Study Finds FDA Relied on Flawed Data When Approving High-Risk Medical Devices for Obstetrics and Gynecology; Are There Implications for Regulation of LDTs?

Researchers suggest FDA approvals be based on more rigorous clinical studies before and after medical devices get approved to market

Do regulators consistently get it right when reviewing medical devices and clinical laboratory tests as part of the market-approval process? New findings provide credible evidence that government regulators have their own problems when reviewing submissions for market clearance.

One example involves researchers at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. They recently determined that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) based approvals of certain medical devices on flawed data.

Announced in a May 2016 statement,  the study, which was published in the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology, will be of special interest to clinical laboratory executives and pathologists who understand that the findings of this study might be useful ammunition in the medical lab industry’s efforts to forestall FDA regulation of laboratory developed tests (LDTs).

Essentially, if these researchers can find obvious flaws in how the FDA reviews a relatively limited number of medical devices, as identified by this study, then how would the FDA cope with the need to review thousands of LDTs in a timely, cost-effective, and rigorous manner? (more…)