Medical Device Posts

Could Your Quality Systems Protect You in a Court of Law?

Mark Crawford

Quality system management and documentation contain a wealth of information (or lack of) that can be used by a regulatory agency like the FDA or a plaintiff in a lawsuit to determine if the company is in compliance with federal regulations or its own internal quality management procedures. Failure to meet these requirements can be highly damaging to a company in litigation.

“Quality manuals and quality system documents are intended to guide the operation of a company’s quality management system, says James Kolka, president of Kolka & Associates in Atlanta and an international legal consultant in regulatory affairs. “Quality system documents are neither intended nor constructed to provide evidence of a company’s concern for patient safety and product safety. If a company wants to prove it cares about patient safety and make safe products, it must build documentation to prove that point.” (more…)

FDA Upgrades Human Factors and Usability Expectations

Mark Crawford

Less uncertainty from the FDA, and a smoother 510(k) submission process, is always a good thing. That’s why most medical device manufacturers (MDMs) support the new FDA guidance document released on June 22 that will improve the safety of medical devices by conducting more human factors engineering.

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Impact of the New 510(k)/PMA Process on Companies for Quality Management

The entire medical device community is waiting patiently to see how the U.S. Food and Drug Administration changes the 510(k) clearance process. In January 2011, the Agency announced a plan containing 25 actions it intends to implement during the year to improve the most common path to market for medical devices.

According to a press release, the FDA’s key actions include:

  • Streamlining the “de novo” review process for certain innovative, lower-risk medical devices
  • Clarifying when clinical data should be submitted in a premarket submission, guidance that will increase the efficiency and transparency of the review process
  • Establishing a new Center Science Council of senior FDA experts to assure timely and consistent science-based decision making

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The Increasing Need for Quality Medical Devices is Matched by the Need for Compliance with ISO 13485:2003

In October 2010, Medtronic agreed to pay $268 million to settle U.S. lawsuits and claims related to its Sprint Fidelis family of defibrillation leads recalled three years ago due to faulty wires. In 2009, the company estimated that at least 13 people may have died because of the problem. It’s situations such as this that emphasizes why standards have been put in place, such as ISO 13485: 2003, that help medical device companies maintain quality assurance and manage risk. (more…)