CDRH 2012 Strategic Priorities Emphasize QA, Life Cycle Management

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The FDA has been talking a lot of late about transparency. Its 2011 initiative is an agency attempt, it says, to open up about how it does business. FDA is accepting comments on it until February 28.  The jury is still out on whether this initiative will accomplish much. The latest piece of FDA evidence is CDRH’s 2012 Strategic Priorities.

CDRH devotes the Introduction of the document about looking ahead to patting itself on the back for its 2011 achievements, e.g. its report, “Understanding Barriers to Medical Device Quality,” that reviews the challenges that the FDA and industry face in supporting well‐integrated, best‐quality manufacturing practices and strategies that industry and the FDA can take to overcome these barriers.

CDRH also reminds us that “to complete this work [in 2011] our staff went above and beyond their already demanding workload. This is a remarkable achievement.”

Good to know.

In 2012, CDRH says it will continue to emphasize four priority areas:

  1. Fully Implement a Total Product Life Cycle Approach
  2. Enhance Communication and Transparency
  3. Strengthen Its Workforce and Workplace
  4. Proactively Facilitate Innovation to Address Unmet Public Health Needs

CDRH promises in 2012 to “improve” its premarket programs. By April 1, it pledges to begin its Triage of Pre-market Submissions Pilot to “increase submission review efficiency and better manage the pre-market review workload.”

And by the end of the year, CDRH pledges to publish a proposed rule to clarify the circumstances under which it could rely on clinical studies conducted in and for other countries. CDRH also says it will finalize all guidance documents it has issued as part of its overall plan to improve its premarket programs.

We’ll keep an eye on these and other promises throughout the year and report back as FDA hits or misses its own targets.

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