F.D.A. Deal Would Relax Rules on Reporting Medical Device Problems

July 11, 2017 – WASHINGTON — Makers of cardiac defibrillators, insulin pumps, breast implants and other medical devices might be able to delay reporting dangerous malfunctions to the Food and Drug Administration under an agreement heading for a vote in Congress.

Device makers will still have to quickly report any injuries or deaths related to their products. They would have more time, though, to file reports on devices that may not be working properly, and have the potential for injury.

The deal is part of a pact between the F.D.A. and the $148 billion device industry. Renegotiated every five years, the agreement includes the fees that device makers must pay for the agency to review their products. It is scheduled for a vote in the House of Representatives on Wednesday.

“There are approximately 65,000 new adverse events every month, and you don’t have enough analysts to review those reports,” said Madris Tomes, who worked on such reports at the agency from 2010 to 2014. “They read them typically in order of importance, starting with deaths and injuries and malfunctions. When they come in the next day, they once again start with new deaths and injuries and malfunctions.”

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