Changing Device Regulations in the European Union: Impact on Research, Innovation and Clinical Practice

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Series Details Volume 54, Number 2, Pages 123-129
Publication Date April 2020
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Up until 2017, medical devices were placed on the European Union’s (EU) single market in accordance with either Medical Device Directive 93/42/EEC for general medical devices or Medical Device Directive 90/385/EEC for active implantable devices. However, some devices that complied with these directives still failed catastrophically. In the orthopaedic device field, these failures were most pronounced in metal-on-metal hip devices causing severe patient morbidity with increased need for revision surgery which had unpredictable outcomes.

Subsequently, the newly introduced Medical Device Regulations 2017/745 are aimed at addressing patient safety based on previous experience and thorough device assessment prior to and post-release on the EU single market; to accommodate for this they are substantially different (and more stringent). This poses a greater challenge for manufacturers and regulatory bodies in terms of time and resources.

A review of the EU directives and published literature was undertaken. This review provides the rationale behind this change and its potential impact on research, industry, and clinical practice.

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