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BY 4.0 license Open Access Published by De Gruyter November 26, 2020

Medical Device Regulation and current challenges for the implementation of new technologies

  • Sebastian Kaule EMAIL logo , Andrea Bock , Ariane Dierke , Stefan Siewert , Klaus-Peter Schmitz , Michael Stiehm , Ernst Klar , Matthias Leuchter , Thomas Lenarz , Marek Zygmunt , Wolfram Schmidt and Niels Grabow


The European Parliament and the European Council on May 26, 2017 decided to introduce the new regulatory framework for medical devices. The transitional period of the so called Medical Device Regulation (EU 2017/745, MDR) should end on May 26, 2020. Currently the European Commission is working on a proposal to postpone the application for one year to relieve pressure from all stakeholders allowing them to fully focus on priorities related to the coronavirus crisis. From this date or most likely from May 26, 2021, manufacturers must present a CE-certificate according to the new MDR requirements not only for novel medical devices, but also for approved medical devices which are already on the market. The MDR will significantly complicate the process of bringing medical devices into market due to the increased requirements for the CE-certification process, particularly concerning increased documentation effort. This involves a risk for the translation of innovative products due to an overload of the overall system (manufacturers, Notified Bodies, experts) and might lead to shrinkage of the product range of existing products. Thankfully, adaption of transitional periods, special regulations, extensions of deadlines and most probably postponement of the MDR application date will ensure that there will be no gaps in medical supply that endanger patients. Establishing and keeping the relevant regulatory expertise up to date and devoting the necessary financial, time and human resources that is the biggest immediate challenge the medium-sized medical technology sector is facing in the near future. The current article, written about one month before the initially expected end of the first transition period on May 26, 2020, summarized the main aspects of the current state of MDR implementation with respect to regulatory novelties, the current legal basis in Germany, transition periods and changes in the requirements of CE-certification relevant technical documentation. Furthermore, challenges for existing and innovative medical devices were shortly discussed using a new stent based therapy of the proximal Fallopian tubal stenosis and transcatheter aortic valve implantation as two examples.

Published Online: 2020-11-26
Published in Print: 2020-09-01

© 2020 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin/Boston

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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