Lifecycle evidence requirements for high-risk implantable medical devices: a European perspective
The new European Union (EU) Regulations on medical devices and on in vitro diagnostics provide manufacturers and Notified Bodies with new tools to improve pre-market and post-market clinical evidence generation especially for high-risk products but fail to indicate what type of clinical evidence is appropriate at each stage of the whole lifecycle of medical devices. In this paper we address: i) the appropriate level and timing of clinical evidence throughout the lifecycle of high-risk implantable medical devices; and ii) how the clinical evidence generation ecosystem could be adapted to optimize patient access.
The European regulatory and health technology assessment (HTA) contexts are reviewed, in relation to the lifecycle of high-risk medical devices and clinical evidence generation recommended by international network or endorsed by regulatory and HTA agencies in different jurisdictions.
Four stages are relevant for clinical evidence generation: i) pre-clinical, pre-market; ii) clinical, pre-market; iii) diffusion, post-market; and iv) obsolescence & replacement, post-market. Each stage has its own evaluation needs and specific studies are recommended to generate the appropriate evidence. Effective lifecycle planning requires anticipation of what evidence will be needed at each stage.
Expert Review of Medical Devices 2020