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DEVICE REGULATIONS – The New Medical Device Regulation & the Applicability of Article 117 to Medicinal Products

DEVICE REGULATIONS - The New Medical Device Regulation & the Applicability of Article 117 to Medicinal Products


“Those who expect moments of change to be comfortable and free of conflict have not learned their history.” For a lot of concerned in the medical and pharmaceutical industries inside the previous few years, this quote – attributed to American historian Joan Wallach Scott – has by no means been extra true. From the impending change to the Medical Trials Regulation to the implementation of the Falsified Medicines Directive, and the evolution of the Medical Units Regulation (MDR) or the present uncertainty round Brexit in Europe, change is all over the place. With so many new developments in progress, it’s virtually unattainable to maintain monitor of all the required updates to procedures – with a really actual danger of lacking one thing crucial.

Article 117 of the new MDR, has the potential to be one such pitfall.1 Buried deep inside the remaining chapter of the doc, simply earlier than the annexes, is the considerably innocuously titled Modification to Directive 2001/83/EC. For a lot of medical system producers, this text is probably going to be principally disregarded, as Directive 2001/83/EC – also called the Medicinal Product Directive (MPD) – has traditionally not been a vital half of putting a tool on the market.2 For corporations whose focus is totally on the MPD – like many pharmaceutical and biotech corporations – this replace might move utterly unnoticed.

This text is primarily targeted with the influence of Article 117 in Europe on the mixture of a drug and a tool, the place the main mode of motion is carried out by the drug and the two merchandise are mixed in a single, integral product that’s solely to be used in the given mixture and never reusable. Some examples of merchandise that may be categorized on this mixture embrace a single-use, disposable auto-injector or a disposable pre-crammed metered dose inhaler.


The US and EU have very totally different methods for figuring out evaluation routes for drug (or biologic) and gadget mixtures, as proven in Determine 1.

The US refers to these merchandise as mixture merchandise and selects a lead division with main jurisdiction based mostly on the main mode of motion. The different division can also be consulted for the related facet of the product.

In Europe, the course of is barely totally different as a result of the time period mixture product just isn’t formally acknowledged – albeit extra steadily used, even in the absence of an official “status.” While merchandise are nonetheless assessed based mostly on the main mode of motion, this determines one of two main evaluation codecs; both medicinal product or medical gadget.


The MPD requires proof of CE marking when it’s relevant however doesn’t element necessities for non-CE marked units. Underneath Article 1 sub-half three of the Medical Device Directive (MDD), units through which “the device and medicinal product form a single integral product which is intended exclusively for use in the given combination and which is not reusable” have been ruled by the MPD with the further applicability of the important necessities of Annex I to the MDD with regard to security and efficiency-associated system options.three

Units that don’t meet this clear definition have been ruled by the MDD, until they have been in vitro diagnostic units or lively implantable units ruled by Directive 98/79/EC and Directive 90/385/EEC respectively.four,5


Article 117 of the MDR legally amends Annex I, Part three.2 level 12 of the MPD as follows:

“(12) The place, in accordance with the second subparagraph of Article 1 (eight) or the second subparagraph of Article 1 (9) of Regulation (EU) 2017/745 of the European Parliament and of the Council “Those who expect moments of change to be comfortable and free of conflict have not learned their history.”, a product is ruled by this Directive, the advertising authorisation file shall embrace, the place out there, the outcomes of the evaluation of the conformity of the gadget half with the related common security and efficiency necessities set out in Annex I to that Regulation contained in the producer’s EU declaration of conformity or the related certificates issued by a Notified Physique permitting the producer to affix a CE marking to the medical gadget.

If the file doesn’t embrace the outcomes of the conformity evaluation referred to in the first subparagraph and the place for the conformity evaluation of the system, if used individually, the involvement of a Notified Physique is required in accordance with Regulation (EU) 2017/745, the authority shall require the applicant to present an opinion on the conformity of the system half with the related common security and efficiency necessities set out in Annex I to that Regulation issued by a Notified Physique designated in accordance with that Regulation for the sort of system in query.”

For a lot of medicinal merchandise this modification won’t introduce an onerous change as a tool that’s non-integral to the medicinal product will nonetheless want a CE mark with the applicable conformity contained inside the declaration of conformity. The key factor of this variation applies to built-in, non-reusable merchandise by which the drug aspect has the main mode of motion. In essence, the system factor of a medicinal product – when integral, non-reusable, and meant solely to be used in the given mixture – wants to conform to the Annex I (MDR) basic security and efficiency necessities with out the requirement to be regulated as a CE-medical system.

As half of demonstrating this, a Notified Physique opinion have to be included into the advertising authorisation software for the medicinal product.


With an growing shift away from small molecule medicine towards biologics and an elevated want for affected person self-administration to scale back the burden on healthcare techniques, the choice to mix a drug formulation with an built-in supply system appears more and more possible. There are some key implications of the Article 117 requirement that may require cautious thought and implementation, not least that, as of the date of writing, no determination has been made as to how a Notified Physique would concern an opinion on the system factor of a medicinal product.

The general implication of the MDR is that the system aspect of the medicinal product wouldn’t be handled as a totally CE-marked system however the Annex I necessities would nonetheless want to be met – as certainly was the case with the MDD. It ought to be famous nevertheless, that Annex I of the MDR has been expanded considerably and as such, it’s possible that software for a medicinal product system component wouldn’t be dissimilar to that for software of the CE-mark; with the declaration of conformity being the vital omission. This additionally permits for persevering with to deal with the product improvement underneath the MPD and pharmaceutical practices.

It’s assumed that a Notified Physique wouldn’t situation a CE-mark certificates, and it’s possible that a Notified Physique would concern some type of report to the producer, detailing an opinion of the conformity of the system. This report could possibly be included both as half of the advertising authorization software or as a separate communication to the competent authority.

The query then arises as to the format of any submission to a Notified Physique and the info that may be assessed as half of that submission. For a CE mark utilized to a medical system, this info would sometimes be introduced as half of the abstract technical documentation (STED) quite than in the applicable part of the Advertising Authorization Software (MAA) as for the gadget factor of a medicinal product. It’s potential that part three.2.R of the MAA, containing the system parts could possibly be submitted to the Notified Physique; nevertheless, it’s probably that there’ll want to be some revision of this part to guarantee it captures all of the required info. Alternatively, a brand new part could possibly be created in the software to assess the Annex I necessities individually.

Clarification can also be wanted as to how a Notified Physique would type an opinion on the gadget factor of a medicinal product. At present, medical units are assessed on a danger-based mostly precept, with the system classification figuring out evaluation routes and extra necessities. Device parts of medicinal merchandise are possible to mechanically improve the danger classification due to the presence of the drug product. It also needs to be thought-about that even a tool factor that might be classed as a category I medical system – and thus topic to self-certification – would nonetheless want a Notified Physique evaluate and opinion.

Inside the submission itself, it’s value contemplating that the system shouldn’t be merely cut up down the center between the system factor and drug. While it’s true that sure parts lend themselves to one route or the different – for instance formulation versus materials choice – many can’t be assessed in isolation. Sure attributes have relevance to each the drug and system parts. For instance, the siliconization degree in a pre-crammed syringe could also be impacted by the drug formulation, however can also be key when contemplating the mechanical forces required to function an auto-injector, particularly over a claimed shelf-life. Subsequently, it will be significant that evaluation of any particular person factor additionally accounts for the interface and interplay of that aspect with different elements of the system. This can be a essential component the place the MAA and Notified Physique analysis might differ of their general evaluation of danger.


Publish-market surveillance (PMS) is one of the most vital updates captured in the MDR. There’s an elevated requirement for producers to take a extra proactive strategy to PMS and actively assess efficiency of medical units as soon as they’re launched on the market, slightly than purely counting on consumer suggestions. Medicinal merchandise are topic to their very own PMS necessities, however it’s possible that the system parts of medicinal merchandise would have an elevated requirement for PMS in keeping with the MDR.

Submit-approval modifications to a medicinal product with an built-in system aspect would probably want to be captured by way of the medicinal product variation procedures and can be assessed by the competent authority. It isn’t clear at which level a Notified Physique evaluation can be required, though it’s possible that vital modifications to the gadget component would require Notified Physique involvement. The query arises as to when modifications to one component of the product stop to influence on the different factor(s) and thus when the requirement for Notified Physique opinion can be triggered.

Present marketed merchandise pose an fascinating query underneath Article 117. The MDR has been very clear that “grandfathering” of present merchandise is not permitted, and new certificates want to be issued for all medical units in school 2 or larger. The case shouldn’t be so clear reduce for medicinal merchandise and their built-in gadget parts, as such merchandise fall beneath the medicinal merchandise system. It’s potential that implementation of the MDR wouldn’t apply to merchandise beforehand assessed by a reliable authority as half of a MAA. If this weren’t the case and Article 117 modifications have been relevant, vital remediation actions can be wanted throughout business. As with a lot of the regulatory state of affairs at the second, the place is presently unclear and should not turn out to be so till it’s too late to change with out vital useful resource and price expenditure.


One of the apparent main impacts of the introduction of Article 117 is the want for pharmaceutical corporations to contain a Notified Physique. This has implications given the different modifications in the medical gadget world in Europe. With the implementation of the MDR and the potential loss of UK notified our bodies due to Brexit, notified our bodies are at present restricted on useful resource and is probably not taking over new shoppers for the foreseeable future.

Choice of an appropriate Notified Physique additionally includes the functionality of that Notified Physique to assess a selected product sort with an elevated requirement for that Notified Physique to reveal the related experience in a product sort. The further complication is that presently, designation of notified our bodies underneath the MDR has not been accomplished, so it’s unclear as to which product codes notified our bodies might assess towards, which a Notified Physique has chosen not to apply to assess, or that are related for medicinal merchandise with built-in gadget parts.


In the regulatory area, laws and tips are all the time open to interpretation, and lots of regulatory professionals have been recognized to utter the phrases “it depends” when referred to as upon to make clear. This appears unlikely to change with the implementation of the Medical Device Regulation, particularly with regard to Article 117. What is obvious nevertheless, is that with a lot element at present undefined and certain to stay so till the date of software in Might 2020, impression assessments want to be carried out, and corporations want to have open discussions with notified our bodies, if not already began, to be sure that applicable help is out there when wanted. The time, effort, and expertise required to implement the coming modifications shouldn’t be underestimated and, as ever, the clock is ticking.


  1. Medical Device Regulation. Council Regulation (EU) 2017/745
  2. Medicinal Product Directive. Directive 2001/83/EC
  3. Medical Device Directive. Directive 93/42/EEC
  4. In Vitro Diagnostic Directive. Directive 98/79/EC
  5. Lively Implantable Device Directive. Directive 90/385/EEC

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Louise Place is Regulatory Lead at Cambridge Design Partnership, a full-service product improvement consultancy based mostly in Cambridge, UK, and Palo Alto, TX. Initially coaching as a pharmaceutical scientist at Nottingham College, UK, she has greater than 10 years of expertise in medical gadget and mixture product improvement with a specific concentrate on gadget technical administration and regulatory technique for FDA and EU submissions.