Regulatory Focus™ > News Articles > Medical Device Industry, FDA Forge Nearly $1B Reauthorization of User Fee Program

Medical Device Industry, FDA Forge Nearly $1B Reauthorization of User Fee Program

Posted 23 August 2016 | By Zachary Brennan 

Medical Device Industry, FDA Forge Nearly $1B Reauthorization of User Fee Program

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and medical device industry have agreed in principle to a new user fee program that will see the agency collect $999.5 million in user fees, which is more than $400 million more than the five-year user fee program set to expire in 2017.

Under the new draft agreement, which is part of the fourth reauthorization of  the Medical Device User Fee Agreement, FDA would use the funds for a whole host of new programs, including the addition of 20 full time employees (FTEs) to establish a new quality management framework, and $30 million to implement a system that improves the quality of real-world evidence (RWE) and linkages among data sources to enable greater use of RWE in the premarket setting.

Other initiatives outlined in the last reauthorization meeting held with industry in May include:

  • $12 million to strengthen the Third Party Premarket Review program
  • $8.5 million to improve employee retention through incentive pay for managers using existing authorities and policies
  • $6 million for an independent assessment of the review process, including a more complete assessment of MDUFA III improvements and outcomes
  • Funding for 36 to 43 FTEs to hire reviewers to increase premarket review capacity
  • Funding for 34 to 44 FTEs and $3 million to improve the pre-submission process and provide written feedback on 80 to 85% of pre-submissions (depending on number of FTEs supported) within 70 days or 5 calendar days prior to the meeting, whichever comes sooner
  • Funding for 28 to 38 FTEs and $1 million to complete 70% of de novo submissions within 120 to 150 days (depending on number of FTEs supported and assuming a workload of 50 de novo submissions per year, which is lower than the assumptions for previous proposals)
  • $4.5 million for the development of the myDevices submission and tracking portal
  • An unspecified amount of funding for 20 FTEs to hire additional supervisors to reduce the ratio of supervisors to reviewers, thus increasing the capacity of branch chiefs to provide greater oversight and ensure consistency of review procedures
  • $4 million to implement more effective recruitment and hiring
  • Funding for 13 FTEs and $3.6 million to provide for consistent review of software, streamlining and aligning FDA review processes with software lifecycles, continued engagement in international harmonization efforts related to software review, and other activities related to digital health
  • Funding for three FTEs to establish central program management for CLIA Waiver by Application submissions, with an option to fund an additional two FTEs plus $1 million in special operating costs to complete 90% of stand-alone CLIA Waiver applications that do not have a panel meeting in 180 to 150 days (depending on number of FTEs supported), 90% of Dual 510(k) and CLIA Waiver applications in 210 to 200 days, and 90% of stand-alone CLIA Waiver applications that have a panel meeting in 330 to 320 days (pending the review of potential legal impediments)
  • Funding for 12 FTEs and $3.5 million to develop internal FDA expertise on patient engagement, support the increased use of patient preference information (PPI) and patient reported outcomes (PROs) in premarket submissions, outline a flexible framework for PRO validation, and clarify the optional use of PROs
  • Funding for five FTEs and $2.45 million to establish a conformance assessment program for certified testing laboratories who evaluate medical devices according to certain FDA-recognized standards

Since that meeting, FDA told patient and consumer stakeholders in a 28 July meeting that industry provided a counter proposal on 9 June that laid out a level of performance and cost that industry was willing to pay, though FDA said those costs “were not congruent with the true cost for the performance levels included.”
Full details of the draft agreement will be published for public comment in the coming weeks, and the final recommendations are scheduled to be delivered to Congress in January 2017, FDA said late Monday.

“MDUFA IV is the result of more than a year of public input and negotiations with industry, laboratory, patient, and consumer representatives,” Jeffrey Shuren, director of the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health said in a statement. “This draft agreement represents a substantial investment in the future of the agency’s medical device program and reflects the efforts the FDA has made to meet or exceed its performance goals and to help speed patient access to safe and effective medical devices. This funding will also improve the collection of real-world evidence from different sources across the medical device lifecycle, such as registries, electronic health records, and other digital sources.”

Industry Comment

The Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed), the Medical Device Manufacturers Association (MDMA), and Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance (MITA) also said Monday that the draft deal builds on the 2012 deal which, for the first time, included metrics to achieve reductions in total review times, opportunities for interactions between FDA and application sponsors before and during the review process, and an independent outside review of the agency’s management review process. Performance goals for MDUFA IV highlighted by industry include:

  • Significant improvements in total review time goals, which will lower the total time goal for 510(k)s and PMAs to historical norms
  • Greater accountability through two independent analyses of FDA’s management of the review process – one at the beginning and one at the end of the MDUFA IV timeline – and implementation by the agency of a quality system management approach to the device review process
  • Further process enhancements to increase the consistency and timeliness of the review process, including FDA commitments to provide feedback to companies at least five days prior to a pre-submission meeting; a requirement to document the rationale for issuing a deficiency letter; implementation of a standards conformity assessment program; and a pilot to assess the effectiveness of RWE to support premarket activities.

FDA Statement on Medical Device User Fee Agreement (MDUFA)



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