(a) The classification panels, in reviewing evidence concerning the safety and effectiveness of a device and in preparing advice to the Commissioner, and the Commissioner, in making determinations concerning the safety and effectiveness of a device, will apply the rules in this section.
(b) In determining the safety and effectiveness of a device for purposes of classification, establishment of special controls for class II devices, and premarket approval of class III devices, the Commissioner and the classification panels will consider the following, among other relevant factors:
(1) The persons for whose use the device is represented or intended;
(2) The conditions of use for the device, including conditions of use prescribed, recommended, or suggested in the labeling or advertising of the device, and other intended conditions of use;
(3) The probable benefit to health from the use of the device weighed against any probable injury or illness from such use; and
(4) The reliability of the device.
(c)(1) Although the manufacturer may submit any form of evidence to the Food and Drug Administration in an attempt to substantiate the safety and effectiveness of a device, the agency relies upon only valid scientific evidence to determine whether there is reasonable assurance that the device is safe and effective. After considering the nature of the device and the rules in this section, the Commissioner will determine whether the evidence submitted or otherwise available to the Commissioner is valid scientific evidence for the purpose of determining the safety or effectiveness of a particular device and whether the available evidence, when taken as a whole, is adequate to support a determination that there is reasonable assurance that the device is safe and effective for its conditions of use.
(2) Valid scientific evidence is evidence from well-controlled investigations, partially controlled studies, studies and objective trials without matched controls, well-documented case histories conducted by qualified experts, and reports of significant human experience with a marketed device, from which it can fairly and responsibly be concluded by qualified experts that there is reasonable assurance of the safety and effectiveness of a device under its conditions of use. The evidence required may vary according to the characteristics of the device, its conditions of use, the existence and adequacy of warnings and other restrictions, and the extent of experience with its use. Isolated case reports, random experience, reports lacking sufficient details to permit scientific evaluation, and unsubstantiated opinions are not regarded as valid scientific evidence to show safety or effectiveness. Such information may be considered, however, in identifying a device with questionable safety or effectiveness.
(d)(1) There is reasonable assurance that a device is safe when it can be determined, based upon valid scientific evidence, that the probable benefits to health from use of the device for its intended uses and conditions of use, when accompanied by adequate directions and warnings against unsafe use, outweigh any probable risks. The valid scientific evidence used to determine the safety of a device shall adequately demonstrate the absence of unreasonable risk of illness or injury associated with the use of the device for its intended uses and conditions of use.
(2) Among the types of evidence that may be required, when appropriate, to determine that there is reasonable assurance that a device is safe are investigations using laboratory animals, investigations involving human subjects, nonclinical investigations, and analytical studies for in vitro diagnostic devices.
(e)(1) There is reasonable assurance that a device is effective when it can be determined, based upon valid scientific evidence, that in a significant portion of the target population, the use of the device for its intended uses and conditions of use, when accompanied by adequate directions for use and warnings against unsafe use, will provide clinically significant results.
(2) The valid scientific evidence used to determine the effectiveness of a device shall consist principally of well-controlled investigations, as defined in paragraph (f) of this section, unless the Commissioner authorizes reliance upon other valid scientific evidence which the Commissioner has determined is sufficient evidence from which to determine the effectiveness of a device, even in the absence of well-controlled investigations. The Commissioner may make such a determination where the requirement of well-controlled investigations in paragraph (f) of this section is not reasonably applicable to the device.
(f) The following principles have been developed over a period of years and are recognized by the scientific community as the essentials of a well-controlled clinical investigation. They provide the basis for the Commissioner's determination whether there is reasonable assurance that a device is effective based upon well-controlled investigations and are also useful in assessing the weight to be given to other valid scientific evidence permitted under this section.
(1) The plan or protocol for the study and the report of the results of a well-controlled investigation shall include the following:
(i) A clear statement of the objectives of the study;
(ii) A method of selection of the subjects that:
(a) Provides adequate assurance that the subjects are suitable for the purposes of the study, provides diagnostic criteria of the condition to be treated or diagnosed, provides confirmatory laboratory tests where appropriate and, in the case of a device to prevent a disease or condition, provides evidence of susceptibility and exposure to the condition against which prophylaxis is desired;
(b) Assigns the subjects to test groups, if used, in such a way as to minimize any possible bias;
(c) Assures comparability between test groups and any control groups of pertinent variables such as sex, severity or duration of the disease, and use of therapy other than the test device;
(iii) An explanation of the methods of observation and recording of results utilized, including the variables measured, quantitation, assessment of any subject's response, and steps taken to minimize any possible bias of subjects and observers;
(iv) A comparison of the results of treatment or diagnosis with a control in such a fashion as to permit quantitative evaluation. The precise nature of the control must be specified and an explanation provided of the methods employed to minimize any possible bias of the observers and analysts of the data. Level and methods of “blinding,” if appropriate and used, are to be documented. Generally, four types of comparisons are recognized:
(a) No treatments. Where objective measurements of effectiveness are available and placebo effect is negligible, comparison of the objective results in comparable groups of treated and untreated patients;
(b) Placebo control. Where there may be a placebo effect with the use of a device, comparison of the results of use of the device with an ineffective device used under conditions designed to resemble the conditions of use under investigation as far as possible;
(c) Active treatment control. Where an effective regimen of therapy may be used for comparison, e.g, the condition being treated is such that the use of a placebo or the withholding of treatment would be inappropriate or contrary to the interest of the patient;
(d) Historical control. In certain circumstances, such as those involving diseases with high and predictable mortality or signs and symptoms of predictable duration or severity, or in the case of prophylaxis where morbidity is predictable, the results of use of the device may be compared quantitatively with prior experience historically derived from the adequately documented natural history of the disease or condition in comparable patients or populations who received no treatment or who followed an established effective regimen (therapeutic, diagnostic, prophylactic).
(v) A summary of the methods of analysis and an evaluation of the data derived from the study, including any appropriate statistical methods utilized.
(2) To insure the reliability of the results of an investigation, a well-controlled investigation shall involve the use of a test device that is standardized in its composition or design and performance.
(g)(1) It is the responsibility of each manufacturer and importer of a device to assure that adequate, valid scientific evidence exists, and to furnish such evidence to the Food and Drug Administration to provide reasonable assurance that the device is safe and effective for its intended uses and conditions of use. The failure of a manufacturer or importer of a device to present to the Food and Drug Administration adequate, valid scientific evidence showing that there is reasonable assurance of the safety and effectiveness of the device, if regulated by general controls alone, or by general controls and special controls, may support a determination that the device be classified into class III.
(2) The Commissioner may require that a manufacturer, importer, or distributor make reports or provide other information bearing on the classification of a device and indicating whether there is reasonable assurance of the safety and effectiveness of the device or whether it is adulterated or misbranded under the act.
(3) A requirement for a report or other information under this paragraph will comply with section 519 of the act. Accordingly, the requirement will state the reason or purpose for such request; will describe the required report or information as clearly as possible; will not be imposed on a manufacturer, importer, or distributor of a classified device that has been exempted from such a requirement in accordance with § 860.95; will prescribe the time for compliance with the requirement; and will prescribe the form and manner in which the report or information is to be provided.
(4) Required information that has been submitted previously to the Center for Devices and Radiological Health, the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, or the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, as applicable, need not be resubmitted, but may be incorporated by reference.
[43 FR 32993, July 28, 1978, as amended at 53 FR 11253, Apr. 6, 1988; 73 FR 49942, Aug. 25, 2008; 83 FR 64454, Dec. 17, 2018]