On 5 April 2017, 2 new Regulations on medical devices were adopted, and they entered into force on 25 May 2017. These replace the existing Directives.
The new rules will only apply after a transitional period. Namely, 3 years after entry into force for the Regulation on medical devices (spring 2020) and 5 years after entry into force (spring 2022) for the Regulation on in vitro diagnostic medical devices.
The Commission welcomes the adoption of its proposal for 2 Regulations on medical devices which establish a modernised and more robust EU legislative framework to ensure better protection of public health and patient safety.
The new Regulations contain a series of extremely important improvements to modernise the current system. Among them are:
More information is available in this presentation that contains general information on key changes contained in the Regulations and transitional periods.
Problems with diverging interpretation of the current Directives as well as the incident concerning fraudulent production of the PIP silicone breast implants highlighted weaknesses in the legal system in place at the time and damaged the confidence of patients, consumers and healthcare professionals in the safety of medical devices. Such problems should not occur again and the safety of all medical devices available in the EU has to be strengthened. Moreover, revision of the legislation was necessary to consolidate the role of the EU as a global leader in the sector over the long-term and to take into account all technological and scientific developments in the sector.
The new regulations will ensure:
Ranging from simple sticking plasters and contact lenses to sophisticated pacemakers and hip replacements, medical devices and in vitro diagnostic medical devices are important to our health and quality of life. People rely on these devices every day and expect them to be safe and incorporate the latest progress in science and innovation.
Medical devices within the EU are currently regulated by the following 3 directives:
The Commission has adopted several implementing measures based on the Medical Devices Directives. These measures concern, among others, medical devices manufactured using tissues of animal origin, the classification of certain medical devices and Common Technical Specifications for In vitro diagnostics (IVDs)s, listed in Annex Ⅱof the IVD Directive.
See key documents on recommendations, classification and other amending and implementing legislation below:
In addition, legally non-binding guidance documents, MEDDEVs, consensus statements and informative documents pursue the objective of ensuring uniform application of the relevant provisions of the directives within the EU.
Please note that all guidance and implementing measures under the current Directives will be reviewed over the next few years in the light of the texts of the 2 new Regulations. See 'new Regulations' above for more information.