• RF Quarterly

    RF Quarterly, June 22: Regulatory history

    Welcome to the June issue of RF Quarterly in which global regulatory experts write about Japan’s Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Agency (PMDA), medical device regulations in China’s National Medical Products Administration (NMPA), and a personal reflection on 3 decades at the International Council for Harmonisation (ICH). Also included are articles on the development of clinical trial disclosure requirements, expedited pathways, and the De Novo pathway and the Final Ru...
  • RF Quarterly

    Evolution of the Japanese regulatory system and agencies

    The Japanese regulatory system has been recognized as one of the most sophisticated and stringent regulatory systems in the world. The regulatory policies are developed and administered by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW), the Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Agency (PMDA) executes the policies, and certain authorities are delegated to local governments. Over the last 6 decades, the Japanese regulator has faced many challenges but has kept enhancing the...
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    China’s NMPA: The evolution of medical device regulation

    This article describes the main changes of China's drug and device regulatory system in the past 70 years, with the focus on medical devices rather than drugs. The article highlights the latest changes in the regulation of medical devices and examines international cooperation in the field of medica devices and the regulatory framework for the medical device product life-cycle in China. It also includes the latest updates for medical device regulation in 2022 and beyond. ...
  • RF Quarterly

    The ICH over the last 30 years: A personal reflection

    This article gives a personal reflection on the development of ICH since its inception in 1990 and during which time the author was involved both as a regulator and, more recently, an industry participant. The evolution of ICH is discussed as it has moved from an international organization involving three regions to a truly global body. The successes and the challenges are discussed, and consideration is given to future development.   Keywords – international harmo...
  • RF Quarterly

    The history of clinical trial disclosure

    The scope and complexity of requirements for global clinical trial disclosures and data sharing have increased substantially over the last 20 years. Most leading countries have specific regulations pertaining to trial conduct, and many have set up patient registries for collecting and analyzing data on patient outcomes. More recently, authorities have initiated inspections relating to disclosure to ensure compliance with regulations, and transparency advocates continue to ...
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    A history of expedited pathways: Breakthrough therapy designation, PRIME, Sakigake, and ILAP

    It can take at least a year to 18 months to get a new medicinal product approved in the US, European Union, or United Kingdom. Over the last decade, regulators have introduced initiatives to shorten the time to market for medicines that address seriously debilitating and life-threatening conditions. This article reviews the initiation and achievements of US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) breakthrough therapy designation (BTD), the European Medicines Agency’s (EMA) ...
  • RF Quarterly

    The evolution of the De Novo pathway

    This article provides an overview of the regulatory history of the De Novo pathway, from its initial introduction in the Food and Drug Administration Modernization Act (FDAMA) in 1997 to its Final Rule implementation into the US Federal Regulation via 21 CFR 860 in 2022. The authors provide a summary of each of the establishing acts and guidances that have culminated in the regulation, emphasize the historic changes of the process, and provide an analysis of the impact of ...
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    RF Quarterly

    RF Quarterly, April 2022: Software as a medical device

    Welcome to the April issue of RF Quarterly in which global experts on software as a medical device (SaMD) address software development and the associated challenges, clinical evaluation of SaMD, safety and security risk management, digital therapeutics, and more.   I thank the authors for their generosity in sharing their knowledge and expertise with the RAPS regulatory community and hope their articles and will serve as useful guidance and resources in your work. ...
  • RF Quarterly

    Software development

    This article applies to software development and validation and discusses the security and usability engineering aspects of software. It uses the term “software” for software as a medical device (SaMD) and medical device software (MDSW), including MDSW that is embedded on, drives, or influences the use of a hardware medical device, software accessories, and software components.  Keywords ‒ agile, development, incremental, software, static, waterfall   Standards an...
  • RF Quarterly

    Overcoming obstacles for SaMD development

    This article provides an overview of the quality system requirements concerning software as a medical device (SaMD), with an emphasis on learnings and considerations for implementing an agile or hybrid-based development process. The authors further expand upon topics unique to SaMD development, specifically the importance of dataset integrity during development, considerations for proactive postmarket surveillance and the interplay between cybersecurity and risk management...
  • RF Quarterly

    Clinical evaluation of software

    Software has become an increasingly critical area of healthcare product development. Rapid technological advancement has resulted in substantial changes to software function and acceptance, leading to a growing number of novel medical devices capable of informing, driving, or replacing clinical choices, or directly providing therapy. Regulatory authorities expect that clinical evidence for a software as medical device (SaMD) is generated with a scientific level of rigor th...
  • RF Quarterly

    Safety risk management of software

    This article gives a background to the specific issues of dealing with risk management for software as a medical device. It makes many references to IEC 62304 and ISO 14971, the internationally recognized standards for medical software lifecycle and risk management, respectively. The authors elaborate on the most important challenges and propose strategies for managing them. They also examine other safety-critical industries and list a few methods to improve software quali...