The day is finally here! Four years after it entered into force, the Medical Devices Regulation (MDR) is applicable today, the 26 May 2021. We have discussed the aspirations and implications of the MDR, we have commented on the slow rate of implementation, and we have heard, and share, some of the frustration expressed by companies as they have prepared for today. From today, industry, regulatory bodies, external advisors and customers will be able to experience the consequences of the radical reform of the medical devices regulatory framework that has been introduced by the MDR.

We have published several blog posts on the key changes and progress of the implementation of the MDR. In this post, now the MDR is officially applicable, we briefly cover where we stand in relation to some of the issues and concerns for the industry. The European Commission recently said that “the 26th of May is not an end date” and we couldn’t agree more. While the MDR was focused on increasing patient safety and the oversight of devices, there is still a lot of work to be done, and there remains a number of outstanding questions. We believe there will need to be a great deal of flexibility by all parties over the coming months in other to avoid disruption for patients.


Continue Reading The EU Medical Devices Regulation applies today!

New EU rules under chemicals and waste legislation require manufacturers and suppliers of products to provide information to a centralized EU database.  These rules may also affect the medical devices industry.

SCIP database

Since 5 January 2021, a new obligation to notify the European Chemicals Agency (“ECHA”) applies to suppliers of articles containing substances of very high concern (“SVHCs”) in a concentration above 0,1 % weight by weight (w/w). The obligation is established under the revised Waste Framework Directive 2008/98/EC (“WFD”) which cross-references Regulation (EC) 1907/2006 concerning the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (“the REACH Regulation”) and provides the basis for the creation of a new database collating information on “Substances of Concern In articles as such or in complex objects (Products)” (known as “the SCIP database”) to which notifications must be submitted under the supervision of ECHA (Article 9 of WFD).

According to ECHA, the aim of the new notification obligation is to ensure that information on SVHCs is available throughout the whole lifecycle of articles and materials, including the waste stage. SVHCs are hazardous substances (e.g., carcinogenic, mutagenic or toxic for reproduction) included in the Candidate List for authorisation of the REACH Regulation. Information submitted to the SCIP database will be accessible to national authorities, waste treatment facilities, supply chain operators and consumers. ECHA intends to publish the submitted information as received, unless the protection of confidential business information can be justified.
Continue Reading EU Chemicals: Obligation to notify ECHA on hazardous substances and its impact on the medical devices industry

The European Commission has published a proposal for a Regulation reinforcing the European Medicines Agency’s (EMA) role in crisis preparedness and management for medicinal products and medical devices. According to the European Commission, the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated that the EMA has a limited ability to manage availability issues relating to medicinal products and medical devices and lacks a framework for crisis response. The aim of the proposed Regulation is to set up such a framework which will allow the EU to respond effectively to health emergencies through broader engagement with the relevant stakeholders in a coordinated and timely manner to achieve the over-arching objective of public health protection.
Continue Reading Draft EU Framework for Coordinated Approach to Addressing Emergency Public Health Threats

The spread of SARS-CoV-2 has created an urgent need to scale up the production and supply of essential medical equipment, including so-called Rapidly Manufactured Ventilator Systems (RMVSs), to treat COVID-19 patients. To help meet this challenge, the UK government announced on 3 April 2020 that it will indemnify designers and manufacturers of RMVSs for claims relating to infringement of third-party intellectual property (IP) rights and for product liability claims resulting from defective equipment.

Formal notification of the two indemnities was given by the Minister for the Cabinet Office, Michael Gove, to the Public Accounts Committee on 3 April 2020.[1] In the notice, Minister Grove noted that he could not give the normal fourteen sitting days’ notice because “commercial negotiations have only just concluded and contract signature did not allow further delay”. Details of the terms of the referenced agreement have not, however, been provided, as they were said to be commercially sensitive and would continue to be until negotiations had been finalised. It is therefore not yet clear who are the parties to the agreement, whether any cap will apply to the indemnities, whether the government will offer the same terms across the board, or whether it will negotiate them in individual supply agreements.


Continue Reading UK Government Offers IP Indemnity to Designers and Manufacturers of Ventilators for COVID-19 Patients

With only two months to go before the date of application of the Medical Devices Regulation (MDR) on 26 May 2020, the Commission has taken various steps towards its implementation. As we have discussed, while there are lots of good intentions, there is still much to be done –  although it now seems that a delay to the May date is on the horizon.

Last week, the MDCG published a number of guidance documents providing much needed clarity on some of the “priority” areas. These are set out below, with particular comments on the guidance relevant to the transitional provisions under the MDR.


Continue Reading Two months to go: Latest on implementation of EU MDR (Part 2)

There are now only two months to go before the date of application of the Medical Devices Regulation (MDR) on 26 May 2020. We have previously published updates on various implementation activities, and the concerns of industry and stakeholders that the deadline has been fast approaching but that there remains a huge amount to be finalised. The difficulties surrounding Brexit, and now the coronavirus pandemic, only add to these concerns. With the short amount of time remaining, we set out in this series of posts a summary of recent key developments.

As expected, the recent activity is focused on the MDR, and does not, on the whole, address the In Vitro Diagnostics Regulation (IVDR), which is due to be applicable in 2022. While this is a pragmatic approach from the institutions given current timing, it remains the case that IVD manufacturers have little clarity on how the IVDR will operate, and it seems, are unlikely to obtain any in the near future.


Continue Reading Two months to go: Latest on the implementation of EU MDR (Part 1)

Opinion of the CJEU Advocate-General in Case C-581/18 RB v TÜV Rheinland LGA Products GmbH, Allianz IAED SA: application of the principle of non-discrimination on grounds of nationality in a medical device case.

Background

The effects of the Poly Implant Prothèse SA (PIP) defective breast implant scandal continue to be felt almost ten years since it first came to light that PIP had fraudulently used cheaper, industrial grade silicone in the implants that it manufactured. Due to PIP’s insolvency, those affected have attempted to obtain compensation from other sources, including the relevant notified body, TÜV Rheinland,[1] on the basis that this body had negligently certified PIP’s products and the French regulatory authorities.


Continue Reading Medical Devices and Compulsory Insurance in the EU

You will be aware from previous posts that industry has been concerned for some time about the amount of work to be done to ensure compliance with the Medical Devices Regulation (MDR), and whether this can be completed by May 2020, the date of application of the Regulation. However, so far, the Commission’s response has been that the current deadline is “realistic and achievable” and that there were no plans to delay implementation.

This week, as an early Christmas present to industry, while there is no delay to the data of application of the MDR, there is some good news: a “corrigendum”, or correction, to the MDR, has been approved by the Parliament that adds certain Class I devices to those devices that benefit from the transitional period under the MDR. This will give manufacturers of certain Class I devices additional time to comply with the Regulations.


Continue Reading Delays to the EU Medical Devices Regulations

Last week, the Medical Device Coordination Group (MDCG) published two new guidance documents under the Medical Devices Regulation (MDR) and In Vitro Diagnostic Devices Regulation (IVDR). These concern the “person responsible for regulatory compliance” and the “implant card” required under the new Medical Devices Regulations (MDR).

These are the latest of the guidance published by the MDCG and collated on the European Commission’s website before the Regulations come into force in May 2020 (for medical devices) and May 2022 (for in vitro diagnostic medical devices).

Persons Responsible for Regulatory Compliance

Under Article 15 of the MDR and Article 15 of the IVDR, “Manufacturers shall have available within their organisation at least one person responsible for regulatory compliance who possesses the requisite expertise in the field of medical devices.” While the Regulations set out requirements on the qualification of the PRRC and an overview of their responsibilities, the guidance adds additional detail to these requirements, and clarifies the PRRC requirements for manufacturers and authorised representatives (AR), notably that:


Continue Reading New guidance under the EU MDR