FDA and CMS Consider Parallel Review of Medical Products

Sep 23, 2010   

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently announced in a Federal Register Notice that they are considering establishing a parallel review process for medical products, including pharmaceuticals, biologics, and medical devices. The goal of the parallel review process is to reduce the time between FDA marketing approval or clearance decisions and CMS national coverage decisions (“NCDs”). Currently, FDA will first conduct a premarket review that assesses the safety and effectiveness of the medical products. CMS conducts a second review to determine whether the medical product will be covered by Medicare.

The agencies envision that the manufacturer of a specific medical product will request that the agencies undertake the parallel review process and the agencies will then both provide their agreement to participate in the parallel review process. The FDA would make its approval or clearance determination first because CMS would not normally provide coverage to a medical product that was not approved or cleared by the FDA. Each agency will continue to use its own regulatory and evidentiary standards for decision-making. The medical product sponsor would be expected to meet the legal requirements for both the FDA and CMS.

The agencies are seeking comments from the public on what products would be appropriate for parallel review, what procedures should be developed, how a parallel review process should be implemented, and any other issues related to operation of the process. In addition, the agencies are announcing the intent to begin a pilot program for parallel review of medical devices. All electronic or written comments must be submitted by December 16, 2010.

For more information on how FDA and CMS review medical products and how the parallel review process may be beneficial to your product, please contact us at contact@fidjlaw.com.