FDA Finalizes Guidance on Interoperable Medical Devices

On September 6, 2017, FDA finalized a guidance document entitled “Design Considerations and Pre-Market Submission Recommendations for Interoperable Medical Devices” (“Final Guidance”). In the Final Guidance, the agency outlines design considerations for manufacturers when developing interoperable medical devices, as well as recommendations about information to include in premarket submissions and device labeling. Interoperability of devices can encourage the availability and sharing of information across systems, even when products from different manufacturers are used. A draft of this guidance was issued on January 26, 2016.

The Final Guidance defines “interoperable medical devices” as medical devices “that have the ability to exchange and use information through an electronic interface with another medical/non-medical product, system, or device.” These functions can consist of a one-way data transmission to another device or product, or more complex interactions in which command and control is exercised over another device. An “electronic interface” is defined as the medium by which systems communicate with each other, and includes both the type of connection and the information content.

According to the Final Guidance, the agency considers the management of risks associated with an electronic interface incorporated into a medical device to be part of a comprehensive quality system under 21 C.F.R. Part 820. Manufacturers of interoperable medical devices should perform a risk analysis and conduct appropriate testing addressing the risks associated with interoperability, the anticipated users, reasonably foreseeable misuse, and reasonably foreseeable combinations of events that can result in a hazardous situation. In particular, the Final Guidance identifies the following considerations that manufacturers should take into account and “appropriately tailor[]” to the device’s interface technology, intended use, and use environments

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FDA Breaks New Ground With First Approved Gene Therapy for Cancer

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When oncologist Dr. Carl June heard the Food and Drug Administration’s decision to bring the first gene therapy to market in the US, he pinched himself, hard.

“It was so improbable that this would ever be a commercially approved therapy,” he said, voice breaking with emotion.

June was referring to a revolutionary cancer therapy that he helped bring from lab bench to market. Co-developed with the drug giant Novartis, the therapy, CAR-T, genetically alters a patient’s own immune cells to target and destroy cancer cells.

Recently, in a historic decision, the FDA threw their support behind Kymriah (tisagenlecleucel), a “living drug” that is designed to treat blood and bone marrow cancer in children that, even with aggressive chemotherapy, is often lethal.

An entire process rather than a packaged pill, the therapy harvests a patient’s own immune cells—T cells that patrol and destroy abnormal cells—retrains them with extra bits of genetic code, and turns them into torpedoes aimed at cancerous cells once reintroduced into patients’ bodies.

“We’re entering a new frontier in medical innovation with the ability to reprogram a patient’s own cells to attack a deadly cancer,” said FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb in a statement, adding that the therapy is “the first gene therapy available in the United States.”

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FDA advisors give a thumbs-up to GlaxoSmithKline’s shingles vaccine

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GlaxoSmithKline’s shingles Shingrix vaccine received an unanimous vote of support by a Food and Drug Administration advisory committee Wednesday on safety and effectiveness to be used in adults 50 and older.

A decision by the FDA to commercialize Shingrix is expected later this year. The agency usually follows the recommendations of its advisory panels.

GSK said in June that the vaccine produced a strong immune response in adults 65 and older who had previously been vaccinated against shingles with Merck’s vaccine, Zostavax. Scientific data published in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that the effectiveness of Merck’s vaccine wanes over time, while GSK’s vaccine appeared to have longer-lasting protection.

GSK said data show that people who received Merck’s vaccine, the only one approved now for the herpes zoster (shingles) vaccine, can later receive the Shingrix vaccine safely and effectively.

“The risk of developing shingles increases with age and it is estimated that up to one in three people in the United States will develop shingles,” said Emmanuel Hanon, GSK head of vaccines research and development. “Today’s vote brings us one step closer to approval of Shingrix, which is specifically designed to overcome age-related weakening of the immune system.”


Read More: http://snip.ly/bunjk#http://www.philly.com/philly/business/fda-advisors-give-a-thumbs-up-to-glaxosmithklines-shingles-vaccine-20170913.html

The importance of meeting Supplier Management criteria

The importance of meeting Supplier Management criteria

Meeting the supplier management criteria set out by the FDA, the ISO and the QSR regulations is mandatory for the regulated industries. The qualification and assessment of suppliers is binding for the regulated industries. Being in compliance with the requirements for supplier management set out by the FDA and by the ISO and QSR standards is a sure means for organizations in the regulated industries to keep the costs of noncompliance down, as well as in helping to meet customer requirements and ensure control over their suppliers and the regulations.

This requirement assumes greater significance when the fact that the suppliers are exempt from the jurisdiction of both the FDA and the Notified Bodies in the EU is taken into consideration. It is only over the organizations that use suppliers that these agencies have authority. So, it is entirely up to the organizations in the regulated industries to ensure that they meet the criteria set out in these regulations and that they conform to the supplier qualification and assessment criteria. It is entirely their responsibility to ensure that they have sufficient control over the processes that go into supplier management. The core of this arrangement between the organization and the supplier is risk management, which is a very critical mitigation tool in the supplier management system.

Expected in all stages of the QSR and ISO

The importance of meeting Supplier Management criteria1

Given that the full burden of ensuring supplier control rests on the organization; the latter has to ensure that it selects the supplier who is capable of thoroughly meeting the requirements set out by the regulatory agencies, on behalf of the organization. The supplier needs to be able to meet supplier qualification and assessment in accordance with the regulations set out by the QSR and ISO standards. However, contrary to popular belief, it is not necessary to spend a lot of money to ensure this. As many examples have shown, organizations can show compliance with ease with limited expenditure. How are they able do this?

A seminar on putting a compliant supplier management system in place

This is the essence of the learning from a two-day seminar that is being organized by GlobalCompliancePanel, a leading provider of professional trainings for the areas of regulatory compliance. This seminar will impart the skill and knowledge needed for putting in place a supplier management system that is both compliant with the ISO and QSR requirements and is yet cost-effective.

Jeff Kasoff, who is Director of Regulatory Affairs at Life-Tech, Inc., will be the Director of this seminar. Jeff has spent over 30 years in quality and regulatory management, during the course of which he has implemented and overseen quality system operations and assured compliance, at all sizes of company, from startups to those with more than $100 million in revenue. Please register for this seminar by logging on to The importance of meeting Supplier Management criteria. This course has been pre-approved by RAPS as eligible for up to 12 credits towards a participant’s RAC recertification upon full completion.

Complying with both QSR regulations and ISO standards

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Jeff will help participants of this seminar gain insights and knowledge of how to accomplish their supplier qualification and assessment that meet both the QSR regulations and ISO standards in a cost effective manner. In his review of the QSR and ISO requirements for supplier evaluation; Jeff will give a definition of the types of suppliers that require evaluation. He will also describe the QSR/ISO requirements for supplier assessment.

Considering the inescapable link between risk management and supplier qualification and assessment, the Director will show how to implement a risk management plan that is effective and will help participants to add value.

Discussion on the core areas of supplier management

Jeff will devote considerable attention to supplier nonconformance, a critical area of supplier management. He will put participants at ease with the ways of how and when to issue the Supplier Corrective Action Request, a highly detested action. Before it gets issued, all the options need to be exhausted. Jeff will show which these are, as well as the knack of handling supplier nonconformance adroitly. While highlighting the importance of collaboration in the approach towards suppliers; he will explain the kinds of behaviors that risk alienating or losing suppliers.

While putting in place a supplier management and system that meet all required regulations and guidance documents is imperative to all businesses; it is more so for outsourced processes such as contract manufacturing, sterilization and testing, and also for critical suppliers. By default, this system makes dependence on suppliers inevitable.

Yet, having in place a system which ensures that they have sufficient control over their suppliers, as well as to assure auditors and regulatory agencies that the product is safe and meets all the quality requirements, is a must for organizations. Jeff will show how this can be achieved. Ensuring the cost-effectiveness of the compliant supplier management program is very important. Not doing so eats into the gains of compliance and being in control. Jeff will teach ways by which this scenario can be avoided.


Navigating the nuances of the Internet of Medical Things

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Earlier this year, Gartner released a forecast for the Internet of Things (IoT)predicting that 8.4 billion connected things will be in use worldwide in 2017 and that total spending on endpoints and services will reach almost $2 trillion this year. This forecast is certainly encouraging, but due to the prevalence and influence of the Internet of Things in almost all business arenas, it’s not wholly surprising. What is quite eye-opening is the massive growth potential of certain emerging sub-sectors of the IoT – with one of those being the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT).

The IoMT market, which stood at $22.5 billion in 2016, is expected to grow at an impressive compound annual growth rate of 26.2 percent to reach $72 billion by 2021, according to analyst and research firm Frost & Sullivan. For some perspective on that $72 billion projection, that’s roughly the same size as forecasts for the virtual reality market – which is generating a lot more buzz than the IoMT. And in addition to healthcare industry stalwarts such as Medtronic and Philips, tech giants like Apple, IBM and Cisco are currently developing applications for the IoMT. So, considering all of this economic promise for the IoMT, it’s worth taking a deeper look at the sector and the opportunities and challenges it presents.


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Human factors as a factor in medical devices 2017

The ANSI/AAMI HE75:2009 document describes human factors as the way in which the elements of human knowledge, such as emotional, intellectual, and physical and the sensory are used to optimize the production of devices, systems, and many others concerned with them. Human factors take not only the ways in which these human elements are used to raise productions, but also the way in which the limitations of these factors come into play. It is a field that is essentially concerned about the interaction between humans and devices or machines.


Given the nature of this description, it is not surprising that human factors are important to areas such as design and aesthetics. It is an important aspect of user interface. User interface has gained a lot of acceptability and popularity following the emergence of the field of IT, but it can be used in a number of other areas. Since there is almost no area of production or science in which the user does not come into the picture; human factors can be a major factor in creating and shaping user interface for a number of products.

A major factor in medical devices

In the area of medical devices, human factors come into play in a prominent way. Although, strictly speaking, medical devices are not products into which the aesthetics is considered critical in determining consumer behavior in the way it is for say, clothing; design is an indispensable factor. Design plays a very major role in the user interface of medical devices, because these products have to be designed to absolutely precise specifications. A small deviation or variation can cause harm to humans, given the nature of the uses of medical devices. Errors can result in major consequences for patients, and subsequently, to the organization manufacturing the devices.

When it comes to medical devices, the FDA has the primary responsibility of regulating them with the intention of ensuring their safety and effectiveness. Incorporating the principles of human factors into medical devices ensures that the product meets specification, design and quality standards and thus becomes faster and less expensive to market. On account of this, human factors are becoming part of the design and development, as well as of the supplementary aspects of medical devices, such as Instructions for Use, labeling and even training.

FDA’s regulations talk about human factors in medical devices

21 CFR 820.30 emphasizes that human factors need to be taken into consideration for the following:

–       Design input: Ensuring that the needs of the patient and any others who may use the product are taken into consideration

–       Design verification: Making sure that the criteria for performance set for the medical are being consistently met, and

–       Design validation: Ensuring that the device conform to predefined user needs as well as intended uses, as also making sure that testing is carried out to ensure this function. Software validation and risk analysis are part of this testing.

In addition, the FDA has also emphasized the area of human factors in medical devices in many guidance documents and a number of upcoming Draft Guidance documents.

Explore the area of human factors in medical devices

Curious about how human factors play a role in medical devices? Want to explore the area in-depth and stretch your knowledge and imagination of human factors in medical devices? A seminar that is being organized by GlobalCompliancePanel, a leading provider of professional trainings for the areas of regulatory compliance will offer this learning.

The Director of this seminar is Virginia A. Lang, Principal and Founder HirLan, Inc. and HirLan International SA. Over the course of these two days, Virginia will cover all the important areas relating to human factors in medical devices. To enroll for this important learning session, just log on to

Human Factors and Predicate Combination Products. This course has been pre-approved by RAPS as eligible for up to 12 credits towards a participant’s RAC recertification upon full completion.

A complete explanation of regulations and uses of human factors in medical devices

The core aim of this seminar is to familiarize participants with the way in which human factors can be applied into medical devices. Towards covering this, she will explain all the current and upcoming human factors requirements, using which, participants will learn how to keep costs under control and reduce the time for the manufacture and marketing of their products. Those in charge of crucial functions in medical devices, such as Quality Assurance, Regulatory Affairs, Device Engineering, Device Manufacturing and Pharma/Medical Devices will gain a great deal of learning from this seminar.

Virginia will cover the following areas at this seminar:

o  Overview of Human Factors and the FDA perspective

o  Human Factors Methods and Device Product Life Cycle

o  Human Factors and Risk Analysis & Management

o  Human Factors: What Devices Require Human Factors Evaluation and Validation?

 Human Factors and Combination Products

o  Human Factors and Combination Products Submitted in an ANDA.

Applied Statistics for FDA Process Validation

The pharmaceutical industry considers Applied Statistics for FDA Process Validation to be of very high importance. In 2011, the FDA set out this guidance for the industry. as part of this guidance, called “Process Validation: General Principles and Practices”, which sets the framework for Process Validation in the pharmaceutical industry, any organization in the pharmaceutical industry has to set up a three-stage process.

These are the three stages:

I.           Process Design

II.           Process Qualification, and

III.           Continued Process Verification.

Stage 1, or what is called the Process Design stage, is the stage in which the commercial manufacturing process is defined. This definition is based on knowledge gained through development and scale-up activities.

Stage 2, called the Process Qualification, is the stage in which an evaluation is made of the process design to determine if the process is capable of reproducible commercial manufacturing.

Stage 3, the Continued Process Verification, is meant for giving ongoing assurance during routine production to ensure that the process remains in a state of control.

A seminar on the ways implementing Applied Statistics for FDA Process Validation

GlobalCompliancePanel, a leading provider of professional trainings for the regulatory compliance areas, will be organizing a two-day seminar in which the ways of using Applied Statistics for FDA Process Validation will be taught. Richard Burdick, Emeritus Professor of Statistics, Arizona State University (ASU) and former Quality Engineering Director for Amgen, Inc., will be the Director of this seminar on applied statistics for FDA Process Validation.

In order to learn Applied Statistics for FDA Process Validation in-depth, please register by visiting Applied Statistics for FDA Process Validation. This course has been pre-approved by RAPS as eligible for up to 12 credits towards a participant’s RAC recertification upon full completion.

A detailed and methodical approach to implementing statistical methodologies

This two-day course on Applied Statistics for FDA Process Validation will focus on the ways by which a systematic approach to implementing statistical methodologies into a process validation program consistent with the FDA guidance can be established.

Beginning with a primer on statistics, Dr. Burdick will explain how the methods of Applied Statistics for FDA Process Validation seminar can be applied in each remaining chapter.

Dr. Burdick will next move on to explaining the two fundamental requirements for Process Validation, namely the application of statistics for setting specifications and assessing measurement systems (assays).

He well then show how to apply statistics through the three stages of process validation as defined by requirements in the process validation regulatory guidance documents.

Given that the methods taught through all these three stages are recommended by regulatory guidance documents; this seminar on Applied Statistics for FDA Process Validation will provide references to the specific citations in the guidance documents.

This seminar on Applied Statistics for FDA Process Validation will lead participants into ways of establishing a systematic approach to implementing statistical methodologies into a process development and validation program that is consistent with the FDA guidance.

All-round learning related to Applied Statistics for FDA Process Validation

Dr. Burdick will teach participants how to:

o  Apply statistics for setting specifications

o  Assess measurement systems (assays)

o  Use Design of Experiments (DOE)

o  Develop a control plan as part of a risk management strategy, and

o  Ensure process control/capability.

All concepts at this Applied Statistics for FDA Process Validation seminar are taught within the three-stage product cycle framework defined by requirements in the process validation regulatory guidance documents.

Although established for the pharmaceutical industry, this seminar on Applied Statistics for FDA Process Validation also provides a useful framework for other related industries.

In this important learning on Applied Statistics for FDA Process Validation; Dr. Burdick will cover the following areas:

o  Apply statistics to set specifications and validate measurement systems (assays)

o  Develop appropriate sample plans based on confidence and power

o  Implement suitable statistical methods into a process validation program for each of the three stages

o  Stage 1, Process Design: utilize risk management tools to identify and prioritize potential critical process parameters; and define critical process parameters and operating spaces for the commercial manufacturing process using design of experiments (DOE)

o  Stage 2, Process Qualification: assess scale effects while incorporating large (pilot and/or commercial) scale data; develop process performance qualification (PPQ) acceptance criteria by characterizing intra and inter-batch variability using process design data and batch homogeneity studies; and develop an appropriate sampling plan for PPQ

o  Stage 3, Continued Process Verification: develop a control plan as part of a risk management strategy; collect and analyze product and process data; and ensure your process is in (statistical) control and capable.