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Major Changes in Medical Device Regulation (MDR 2017/745)

1. EU Medical Device Regulation (MDR):

The EU MDR, which came into effect in May 2021, introduced significant changes to the regulation of medical devices within the European Union. It replaced the Medical Device Directive (MDD) and the Active Implantable Medical Device Directive (AIMDD). The MDR aims to improve the safety and performance of medical devices while ensuring a more transparent and consistent regulatory framework.

2. Classification System:

The MDR has updated the classification system for medical devices, with stricter criteria for classification. This change has led to reclassification of some devices, resulting in increased regulatory requirements for certain products.

3. Clinical Evidence Requirements:

The MDR has imposed more stringent requirements for clinical evidence to support the safety and performance of medical devices. This includes a focus on post-market clinical follow-up and greater emphasis on real-world data to demonstrate long-term safety and performance.

4. Unique Device Identification (UDI):

The implementation of a UDI system is a key feature of the MDR. This system requires that each medical device carries a unique identifier, allowing for better traceability throughout the supply chain and improved post-market surveillance.

5. Notified Bodies and Conformity Assessment:

Under the MDR, Notified Bodies have undergone stricter assessment and designation processes to ensure their competence in assessing medical devices. The conformity assessment process has also been enhanced, with an increased focus on clinical evaluation and post-market surveillance.

6. Post-Market Surveillance and Vigilance:

The MDR places greater emphasis on post-market surveillance and vigilance activities. Manufacturers are required to proactively collect and assess data on the performance of their devices in real-world settings, and report any incidents or safety issues.

7. In Vitro Diagnostic Regulation (IVDR):

In addition to the MDR, the EU has introduced the In Vitro Diagnostic Regulation (IVDR) to overhaul the regulation of in vitro diagnostic medical devices. The IVDR brings in stricter requirements for clinical evidence, performance evaluation, and post-market surveillance for in vitro diagnostic devices.

8. Impact on Industry:

The implementation of these regulatory changes has had a significant impact on the medical device industry. Manufacturers have had to invest resources in updating their quality systems, conducting additional clinical studies, and ensuring compliance with the new regulations.

9. Transition Period:

The transition period for compliance with the MDR has been challenging for many companies, leading to concerns about potential supply chain disruptions and market access issues for certain medical devices.

In conclusion, the introduction of the EU MDR and IVDR has brought about substantial changes in the regulatory landscape for medical devices in the European Union. These changes aim to enhance patient safety, improve transparency, and ensure the availability of high-quality and effective medical devices in the market.

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