HHS could make permanent pandemic-related exemptions for some devices

Medical Design & Outsourcing – January 19, 2021 – By Nancy Crotti

HHS has used the Trump administration’s waning days to propose permanently exempting certain medical devices — including infusion pump controllers and fetal monitors — from the FDA 510(k) clearance process.

In a notice published Jan. 15, 2021, in the Federal Register, the agency also listed seven types of patient examination gloves that it has decided to immediately stop reviewing for 510(k) clearance.

The agency also proposed permanently exempting 84 Class II devices from the clearance review process, including home ventilators, cardiopulmonary bypass pressure gauges, fetal cardiac monitors, long-term extracorporeal support systems, certain imaging software, ethylene oxide sterilizers and aerators, and certain masks (including N95 respirators), gloves and gowns.

The agency said it based its decisions on a review of adverse events reported to its MAUDE database about the types of devices between 2010 and 2020. The devices recommended for permanent exemption accounted for 46 deaths reported to MAUDE, including 16 related to facility-use apnea monitors.

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