Commission, Parliament and EU Member States to extend the transition period under the Medical Devices Regulations (the MDR and the IVDR). As mentioned in one of our earlier blogs, the MDR and IVDR are due to take effect on 26 May 2020 and 26 May 2022 respectively. The position paper explains that the medical technology industry has “significant concerns” about the state of implementation of the Regulations, and the fact that if products are not re-certified before the date of application of the Regulations, they will not be able to be placed on the market, and the industry will be unable to provide life-saving and life-transforming products to patients. Continue Reading MedTech Europe requests extension to the transition period for the MDR
The Association of British HealthTech Industries (ABHI) has this week published an update to their Code of Ethical Business Practice for the recently rebranded “health technology” sector. The changes to the previous version, from May 2017, are mainly to the Q&A section, which provides further clarification to the substantive provisions of the Code. The Code itself has not (for the most part) changed.
Software can be considered a medical device under EU law. Although guidance has been issued by the European Commission and national authorities to assist in legal classification, factors or criteria that are considered as relevant in such guidance have not been validated by European or national courts. The recent decision of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) on legal classification of software medical device is therefore instructive.
The European Court’s first decision on the classification of software in the context of medical devices legislation
On 7 December 2017, the CJEU issued its judgment in Case C-329/16. The CJEU agreed with the Advocate General’s opinion (discussed in our previous advisory), and held that software can be classified as a medical device under EU law if the software has at least one functionality that allows the use of patient-specific data to assist the physician in prescribing or calculating the dosage for treating the underlying condition. It does not matter whether the software acts directly or indirectly on the human body. The decisive factor is whether the software is specifically intended by the manufacturer to be used for one or more medical objectives specified in Article 1(2) of Directive 93/42/EEC (the Medical Devices Directive), including the diagnosis, prevention, monitoring, treatment or alleviation of disease.
Join us for a complimentary medical devices bootcamp aimed at junior lawyers and new joiners in the medical devices and life sciences sectors
During this full-day seminar we will provide a comprehensive introduction to the regulation of medical devices including changes introduced by the new medical devices and in vitro diagnostic Regulations, and what this means for your organisation. We will also be joined by guest speaker Graeme Tunbridge from the MHRA who will talk the audience through the role of the Regulatory Authority.
- Definition and life cycle of a medical device
- Introduction to the relevant legislation- including changes under the MDR/IVDR
- Classification of a medical device
- Conformity assessment procedure
- Clinical investigations
- Post-authorisation obligations
- Promotion and market access
- Companion diagnostics
- Liability issues
The Competent Authorities for Medical Devices (CAMD) was established to enhance collaborative working, communication and surveillance of medical devices across Europe. With the introduction of the Medical Devices Regulations (the MDR and IVDR), two groups were set up within the CAMD: (i) the Transition Subgroup, which will develop guidelines on the application of the MDR/IVDR during the transitional period, and details of which aspects of the Regulations devices will have to meet to be placed on the market during this time, and (ii) the Implementation Taskforce to facilitate collaboration and cooperation during the implementation phase of the new Regulations.
Earlier this month, the Implementation Taskforce published a high-level MDR/IVDR Roadmap. The Roadmap is the first glimpse into the intentions of the Commission and authorities across the EU as to how the Regulations will be implemented, and the order in which key guidance and clarification will be developed.