MDR Clinical Evaluation
Clinical Evaluation chapter VI of the new Medical Device Regulation 2017/745, article 61 details general safety and performance requirements to be met by all devices under normal conditions for use for the intended purpose of the device.
A detailed assessment of clinical data with sufficient clinical evidence pertaining to side-effects and acceptability of the benefit-risk-ratio to verify clinical safety and performance is called Clinical Evaluation.
Before obtaining CE Marking in the EU, medical device manufacturers must prove to the competent authority that their device meets the safety and performance standards and hence, the EU MDR necessitates the clinical evaluation of devices. It is required for all medical devices regardless of their classification.
MDR Clinical Evaluation compared to MDD
The requirement to perform Clinical Evaluation found in part I of Annex X of Medical Device Directive (MDD) is inadequate with the expectations. Therefore, the EU authorities published a guidance document Meddev 2.7/1 Rev. 4: Guide for manufacturers and notified bodies.
In the EU MDR, the requirements of Clinical Evaluation can be found in Article 61 and part A of Annex XIV. Part A is focused on pre-market phase and is an extension of part I of MDD Annex X. While the evaluation is still less detailed than the current Meddev 2.7/1 Rev. 4, it states the requirement of (a) Clinical Evaluation Plan (contents specified) (b) evaluation of clinical data and (c) clinical evaluation report (CER).
MDR Clinical Evaluation in Meddev 2.7/1 Rev.4.
Meddev 2.7/1 Rev.4 guides the manufacturers on how to undertake a robust and systematic clinical evaluation and how to demonstrate the scientific validity of the data and conclusions.
Important changes and corrections in Rev.4 are:
- Frequency of updates of the CERs (clause 6.2.3)
- Qualification of the clinical evaluators or authors (clause 6.4)
- Requirement of specific objective for the CER which is to be linked to safety performance and risk-benefit end points (section 7 and appendix 5)
- Establishing the State of the Art (clause 8.2)
- Requirement of scientific validity of different type of dataset (sections: 8, 9 & 10, Appendices: 5,6& 7)
- Detailed information on demonstration of equivalence (appendix 1)
- Information on when a clinical investigation is required (appendix 2)
- Some detailed information on risk-benefit (appendix 7.2)
- Reinforced PMS and PMCF with the clinical evaluation (throughout the guideline)
- Role and actions required by the notified bodies (appendix 12)
Due to the important and meaningful changes being introduced by the EU MDR, it is more likely that this guidance will be further revised to align with the upcoming legal requirements.
Frequently asked Clinical Evaluation Report (CER) related questions & answers.
How long does a Notified Body generally take to review the Clinical Evaluation Documents?
Generally, 2 months if the NB identifies appropriate Clinical Expert.
How Clinical Evaluation is related to IFU/User Manual?
Will a Notified Body would ever inform a company that the clinical evaluation is inadequate, and need data from clinical trial?
- Where the clinical evidence and clinical data are not relevant and accurate to the device in question,
- If the device is new with respect to technology,
- If the device is new with respect to use, the material of construction and application,
- No similar device is available in the market,
- Multiple recalls on the similar device is reported.
The risk management and clinical evaluation processes should be inter-dependent and should be regularly updated. Why?
They are updated regularly to prove the continuing clinical safety and performance of the device or for the need of modification/rejection of device from the market based on the adverse event or new risk observed.