This guidance document is being distributed for comment purposes only.
For questions regarding the use or interpretation of this guidance in the review of submissions to the Center for Devices and Radiological Health, contact Michael J. Ryan at 301-796-6283 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org .
For questions regarding the use or interpretation of this guidance in the review of submissions to the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, contact the Office of Communication, Outreach and Development at 1-800-335-4709 or 301-827-1800 or by email at email@example.com .
When final, this document will supersede Deciding When to Submit a 510(k) for a Change to an Existing Device, dated January 10, 1997.
Written comments and suggestions may be submitted at any time for FDA (Agency) consideration to the Division of Dockets Management, Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Room 1061, (HFA-305), Rockville, MD, 20852. When submitting comments, refer to Docket No. FDA-2011-D-0453. Comments may not be acted upon by the Agency until the document is next revised or updated.
Additional copies are available from the Internet. You may also send an e-mail request to firstname.lastname@example.org to receive an electronic copy of the guidance or send a fax request to 240-276-3151 to receive a hard copy. Use the document number (1793) to identify the guidance you are requesting.
Office of Communication, Outreach and Development, HFM-40
This guidance represents the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA's) current thinking on this topic. It does not create or confer any rights for or on any person and does not operate to bind FDA or the public. You can use an alternative approach if the approach satisfies the requirements of the applicable statutes and regulations. If you want to discuss an alternative approach, contact the FDA staff responsible for implementing this guidance. If you cannot identify the appropriate FDA staff, call the appropriate number listed on the title page of this guidance.
FDA developed this draft document to provide guidance to manufacturers on when to submit a premarket notification submission (510(k)) for changes or modifications made to that manufacturer’s previously cleared medical device. The underlying principles that FDA uses to determine when a 510(k) is necessary for a modified device are explained here, and examples are provided for additional clarity. When final, this guidance will supersede the 1997 version of the guidance document, Deciding When to Submit a 510(k) for a Change to an Existing Device .
In 2010, FDA initiated a review of its process for premarket review of medical devices and undertook two significant initiatives to improve the Agency’s medical device premarket review programs. In August 2010, FDA released two reports, including the analyses and recommendations that suggested changes were needed to improve the predictability, consistency, and transparency of these programs. After receiving input from industry, stakeholders and the public, in January 2011, FDA announced 25 specific actions that the Agency will take to improve the premarket review programs. Updating the 1997 version of the guidance document, Deciding When to Submit a 510(k) for a Change to an Existing Device, is one of these actions.
The recommendations in this draft guidance document are consistent with FDA policy for when a modification to a device does – and does not – require the submission of a 510(k). The guidance has been updated, however, to address issues associated with software and other rapidly changing technologies, and to provide greater clarity about changes that do not trigger the need for a new premarket submission. This guidance uses examples of modifications to devices involving such technologies to illustrate changes that require a new 510(k), and changes that may simply be documented in accordance with a manufacturer’s existing Quality System without prompting the need for a new 510(k) submission. FDA believes increased certainty about the regulatory consequences of device modifications is critical to facilitating advancements in device technology.
FDA’s guidance documents, including this one, do not establish legally enforceable responsibilities. Instead, guidance documents describe the Agency’s current thinking on a topic and should be viewed only as recommendations, unless specific regulatory or statutory requirements are cited. The use of the word “should” in Agency guidance documents means that something is suggested or recommended, but not required.
21 CFR 807.81(a)(3)
Almost from the 1976 enactment of the Medical Device Amendments to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the FD&C Act), FDA has attempted to define with greater clarity when a modification to an existing medical device would – or would not – trigger the requirement that a new 510(k) be submitted to the Agency and cleared prior to marketing of the modified device. FDA regulations (21 CFR 807.81(a)(3)) state that a 510(k) must be submitted when:
FDA issued the original guidance document Deciding When to Submit a 510(k) for a Change to an Existing 510(k) in 1997 to clarify the language used in this regulation, particularly the phrase “could significantly affect the safety or effectiveness” and use of the adjectives “major” and “significant.” Since then, regulatory changes such as the implementation of the Quality System regulation (21 CFR part 820) have occurred, and medical device technology has evolved. Accordingly, FDA is issuing this draft, updated guidance to reflect the Agency’s current thinking and emphasize the most important factors in determining whether to submit a 510(k) for a device modification.
Changes that “Could Significantly Affect” Safety or Effectiveness
The regulation, 21 CFR 807.81(a)(3), requires a new 510(k) for any change or modification that “could significantly affect” either the safety or the effectiveness of a device. Whether a change could significantly affect the safety or effectiveness of a device is the key issue this guidance tries to address. It is important to note that device changes intended as improvements to a device’s safety or effectiveness could significantly affect the safety or effectiveness and require a new 510(k).
It is also important to note that the question addressed by this guidance is a different question from whether a change does significantly affect the safety or effectiveness of a device. Whether a change does affect safety and effectiveness is typically demonstrated by testing submitted in a 510(k) application. In most cases testing cannot, however, conclusively show that a change could not affect safety or effectiveness. We have developed this draft guidance to categorize the types of changes likely to require new 510(k) submissions, the types of changes that generally do not require new submissions, and to identify gray areas where we recommend sponsors speak to the agency before determining whether a new 510(k) should be submitted.
“A Major Change or Modification in the Intended Use” of a Device
Section 513(i) of the FD&C Act provides that a device may only be found substantially equivalent to a legally marketed predicate device if, among other things, the device has the same intended use as the predicate device. Thus, if a device modification results in a new intended use for the device, the Agency must find the device to be not substantially equivalent (NSE) and the device will require premarket approval. Changes to the indications for use, however, do not necessarily constitute a new intended use that would render the device NSE and trigger the requirement for a PMA. However, because changes to the indications for use are generally “major” changes to the intended use under 807.81(a)(3), they generally will require submission of a new 510(k). To clarify this principle, this guidance identifies several specific labeling changes or device modifications that affect the indications for use in a way that they have a major impact on intended use and thus require the submission of a 510(k).
This guidance applies to devices that are subject to premarket notification requirements. This guidance does not address issues unique to combination products, although the principles discussed in this guidance may be applied to submissions for combination products on a case-by-case basis. Contact the Office of Combination Products (OCP) for information on combination products at 301-796-8930 or email@example.com . Furthermore, this guidance is not intended to address the need for submitting 510(k)s by remanufacturers of devices for which they do not hold the 510(k).
The types of modifications addressed in this draft guidance include manufacturing process changes, labeling changes, technology or performance specification changes, and materials changes. This guidance is intended to assist industry in determining whether a new 510(k) is submission is necessary whenever a manufacturer makes a change to its own legally marketed device. This guidance may be used to determine whether device modifications made as corrective actions in recall situations warrant a new 510(k) submission. (See the Blue Book Memorandum K95-1, 510(k) Requirements During Firm-Initiated Recalls ; if a correction alters a device rather than simply restoring it to its original specifications, a new 510(k) may be necessary. This guidance may be useful in determining whether one is warranted in cases where the correction does alter the device.)
This draft guidance document incorporates existing guidance and policy regarding when 510(k)s are necessary for modifications to legally marketed devices. In some cases, the existing guidance derives from advice given to only a few manufacturers for a limited number of devices. In such instances, we have attempted to generalize the concepts to apply to a broader range of devices. However, special cases exist where both manufacturers and FDA have worked to establish guidance for modifications to specific devices, e.g., daily wear contact lenses (see Premarket Notification (510(k)) Guidance Document for Daily Wear Contact Lenses ). This draft guidance is not intended to supplant such existing device-specific guidance but may cover areas not addressed in those device-specific guidances. This draft guidance is also not meant to supersede the Office of In Vitro Diagnostic Device Evaluation and Safety’s (OIVD) Guidance for Industry and FDA Staff; Replacement Reagent and Instrument Family Policy .
The questions and answers in the following sections are provided as guidance to help manufacturers in determining whether a new 510(k) is necessary for a change or modification to an existing device. Manufacturers make the initial determination of whether a device modification requires a new 510(k), while FDA staff may review these decisions during post-market inspections. These questions should not be considered to be all-inclusive, as it is not possible for a single document to cover all possible device changes. The question and answer sections cover the following types of changes:
Certain principles of section 807.81(a)(3) affect the need to submit a 510(k) for a change to an existing device. The following basic principles underlie this guidance document:
This guidance does not address every type of change to every type of device, and there will still be decisions in a "gray area" that manufacturers will have to make. For those circumstances where the proposed change is not addressed in this guidance or in a device-specific guidance document, manufacturers are encouraged to contact the appropriate review divisions to obtain advice.
Important Note on 510(k) Devices that Contain Nanomaterials or Otherwise Involve the Application of Nanotechnology 8 :
Nanotechnology is a new and evolving field for both the medical device industry and the Agency. At this time, FDA has not adopted nanotechnology-specific criteria to assist manufacturers in determining when a change to a device that contains nanomaterials or otherwise involves the application of nanotechnology rises to the level of significance that requires submission of a new 510(k). For this reason, FDA recommends that manufacturers consult with the agency for any nanotechnology-related changes to devices to determine whether and how the change may affect the safety or effectiveness of the device. FDA plans on developing additional guidance to further explain the Agency’s thinking on this matter. Contact the appropriate review division with any questions on devices that contain nanomaterials or otherwise involve the application of nanotechnology.
Under 21 CFR 807.81(a)(3), a new 510(k) is required for a significant change or modification in manufacturing process that could significantly affect the safety or effectiveness of the device. The questions below address whether manufacturing changes constitute significant changes that would require a new 510(k), and provide examples of when a 510(k) is or is not required.
1. Was manufacturing process information part of the original 510(k) submission?
Manufacturing process changes will be particularly important for devices where the manufacturing process information was reviewed in the original 510(k) submission. Certain devices, such as contact lenses and wound dressings, typically involve review of manufacturing process information. Other devices may include manufacturing process information in the 510(k) in order to address specific concerns, and some devices may undergo a pre-clearance inspection (e.g., infusion pumps – see Draft Guidance for Industry and FDA Staff - Total Product Life Cycle: Infusion Pump - Premarket Notification (510(k)) Submissions ). In cases such as these, where manufacturing processes factor into the original clearance decision, the Agency has indicated that there is a higher likelihood that manufacturing process changes could significantly affect safety or effectiveness. Therefore, in cases where review of an original 510(k) submission includes a review of manufacturing process information, changes to manufacturing processes that could affect device specifications will likely require submission of a new 510(k). (Manufacturers should be aware of these requirements as they apply to their device type. Contact the appropriate review division with any questions.)
Device specifications include performance specifications (such as measurement accuracy), or physical or material characteristics (such as tensile strength). Changes to device specifications can significantly affect the performance of a device, and thus significantly affect a device’s safety and effectiveness. Changes to these specifications may be unintended collateral changes. For example, a new manufacturing process might leave a residue on an implant and change the surface chemistry of the device, causing it to react differently to the in vivo environment, or a change in heat treatment of an alloy might significantly affect the alloy’s physical properties, causing it to fail early.
2. Is there a change in packaging or expiration dating?
Generally, changes in device packaging or changes in the expiration date for use of a device do not result in the need to submit a new 510(k). Such changes are properly within the scope of the Quality System regulation. This conclusion is true whether the manufacturer applies an expiration date because of package integrity considerations, e.g., sterility, or because of a finite shelf-life of the device. However, where methods or protocols not described in the original 510(k) are used to support new package integrity or shelf-life claims, submission of a new 510(k) may be necessary. When such methods or protocols are described in the original 510(k), FDA reviewers should evaluate them with possible future use of the method or protocol in extended testing in mind.
3. Has there been a change in sterilization?
Changes in sterilization have the potential for changing the performance characteristics of a device. If these changes could significantly affect the safety or effectiveness of the device, the changes in sterilization methods trigger the requirements for a 510(k) submission. When manufacturers make changes in sterilization methods, they should document that the important properties and specifications of the device remain unaffected as part of their compliance with the QS regulations. In addition, if the sterility assurance level (SAL) is changed, manufacturers should consider whether device safety or effectiveness may have been compromised by the new level. If the SAL remains better than 10-6, a new 510(k) submission is not necessary; only if the SAL is less than 10-6 should a 510(k) be submitted. Changes to the sterilization method, such as changing from moist heat sterilization to e-beam radiation, require a new 510(k). Changes that result in a device being provided non-sterile when it was previously provided sterile, or vice-versa, also warrant a new 510(k).
Changes in device labeling often pose the most difficult questions to be addressed by device manufacturers when deciding whether a new 510(k) submission is necessary. Frequently, an apparently subtle change in a device’s labeling can have a significant impact on the safe and effective use of the device.
In order to properly consider labeling changes, it is important to keep in mind that the term “labeling” includes more than just the instructions for use. According to the FD&C Act, labeling means all written, printed, or graphic matter on or accompanying a medical device. Labeling can therefore include things such as instructions that are displayed on a screen by software, stickers or text placed on a control unit, and promotional materials.
We recommend that manufacturers consider the following questions to determine whether a labeling change requires submission of a new 510(k):
1. Does the change affect the indications for use?
For the purposes of this discussion, “indications for use” refers to a description of the disease or condition the device will diagnose, treat, prevent, cure, or mitigate, including a description of the patient for which the device is intended. FDA views most labeling changes that affect the indications for use, as just described, whether made to a specific indications section of the labeling or not, as major changes to the intended use of a device that warrant the submission of a 510(k).
FDA would not consider a change in the indications for use that removes certain indications or limits use within the currently cleared indication due strictly to marketing reasons to be a major change in intended use under 21 CFR 807.81(a)(3) that requires submission of a new 510(k). For example, if a device was cleared for use with three indications and the firm decides to market the device for only two of those indications due to changes in market demand, FDA generally would not consider this to be a “major change” under the rule that would require submission of a new 510(k). However, if a firm decides to market the device for only two of those indications due to other reasons, for example, changes that have been made to the device that affect the removed indication or because of complaints or corrective actions, FDA would generally consider the removal of the indications for use to be a “major change” that requires a new 510(k).
Four other common labeling changes that affect the indications for use and that FDA believes would usually require submission of a 510(k) are:
2. Does the change affect the contraindications for use? 13
a. Does the change add a contraindication?
While all changes in the labeled contraindications for device use should be reviewed by the Agency, FDA recognizes that, in general, the addition of a contraindication based on new information is important to public health and should be implemented immediately. To facilitate the timely implementation of such changes, manufacturers are encouraged to add new contraindications to labeling of cleared devices and to notify existing device users of such contraindications as expeditiously as possible whenever a pressing public health need arises. The new labeling should be submitted to FDA as part of a new 510(k) that is prominently labeled “change being effected” (CBE). Manufacturers may market the device with the modified labeling unless otherwise notified by FDA (FDA may ask for revisions during review of the 510(k)). Manufacturers should be thoroughly familiar with what constitutes a true contraindication to make a change effective before clearance; if there are any questions, contact the Agency before proceeding.
b. Does the change delete a contraindication?
Manufacturers planning to delete a contraindication should submit a new 510(k) prior to effecting the change because this type of labeling change expands the indications for use. For example, if a physical restraint was contraindicated for use with individuals weighing less than 100 pounds and the manufacturer subsequently wishes to remove this contraindication, a 510(k) should be submitted and cleared prior to marketing the device with the new labeling.
3. Is it a change in instructions for use?
If the labeling change instructs the user to use the device in a different fashion from that originally cleared, then this could lead to new significant safety risks or less effective use of the device. FDA views changes of this nature as major changes in intended use that require submission of a 510(k). Such changes are likely to significantly affect safety or effectiveness and therefore should generally be reviewed by the Agency in a 510(k) prior to marketing. Note that changes in instructions may or may not also constitute changes in indications for use.
Manufacturers should monitor device usage to facilitate continuous upgrades of device labeling and promptly revise the warnings and precautions sections based on use experience. Events that precipitate changes of this type should be reported under the Medical Device Reporting regulation (MDR), 21 CFR Part 803. Submission of a new 510(k) for labeling changes that add warnings or precautions is generally unnecessary; however, manufacturers are encouraged to discuss these situations with FDA. Labeling changes that delete warnings or precautions, however, could be changes in intended use that affect how a device is used and could therefore have a significant effect on safety or effectiveness. These changes are likely to warrant new 510(k) submissions.
5. Is it some other labeling change?
Other types of labeling changes might include clarifications to language that do not change the meaning, aesthetic or organizational changes to the way information is displayed, or logo or name changes. These types of changes are not usually considered major changes to the intended use and will not typically require a new 510(k). For example, the instructions for use of an automated clinical chemistry analyzer may be modified to clarify how routine batch testing operation may be temporarily interrupted to allow efficient processing of high priority samples.
To determine whether a technology, engineering, or performance change requires a new 510(k), manufacturers should first review the labeling questions above, as technology changes sometimes affect device labeling, then review the following questions. Even if labeling has not been affected, a new 510(k) submission should generally be submitted for modifications to device technology, engineering, and performance that significantly affect the cleared Indications for Use or fundamental technology of the existing device, or that substantially change the performance characteristics or specifications of the device. These types of modifications encompass a broad span of changes, from minor engineering changes in a circuit board layout to a change from electromechanical to microprocessor control of device function.
Although the examples provided under each question below generally refer to specific device types, these examples are intended to be pertinent to similar types of changes involving different devices.
1. Does the change alter the fundamental scientific technology of the device?
The fundamental scientific technology of a medical device encompasses both the design principle – the underlying scientific principle by which the device performs its intended therapeutic or diagnostic function – and the method by which that principle is applied. While many changes to the technology and design of a medical device discussed in this section of the guidance do not trigger the requirement for a new 510(k), all changes in fundamental scientific technology could significantly affect safety or effectiveness. Therefore, such changes require the submission of a new 510(k).
2. Is it a change in energy type?
Energy type refers to the type of power input to or output from the device. Changes in energy type are a change in design that will always have a significant effect on safety or effectiveness because power inputs and outputs are typically critical to proper device function. Most of these changes should be reviewed in a new 510(k) prior to marketing.
3. Does the change have the potential to significantly alter the performance characteristics or specifications of the device?
Such changes directly impact the performance, and potentially the safety and effectiveness, of the device and a new 510(k) with comparative testing should be provided for such modifications, whether the performance characteristics are improved or worsened.
4. Is it a change in ergonomics or the patient/user interface?
Changes of this type may significantly affect the safety or effectiveness of the device, but not all such changes do. The factors to consider in determining whether such a change requires submission of a new 510(k) are whether the change can expand how the device will be used or affect how it will perform. Changes that are made only to increase comfort and could not result in a corresponding improvement (or decline) in safety and effectiveness are unlikely to warrant a new 510(k); however, one must consider how each of these changes might affect safety or effectiveness. Simple design changes may have unintended consequences, as illustrated by the first example below.
5. Is it a change in dimensional specifications?
Dimensional changes can, but do not always, significantly affect safety and effectiveness. Whether or not they will depends on the device type and the component being modified. For example, the dimensions of the casing of a typical ventilator unit do not significantly affect the safety or effectiveness of the device, however, the length of the ventilator hose is directly related to the effectiveness of the device as a longer hose will require higher pressure to circulate air. FDA recommends that manufacturers consult the appropriate review division regarding any questionable dimensional change. Typically, dimensional changes that change a device dimension that is related to the performance of the device outside of the cleared dimensional tolerance range have the potential to significantly affect safety or effectiveness. For instance, if a device is cleared with a length of 10.0 mm ± 0.5 mm, a modification that makes the length 10.5 mm would not be significant (please note that a second change that makes the length 11.0 mm would be outside the tolerance range of the originally cleared device and thus be significant). Device dimensions that are modified beyond tolerance ranges will usually warrant a new 510(k), although modifications within previously cleared size ranges typically will not (see second example).
6. Is it a change in software or firmware?
Small changes to device software – including software that is an integral part of a device or stand-alone software that constitutes a medical device in and of itself – can have pervasive effects on the safety or effectiveness of a device and trigger the need for a new 510(k) submission. However, some low risk changes may be made by following the QS regulation (including design controls) and documenting the appropriate validation testing. The factors to consider in determining whether such a change requires a new 510(k) are whether the software change could expand the capability of the device or affect device performance. Such changes will likely warrant a new 510(k). Changes to device software that could affect a clinical algorithm (an algorithm that controls how software analyzes, interprets, or uses patient data) would also warrant a new 510(k).
7. Does the modification impact how the device receives, transmits, or displays electrical signals or data? 17
While such changes may seem innocuous, most changes of this nature have the potential to significantly impact safety or effectiveness by altering data communication quality and therefore should result in a new 510(k) submission. Also see Deciding When to Submit a 510(k) for a Change to an Existing Wireless Telemetry Medical Device .
8. Is the modification intended to add an aspect of autonomous or semi-autonomous control to the existing device?
Any device modification that takes control of the device away from the user or is used to assist or take away decision-making from a user likely introduces new risks that could significantly affect safety or effectiveness, and should be reviewed in a new 510(k) submission prior to marketing.
9. Is the change being implemented to address a specific risk or failure mode for your device?
Changes that are implemented to address either known or newly identified safety risks or failure modes of a device, including those intended to address a known device- or user- related adverse event or complaint, are by definition likely to significantly affect safety or effectiveness, even if the modification is intended to make the device more safe than the previous version. These modifications may include the implementation of new alarms or new alarm setpoints, modifications to the user interface to display new information that may be used to manage device settings, or design modifications that are intended to eliminate known failure modes. These changes should usually result in new 510(k) submissions.
These situations may also call for a device recall. You should contact the CDRH Office of Compliance or the Office of Compliance and Biologics Quality in these cases, and if a recall is initiated, consult the Blue Book Memorandum K95-1, 510(k) Requirements During Firm-Initiated Recalls .
10. Does the change affect how the device is likely to be used in practice?
Technological or design changes may affect how a device is used in practice, and therefore affect the safety or effectiveness of the device, even if no change in the Indications for Use statement accompanies the change. Such changes may create the need for new directions for use or a limitation in the device labeling to address the potential that an off label use could cause harm. Particularly when the modification could create a reasonable likelihood of off-label use that could cause harm, a new 510(k) should be submitted to allow FDA to determine whether a change to the labeling is necessary, even if the manufacturer does not intend a change to the indications for use in the labeling. The questions below are intended to guide manufacturers in determining whether changes to device technology, engineering, or performance constitute significant changes that trigger the need for a new 510(k) to enable FDA to evaluate whether “appropriate information” in the labeling about a use not currently identified in the labeling is necessary.
Firms making changes to the materials from which their device is manufactured should first consider the other types of changes discussed above and their impact on the decision regarding the need for submission of a new 510(k). For example, a change of material type might also engender a change in the labeling of the device (e.g., the removal of a contraindication or addition of a warning) or a change in performance specifications (e.g., a reduction in tensile strength). These collateral changes should be considered first.
The first consideration for devices undergoing a modification to the device material is whether the material contacts the patient. Patient-contact includes both direct and indirect contact, whether of very transitory or permanent duration. In general, material modifications to device components that cannot have direct or indirect contact with the patient do not significantly affect safety or effectiveness of the device and so do not require a new 510(k) submission, unless they affect the fundamental device technology or performance ( e.g., preservatives, antibacterials, moving parts, structurally significant components, lubricants, etc.).
Direct contact is when a material touches any tissue or bodily substance of a patient while it is still in or on a patient. Indirect contact is when a material has the potential to come into contact with any patient tissue or bodily substance by some intervening material (such as a liquid or gas) by first coming in contact with the intervening material, which subsequently comes in contact with the patient tissue or bodily substance. For example, a catheter hub (the part of the catheter which is external to the patient) contacts the patient indirectly. Fluids and drugs are infused through the hub and directly into the patient and, therefore, materials in the hub should demonstrate biocompatibility.
While most implants contact patients directly, there are some exceptions that have materials that are not considered patient-contacting. An example is a spinal cord stimulator. The internal contents of these devices are not patient-contacting; they are hermetically sealed so that there is no material transfer, fluid transfer, or leeching out of any material internal to the device. The internal components do not need to demonstrate biocompatibility.
1. Is it a change in material formulation?
Material formulation includes the chemical composition of the material, including the ratio of constituents and ingredients and their interactions, and their related physical chemistry.
It is important to keep in mind that material formulation can be affected by the processing aids, catalysts, and residual contaminants that are not intended to be a part of the material but may be introduced by manufacturing, sterilization, or handling. Changes to these processes may indirectly result in changes to material formulation.
a. Does the change affect patient-contacting materials (either direct or indirect)?
Changes in material formulation of patient-contacting devices or device components may affect the biocompatibility of the device. These changes may also affect material properties and the safe and effective performance of a device. Therefore, a new 510(k) should be submitted for changes in material formulation for patient-contacting devices or device components.
While it is conceivable that material formulation changes that do not affect patient-contacting materials could impact the safety or effectiveness of a device, this outcome is not typical. For most material formulation changes of non-patient-contacting materials, it is appropriate to simply document the change.
2. Does the change involve the device surface?
Changes to a device coating or surface modification technique, including chemical formulation, method of application, or surface preparation (e.g., acid-etching, blasting, etc.) generally significantly affect safety or effectiveness and would require a new 510(k). Keep in mind that residual contaminants from manufacturing, sterilization, and other processes can indirectly change the device surface.
A manufacturer’s determination that clinical data is needed because bench testing or simulations are not sufficient to assess the safety or effectiveness of a modified device is a sure sign that the modification could significantly affect safety or effectiveness and that a new 510(k) should be submitted. Note that this criterion does not necessarily apply to in vitro diagnostic devices, which have different testing requirements. Contact the appropriate review division within the Office of In Vitro Diagnostics if you have questions.
For the purposes of this guidance, clinical data is not only data acquired from prospective, controlled clinical trials but includes any data derived from human subjects.
1 For the purposes of this document, the term “manufacturer” includes any 510(k) holder, even if that person does not actually fabricate the existing device. The term also includes persons who market a preamendments device (a device legally marketed in the US prior to May 28, 1976) or a device that is currently exempt from the 510(k) requirements of the FD&C Act.
2 21 CFR 820.3(w): “Remanufacturer means any person who processes, conditions, renovates, repackages, restores, or does any other act to a finished device that significantly changes the finished device’s performance or safety specifications, or intended use.”
3 See, for example, Guidance for Industry and FDA Reviewers - Reprocessing and Reuse of Single-Use Devices and Frequently-Asked-Questions about the Reprocessing and Reuse of Single-Use Devices by Third-Party and Hospital Reprocessors
5 FDA’s regulations also contain exemptions from premarket notification requirements in 21 CFR 807.85. No premarket submissions is required for a device modification that falls within these exemptions.
8 Nanotechnology, Nanomaterial: FDA has not adopted a formal definition of “nanotechnology,” “nanomaterial,” “nanoscale,” or related terms. In the absence of a formal definition, FDA developed the following points to consider in determining whether a FDA-regulated product contains nanomaterials or otherwise involves the application of nanotechnology: (1) whether engineered substances have at least one dimension in the nanoscale range (approximately 1 nm to 100 nm); or (2) whether engineered substances exhibit properties or phenomena, including physical or chemical properties or biological effects, that are attributable to its dimension(s), even if these dimensions fall outside the nanoscale range, up to one micrometer. Once finalized, the agency intends to apply these considerations broadly to all FDA-regulated products, including medical devices. For additional information, see FDA’s draft guidance to industry titled “ Considering Whether an FDA-Regulated Product Involves the Application of Nanotechnology .”
9 See device-specific guidances for contact lenses and wound dressing devices, e.g., Premarket Notification Document (510(k)) for Daily Wear Contact Lenses and Guidance for Industry and FDA Staff - Class II Special Controls Guidance Document: Wound Dressing with Poly(diallyl dimethyl ammonium chloride) (pDADMAC) Additive .
10 §201(m): “The term ‘labeling’ means all labels and other written, printed, or graphic matter (1) upon any article or any of its containers or wrappers, or (2) accompanying such article.”
11 The term indications for use is defined in the PMA regulation at 21 CFR 814.20(3)(i). We have applied the definition in the same way in the 510(k) context.
12 For purposes of this guidance, FDA considers a home use device to be a medical device intended for users in a non-clinical environment that is managed partly or wholly by the user. These devices require adequate labeling for the user and may require training for the user by a licensed health care provider. Please see Home Use Devices .
13 Contraindications describe populations in whom or situations in which a device should not be used because the risk of use clearly outweighs any reasonably foreseeable benefits. See the Blue Book Memorandum G91-1, Device Labeling Guidance .
14 Note that FDA considers the addition of new contraindications to be a major change in intended use that requires submission of a 510(k). Before submission and clearance of a 510(k), the device with the changed intended use is adulterated under § 501(f)(1)(B) of the FD&C Act and misbranded under § 502(o) of the FD&C Act. However, FDA intends to exercise enforcement discretion with regard to these violations where manufacturers immediately implement a change in contraindications in order to protect the public health, as long as a new 510(k) labeled “change being effected” is submitted to FDA concurrently.
15 Warnings describe serious adverse reactions and potential safety hazards along with consequent limitations in use and mitigating steps to take if they occur. See the Blue Book Memorandum G91-1, Device Labeling Guidance .
17 Note that Medical Device Data Systems (MDDS) are exempt from 510(k) requirements, see 21 CFR 880.6310, and are outside the scope of this draft guidance. For more information on MDDS, see Medical Device Data Systems .
18 The FD&C Act provides in section 513(i)(1)(E)(i) that:
Any determination by the Secretary of the intended use of a device shall be based upon the proposed labeling submitted in a report for the device under section 510(k). However, when determining that a device can be found substantially equivalent to a legally marketed device, the director of the organizational unit responsible for regulating devices (in this subparagraph referred to as the "Director") may require a statement in labeling that provides appropriate information regarding a use of the device not identified in the proposed labeling if, after providing an opportunity for consultation with the person who submitted such report, the Director determines and states in writing—
(I) that there is a reasonable likelihood that the device will be used for an intended use not identified in the proposed labeling for the device; and
(II) that such use could cause harm.
FDA would make such a finding in writing where it determines that such a change is reasonably likely to result in an off-label use that could cause harm.
19 For the purposes of this guidance, any device that provides data or information used to assess a patient’s condition or treatment can be considered diagnostic. A device need not be indicated solely for screening or providing diagnoses to be considered diagnostic.