Post-Brexit, the MHRA has been consulting on the future medical devices regulations, and how to retain the UK’s position as an attractive place to launch devices. As part of this, there have been a number of recent announcements about the medical devices regime in the UK.

  • On 27 April 2023, the MHRA updated its guidance on the implementation of the future medical devices regulations (the UK Regulations) to confirm the intention for the “core aspects” of the UK Regulations to apply from 1 July 2025.
  • The UK government has also introduced legislation that will be finalised before 30 June 2023 to allow valid EU CE marked medical devices to continue to be placed on the market in Great Britain. The extended periods will align with the transitional periods under the new UK Regulations.
  • On 26 May 2023, a proposed new regulatory pathway, the Innovative Devices Access Pathway (IDAP), set for pilot launch later in 2023, was announced, published as part of a suite of announcements that we will cover in a separate post.

Stakeholders will no doubt be pleased to hear of the development to extend the validity of EU CE marking in Great Britain, which allows for more realistic timeframes for manufacturers to obtain a UKCA mark, given the current state of flux of the UK medical device market following Brexit and the COVID-19 pandemic. The proposed IDAP pilot will also be a welcome development, and is another step taken by the MHRA to enhance innovation and stimulate interest in the UK medical devices industry, ahead of the implementation of the new UK medical devices regime in 2025.Continue Reading UK Medical Devices Update: Implementation of the UK Medical Devices Regulations and new Innovative Devices Access Pathway

With much fanfare, in January 2023, the European Commission released its proposal to extend the MDR transition periods and abolish the ‘sell-off’ deadline, after which medical devices and in vitro diagnostics (IVDs) would have to be withdrawn from the EU and EEA market. Today, the proposal has been adopted via Regulation 2023/607 (the Regulation), and will come into force today, 20 March 2023. This date is now important, as CE certificates that expired before today may be able to be considered as valid if certain conditions are met. Certificates that expire from today until the new transition periods will be considered as valid if the conditions set out below are met. This provides important breathing space for companies and should ensure that a large number of devices are not withdrawn from the market over the next year.Continue Reading Extension to EU MDR transition periods finalised

It is well known that there are significant problems with the implementation of the Medical Devices Regulation 2017/745 (MDR), in particular notified body capacity and the vast number of products that need to go through the new regime before the end of the transitional period. After sustained pressure from companies and Member States alike, late last week (on 9 December), the Commission finally confirmed that it intends to extend the transitional period under the MDR. Member States are said to have agreed with the proposals. We set out a summary of what is known so far below.
Continue Reading Delay to EU MDR is on the horizon

Welcome to the first installment of Arnold & Porter’s Virtual and Digital Health Digest. This inaugural edition covers September and October highlights across the virtual and digital health space. This newsletter focuses on key virtual and digital health and telehealth-related developments in the United States, United Kingdom, and European Union in the healthcare, regulatory, privacy, and corporate transactions space.
Continue Reading Virtual and Digital Health Digest

The MHRA is continuing to publish details on how software and AI medical devices will be regulated in the UK post Brexit, with the aim of making the UK an attractive place to launch such products. The MHRA’s recent updates to its ‘Software and AI as a Medical Device Change Programme’ (the Change Programme) intend to “deliver bold steps to provide a regulatory framework that provides a high degree of protection for patients and public, but also makes sure that the UK is recognised globally as a home of responsible innovation for medical device software looking towards a global market.

The MHRA has also recently announced it will extend the period during which EU CE marks on medical devices (including for software) will be accepted on the UK market, until July 2024.

We set out an overview of these updates below.Continue Reading Latest on software and AI devices from the MHRA

There is currently no specific legislation in the UK that governs AI, or its use in healthcare. Instead, a number of general-purpose laws apply. These laws, such as the rules on data protection and medical devices, have to be adapted to specific AI technologies and uses. They sometimes overlap, which can cause confusion for businesses trying to identify the relevant requirements that have to be met, or to reconcile potentially conflicting provisions.

As a step towards a clearer, more coherent approach, on 18 July, the UK government published a policy paper on regulating AI in the UK. The government proposes to establish a pro-innovation framework of principles for regulating AI, while leaving regulatory authorities discretion over how the principles apply in their respective sectors. The government intends the framework to be “proportionate, light-touch and forward-looking” to ensure that it can keep pace with developments in these technologies, and so that it can “support responsible innovation in AI – unleashing the full potential of new technologies, while keeping people safe and secure”. This balance is aimed at ensuring that the UK is at the forefront of such developments.

The government’s proposal is broadly in line with the MHRA’s current approach to the regulation of AI. In the MHRA’s response to the consultation on the medical devices regime in the UK post-Brexit, it announced similarly broad-brush plans for regulating AI-enabled medical devices. In particular, no definition of AI as a medical device (AIaMD) will be included in the new UK legislation, and the regime is unlikely to set out specific legal requirements beyond those being considered for software as a medical device. Instead, the MHRA intends to publish guidance that clinical performance evaluation methods should be used for assessing safety and meeting essential requirements of AIaMD, and has also published the Software and AI as a medical device change programme to provide a regulatory framework with s a high degree of protection for patients and public.Continue Reading UK Policy Paper on regulation of AI

On 26 June 2022, the MHRA published the UK Government’s response to the consultation on the regulatory framework for medical devices in the UK (the Response), and following analysis of the nearly 900 responses received, its intentions for the future UK regulatory regime for medical devices (the UK Regulations).

In September 2021, we posted about the MHRA’s consultation, with a summary of the proposals set out across 15 technical chapters.  The consultation ran between September and November 2021, and focused on patient safety and innovation, whilst recognising that gaining and maintaining competitiveness in a global market will be best supported by aligning with internationally recognised best practice and standards.

We have considered the Response and set out some of the key factors we consider to be of particular interest below. We have not precisely follow the order in the Response and have not covered every aspect or changes; this is necessarily a high level summary.

While the approach the MHRA intends to take in the UK Regulations is clarified and set out in more detail in the Response, no draft statutory text has yet been published. A lot of detail will also be left to guidance that will accompany the UK Regulations. It will therefore be important to see how closely aligned the new UK framework is to the proposals described in the Response and with international rules and standards.Continue Reading MHRA response to consultation on the regulation of medical devices

As of today, the 26 May 2022, the in vitro diagnostic Medical Devices Regulation (EU 2017/746) (IVDR) applies across the EU.

Those working in the industry will be aware that the implementation of the IVDR has been far from straightforward, and that there is still a lot of work to be done. In this post, we provide an overview of the current status of the transitional provisions, identify recently published guidance, and briefly consider the position in the UK and Switzerland.Continue Reading The EU IVDR is here!

On 22 February 2022, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA or the Agency) announced that it was issuing a proposed rule to align the Agency’s current Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) requirements for medical devices, codified at 21 C.F.R. Part 820 and known as the Quality System Regulation, with the international consensus standard ISO 13485:2016 (the ISO). This reflects a years-long effort by the Agency to better harmonise the U.S. requirements with that of many foreign regulators. For example, in the European Union, the ISO is listed in the EU legislation, meaning that a medical device that conforms to this standard is presumed to be in conformity with the EU regulatory requirements on quality management systems for medical devices. This harmonisation should, therefore, provide some consistency between jurisdictions and enable companies to streamline their processes between countries.
Continue Reading Harmonisation of international rules on medical device quality management systems