Medical device regulations : global overview and guiding principles
(2003; 54 pages)

Abstract
The regulation of medical devices is a vast and rapidly evolving field that is often complicated by legal technicalities. For example, legal terms and their meanings are sometimes non-uniform even within one regulatory system. In an attempt to make this complex subject easier to grasp, this Guide presents a common framework that integrates the regulatory systems of the five countries or regions with the most advanced medical device regulations. Non-technical language, graphics, tables and memory anchors are used to present an overview of medical device safety issues and regulatory philosophy. The Guide begins by explaining how safety is a risk management issue, and how optimum safety and performance require cooperation among all who are involved in the life span of a medical device. The critical elements of medical device regulations are illustrated using a common framework for regulatory development; as well as the current regulatory tools of the Global Harmonization Task Force (GHTF) and all the key documents it has issued in the past three years. Understanding the different phases in the life span of a medical device and the common framework are first steps to successful harmonization and simplification worldwide.
 
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