Dear fellow colleagues,
Welcome to my end-of-year update. Today I want to share my vision and briefly summarise the most important changes, news, and trends in the Russian and developing Eurasian medical device regulation landscapes in 2017.
- Eurasian Medical Device Regulations – Summary of Changes, 2017
“In 2017, the formation of medicinal device legislation within the framework of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) has been completed …. This is the most significant event of the year.” This was the message given by the head of Russian medical device regulator Roszdravnadzor at the conference in the Russian healthcare week in early December 2017.
We can see quite significant development of the EAEU medical device regulation system throughout the year of 2017. In March 2017, the registration and expertise fees for EAEU registration were published. Since May, twelve out of thirteen second-level regulations fully came into force and were gathered and published on the website of Roszdravnadzor.
The last and the most long-awaited document — EAEU requirements for the implementation of a quality management system for medical device manufacturers — was approved in November 2017.
By the end of the year, Russian laboratories started obtaining accreditation for conducting medical device testing according to EAEU medical device regulations. For the end of December 2017, there is information about three laboratories accredited for technical testing, one laboratory for toxicology/biocompatibility testing, and one centre for clinical trials on the website of the Russian medical device regulator. During several seminars on EAEU registration requirements, representatives of the laboratory confirmed the “green light” for the start of testing for registration.
This green light was also confirmed by EAEU member states; for example, the Belorussian Ministry of Health published information and documents for the submission of a registration file according to the Eurasian procedure. First companies report on the start of the EAEU registration process. However, for the end December 2017, there is no information on the possibility of submitting a registration file for EAEU evaluation in Russia.
It should be also recalled, that the end of the transition period introduced in the Article 11 of the Eurasian Agreement of Common Rules for Circulation of Medical Devices was set as 31 December 2021, and the requirement is that the re-registration (i.e. the full EAEU registration procedure) of all medical products in the EAEU market should be within less than four years. So far, no changes in this deadline nor information about the possibility of a simplified re-registration procedure have been formally announced.
- Changes in Russian Medical Device Regulations – Summary of Changes, 2017
Medical device approval in Russia still remains a very complex, time-and-resource consuming process. However, in parallel with the development of Eurasian medical device regulation, there were several significant positive changes in 2017.
Order #11N, containing a full list of requirements for the technical file and instructions (IFU) for the registration of medical devices and in-vitro diagnostics (IVD) in Russia, was published in March 2017 by the Russian Ministry of Health.
A pre-submission consultancy service was opened in 2017 by Russian regulatory expert centres involved in the registration process, with the aim of creating opportunities for manufacturers to receive formal feedback on specific aspects of the Russian regulatory process for their products from a competent authority prior to starting registration or submitting a medical device application. Until 2017, Russian legislation did not allow such forms of direct communication between manufacturers and registration experts.
An initiative for the simplification of the registration process for IVD has been discussed since the end of 2016. The draft regulation suggesting a one-step expert registration assessment for IVDs instead of the current two-step pathway was published at the beginning of August 2017, but at the end of the day of 27 December it has not yet been finally approved.
Russian medical device regulator Roszdravnadzor continues on a strong course to strengthen control of already approved medical devices in the market. Thus, the regulator announced there were more than 975 published “warning letters” about devices revealed to be in circulation that violated current legislation and more than one million units of non-registered or counterfeited devices banned and withdrawn from the market in the last year. It should be recalled that even a minor discrepancy in the product compared with the information submitted and approved in the registration file may be considered by the regulator as a violation and a reason for the ban.
- Continued Course on Restrictions for Foreign Medical Device Manufacturers
Restrictions on the admission of foreign medical products is the initiative started by the Russian government in February 2015, when Resolution #102 was introduced as a measure supporting the “import replacement” programme and “promoting the development of domestic manufacturing of medical devices”. As can be observed, the Russian government has continued on this course over the past year.
In August 2017, the Russian government adopted resolutions #967 and #968, aimed at creating modern competitive production of medical polyvinyl chloride (PVC) consumables in Russia, and significantly extended the list of restricted medical devices. In particular, it introduced a separate list for six groups of consumables made of PVC and adopted a new approach to public procurement of these products.
In December 2017, a new decree, #1469, which indicated a temporary preference for Russian producers of coronary stents and catheters, established new restrictions on the admission of government purchases of these cardiac surgery products originating from foreign countries if at least one application from a Russian supplier is received. The restriction is effective until 1 July 2018.
At the end of the year, a new draft document was published by the Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade aimed at further expanding the restrictive list. The document contains twelve new types of products proposed for further restrictions, including test strips, dental composite filling materials, and endoprostheses.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for following my blog, professional group and Twitter updates and wish all a very happy festive season and much success with Russian projects in 2018! Next year, I am going to continue my updates with the purpose of trying to make challenging Russian medical device regulatory system more clear for regulatory professionals.
I will be very glad of your comments, questions, and ideas!