News and Views: CDRH 2019 guidances, ‘Gaming’ of Generics, Master Protocols, Antimicrobial Resistance, Medical Device Cybersecurity – Drug and Device Digest


Medical device guidance documents intended to be published in 2019

To meet quantitative and qualitative goals intended to help get safe and effective medical devices to market more quickly

  • List of prioritized device guidance documents (the “A-list”);
  • List of guidances to be published as resources permit (the “B-list”)
  • Update website in a timely manner
  • Provide stakeholders an opportunity to provide feedback
  • Finalize, withdraw, reopen the comment period,

The ‘A’ List- Final Guidances

  • Consideration of Uncertainty in Making Benefit-Risk Determinations in Medical Device Premarket Approvals, De Novo Classifications, and Humanitarian Device Exemptions
  • Unique Device Identification: Policy Regarding Compliance Dates for Class I and Unclassified Devices and Direct Marking of Inventory
  • Breakthrough Devices Program
  • Expansion of the Abbreviated 510(k) Program: Demonstrating Substantial Equivalence through Performance Criteria
  • The Least Burdensome Provisions: Concept and Principles
  • Changes to Existing Medical Software Policies Resulting from Section 3060 of the 21st Century Cures Act
  • Clinical and Patient Decision Support Software
  • Multiple Function Device Products:  Policy and Considerations
  • Humanitarian Device Exemption (HDE) Program
  • Requests for Feedback and Meetings for Medical Device Submissions: The Q-Submission Program
  • The Special 510(k) Program




New agency actions to further deter ‘gaming’ of the generic drug approval process by the use of citizen petitions

Drug Competition Action Plan for steps to increase competition and help facilitate entry of lower-cost affordable alternatives 

Address practices by branded firms to “game” system and extend monopoly

  • Make it hard for generic manufacturers to get access to  branded drug
  •  Use of citizen petitions (Section 505(q), FD&C Act)  to block generic entry

Revised draft guidance to allow for more efficient approach to 505(q) petitions and allow  reviewer resources on scientific reviews.



Master Protocols- Efficient Clinical Trial Design Strategies to Expedite Development of Cancer Drugs and Biologics.

Design and conduct of clinical trials intended to simultaneously evaluate more than one investigational oncology drugs

  •  More than one cancer type within the same overall trial structure (master protocols) in adult and pediatric cancers
  • The recommended phase 2 dose (RP2D) has been established
  • Focus for continued discussions among FDA, pharmaceutical sponsors, academic community, public
  • Describes aspects of master protocol designs and trial conduct and related considerations, such as biomarker codevelopment, statistical analysis considerations

Types : Single Investigational Drug or Investigational Drug Combination Across Multiple Cancer Populations, Investigational Drugs or Investigational Drug Combination(s) in Single Cancer Type

Specific Design Considerations: Single Common Control Arm, Novel Combination of Two or More Investigational Drugs, Drugs Targeting Multiple Biomarkers, dding and Stopping Treatment Arms, Biomarker development

Statistical Considerations: Nonrandomized, Activity-Estimating Design, Randomized Designs., Adaptive/Bayesian Design, Biomarker-Defined Subgroups



Antimicrobial Resistance Information from FDA

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR)—the ability of a microorganism (bacteria, virus, fungi, parasite) to resist the effects of a drug—is serious, complex, costly public health problem

  • At least two million people develop serious infections caused by AMR each year in US, the United States a, and at least 23,000 people die as a result. Combating AMR re

Proactively addressing complex challenges associated with growing threat of AMR by

  • Facilitating efficient product development: development of new antimicrobials, diagnostic tests, and vaccines
  • Promoting appropriate and responsible use of antimicrobials :promoting interventions to slow development of resistance
  • Supporting development and enhancement of tools for conducting surveillance:  better track, treat, or respond to AMR outbreaks
  • Advancing regulatory science:  translation of breakthrough discoveries in science and technology into innovative, safe, and effective medical products



FDA’s efforts to strengthen the agency’s medical device cybersecurity program as part of its mission to protect patients

FDA working hard with various stakeholders to stay ahead of constantly evolving cybersecurity vulnerabilities

  • Created a Cybersecurity Working Group within CDRH
  • Guidance to establish framework to address cybersecurity regulatory considerations:  Premarket and Postmarket
  • Create shared responsibility with diverse stakeholders, including other government agencies, industry, health care delivery organizations, cybersecurity researchers
  • MITRE Corporation, with support from the FDA, released a Medical Device Cybersecurity Regional Incident Preparedness and Response Playbookdisclaimer icon.
  •  Memoranda of understanding with multiple stakeholder groups to create information sharing analysis organizations (ISAOs)
  • Participating with manufacturers in the DefCon Biohacking Village – Medical Device Hacking Lab in 2018
  • Issued Medical Device Safety Action Plan for advancing medical device cybersecurity


Image credit: FDA


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