WASHINGTON, D.C. Researchers at the Stanford University Program in Biodesign have released a review of the background, mission and statutory requirements of medical device regulation in the United States. The report, published in the December 2007 issue of the Journal of Medical Devices, highlights the differences between regulations guiding medical devices versus pharmaceuticals and underscores the complexity of the approval process and post-market surveillance administered by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
According to the researchers, regulation plays a key role in the design, development and commercialization of new medical technologies, making a comprehensive understanding of the various regulatory requirements and their practical implementation a cornerstone of successful medical device innovation. The major barriers to moving innovative technologies from the bench to the bedside in the safest and most efficient way stem from the lack of precise scientifically based data about testing, regulatory approval and health-economic evaluation processes.
The review is part of an ongoing project at Stanford to examine how medical technology is brought to market, approved for use and subsequently enhanced over time. A key goal of the research is to build a model specific to medical technology that will be of value to current and future government initiatives aimed at enhancing the efficiency and efficacy of the regulatory process for public benefit.
Over the last couple of years, highly publicized recalls of medical devices such as defibrillators and pacemakers have sparked internal debate within the FDA about ways to improve post-market surveillance and adverse event reporting, said Jan B. Pietzsch, Ph.D., Consulting Assistant Professor in the Department of Management Science and Engineering at Stanford, and lead author of the report. By thoroughly mapping the current regulatory process, we can contribute to understanding
|Contact: Michael Stewart|
InHealth: The Institute for Health Technology Studies