Glossary

FDA QMSR

FDA QMSR

The FDA QMSR (Quality Management System Regulation) refers to the fundamental regulatory requirements enforced by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that pertain to the quality management systems (QMS) used by medical device manufacturers. The regulation is designed to ensure that medical devices are consistently produced and controlled according to quality standards. The FDA QMSR regulation is harmonized with the requirements set forth in the internationally recognized ISO 13485 standard. It outlines the management responsibilities, design controls, document controls, purchasing controls, identification and traceability aspects, production and process controls, acceptance activities, nonconforming product handling practices, corrective action/preventive action (CAPA) management requirements, labeling and packaging controls, and quality audit protocol guidelines that medical device manufacturers are expected to follow. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How does the FDA QMSR impact medical device manufacturers?

The ISO 13485-harmonized FDA QMSR impacts medical device manufacturers by requiring them to establish and maintain quality systems to ensure their products consistently meet applicable requirements and specifications. Compliance with the regulation is mandatory for legal marketing of devices in the United States and affects the design, production, packaging, labeling, storage, installation, and servicing of medical devices.

What are design controls in the context of the FDA QMSR?

The FDA QMSR calls for adequate design controls, systematic measures that medical device manufacturers must implement during the design and development phase of a product. These controls are intended to ensure that product specifications meet user needs, expectations, and intended uses and must include steps for design validation, verification, review, and approval.

Are there specific training requirements under the FDA QMSR for staff?

Yes, the FDA QMSR requires that employees have the necessary training to perform their job functions effectively within the context of the quality system. This includes training on the QMS itself, as well as specific training related to their operational responsibilities and regulatory compliance.

What happens if a company is found noncompliant with the FDA QMSR?

If a company fails to comply with the FDA QMSR, the FDA may issue observations and findings such as a Form 483 or warning letter. Severe violations may lead to more drastic enforcement actions such as product seizures, injunctions, and civil or criminal penalties depending on the nature of the noncompliance.

Can compliance with the FDA QMSR? vary by the type of medical device?

Yes. While the core requirements of the FDA QMSR apply to all device manufacturers, certain provisions may vary depending on the class and specific type of medical device in question. For example, higher-risk devices (Class II and III) often require more stringent controls and additional regulatory oversight compared to lower-risk (Class I) devices.

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