Medical device companies need to get their design controls right

Design controls are among the most frequently cited areas for 483 and Warning Letter observations from the FDA, despite the regulatory agency considering this area as critical. It goes without saying that Design Controls are indispensable for ensuring the safety and effectiveness in the production of medical devices. Statistics show that a substantial percentage of all medical device recalls are due to design problems. This is despite the fact that intrinsic quality, safety, and effectiveness of a device are known to be established during the design phase.

When Design Controls are not built strongly enough into the medical devices, these are some of the implications:

o  Design Control flaws are a reason for a significant number of recalls

o  Design Control issues lead to complaints and medical device reports

o  When Design Control is not properly put in place, the manufacturer can face issues related to manufacturability, like low yields and excessive scrap and rework.

The solution is getting trained on Design Control issues and understanding the ways of implementing them

Given the severity of Design Control issues, medical devices manufacturers need to address the problem with one solid solution: Understand how to locate and fix issues early on in the design process. If this is not done, the consequences can be expensive. Finding and fixing problems for medical devices that are already in production is must more expensive than doing so at an earlier stage. What is more; such a process can also make the Design Control less effective.

How do medical device companies ensure a Design Control process that is free of hassles and will serve the primary intention for which it is to be implemented? This is the teaching a two-day seminar that is being organized by GlobalCompliancePanel, a highly regarded provider of professional trainings for the regulatory compliance areas, will impart.

At this seminar, Susanne Manz, an accomplished leader in the medical device industry, who emphasizes quality, compliance, and Six Sigma and brings extensive background in quality and compliance for medical devices from new product development, to operations, to post-market activities, will be the Director.  In order to gain insights into how to imbibe Design Controls into the earliest possible stages of medical device manufacture, please visit http://www.globalcompliancepanel.com/control/globalseminars/~product_id=900852SEMINAR?linkedin_SEO to register for this seminar.

This seminar has been pre-approved by RAPS as eligible for up to 12 credits towards a participant’s RAC recertification upon full completion.

An important session on Design Controls

The main intention of this seminar is to provide a clear and deep understanding of the nature and importance of Design Controls in medical devices, and the ways of developing Design Controls processes and tools that are compliant with the regulatory requirements. Susanne will offer these to ensure that they become a competitive strength for their organizations. With this learning, participants can learn from past issues and mend their next generations of product.

An explanation of the requirements for design controls and an understanding of how to translate them into an efficient and effective process for their organizations will be given. Susanne will begin with the history and requirements for Design Controls. The next topic she will take up in detail is the requirements and tools needed to ensure product quality, while also meeting business needs for speed to market.

Also included are exercises to help participants practice what they have learnt here theoretically. At the end of this two-day session, participants will have gained the knowledge needed to improve their design control process.

Susanne will cover the following areas at this seminar:

o  Expectations

o  Regulations and History

o  Design Control process, procedures, forms, records, files

o  Linkages to the rest of your Quality Management System

o  Lessons Learned

o  Myths

o  Challenges

o  Best Practices

o  Inspection Readiness.

Quality audits for the medical device industry

Quality management systems of medical devices have to go through well-defined quality audits. Medical device companies need to implement these in order to show compliance with quality.

ISO 13485 is the quality management standard for medical devices. Based on the process approach of this document and that of 21 CFR part 820 the Global Harmonization Task Force (GHTF) has set out processes for audits relating to the quality management systems of medical devices. The GHTF believes that insertion of quality management system requirements based on ISO 13485 is a first step towards global harmonization of medical devices. These guidelines are meant to lead regulators into articulating regulatory systems for medical devices.

Purpose of quality audits according to GHTF

The GHTF spells out the rationale for carrying out quality audits for the medical device industry. The benefits of carrying these out can be seen in the following:

  • Assurance that a high quality medical device will be made available
  • Quality audits for the medical device industry make available a harmonized, consistent standard that can be used by future generations
  • These audits are independent, verifiable and objective assessment of the manufacturer’s compliance with regulatory requirements
  • The results of these audits can serve as an important guide for marketing medical devices.

Definition of quality audit

GHTF describes the quality audit as the organizational responsibilities, processes, structure, resources and procedures taken to implement a quality management system.

What should the quality management system cover?

The QMS in a medical device organization should cover the following:

  • Control of documents
  • Control of records
  • Management review
  • Internal audits
  • Corrective and preventive action

General requirements for organizations that audit

GHTF lists a few general requirements from auditing organizations. These include:

Audit types

Apart from describing the audit scope and methodology in detail; the GHTF also has a description of the types of quality audits for the medical device industry. They are:

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