On Tuesday, August 4, 2009, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions met for a hearing called "Protecting Patients from Defective Medical Devices" regarding Senate Bill 540, a companion bill to the House bill, H.R. 1346, the "Medical Device Safety Act of 2009." The House Subcommittee on Health, of the Committee on Energy and Commerce also met earlier this year on this issue, with some of the same speakers.… Continue Reading
On August 4, 2009 at 2:30 p.m., it will be the Senate’s HELP Committee’s turn to hold a hearing entitled “Protecting Patients from Defective Medical Devices”. No witness list is yet posted. For our coverage on past hearings on this issue, click here.… Continue Reading
On May 12, 2009 the Subcommittee on Health, of the Committee on Energy and Commerce, House of Representatives, held a hearing on H.R. 1346, the "Medical Device Safety Act of 2009". If passed, it would overturn the Supreme Court decision, Riegel v. Medtronic, Inc., 128 S.Ct. 999 (2008), which held that under the express preemption clause of the Medical Devices Amendment of 1976 (MDA), the federal requirements created by the premarket approval process for Class III devices preempted state law tort claims that added or differed from the federal requirements. This hearing comes at the heels of public and media scrutiny of this decision, including last year's House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform preemption hearing held May 14, 2008 and the Senate Judiciary Committee's preemption hearing held June 11, 2008.
Before the invited panel of witnesses spoke, numerous members of the subcommittee provided opening remarks, which reflected the division among those who argued that the Supreme Court's analysis in Riegel departed from the legislative intent of the MDA, and those who agreed that the pending legislation would prevent innovation and access to medical devices that are life-saving. Arguments against the bill also noted that moving against preemption would otherwise place safety concerns in the hands of juries across the country, instead of on the FDA's safety and efficacy evaluations. Some focus was also placed on the FDA's effectiveness in policing the manufacturers, with several congress members such as Representative John Dingle, MI and Henry Waxman, CA arguing that the FDA has not been able to identify and take action on defective products, therefore calling into question their effectiveness in ensuring safety, while other congress members such as Representatives Steve Buyer, IN and Michael Burgess, TX argued that if the FDA is underfunded and without resources, the Committee should focus on the FDA, not on tort reform...… Continue Reading
Recent posts on www.lifescienceslegalupdate.com include:
"Objectivity in Research PHS-Funded Research" discussing whether HHS should tighten current regulations for Public Health Service-funded research to provide a more rigorous approach to investigator disclosure, management of conflicts, and federal oversight.
View the entire entry:
"Will The May 12 Hearing On The "Medical Device Safety Act of 2009" Recognize The Costs Of Eliminating Preemption?" regarding a hearing the House Committee on Energy and Commerce's Subcommittee on Health announced for Tuesday, May 12, 2009, at 2:00 p.m. regarding a bill to overturn medical device preemption, and a new economics study ("The Economic Impact of Eliminating Federal Preemption for Medical Devices on Patients, Innovation and Jobs" by Ernst Berndt, PhD, and Mark Trusheim of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Sloan School of Management) regarding the "broad and generally negative" effects likely to result from any effort to eliminate preemption.… Continue Reading
The FDA on Monday issued a proposed rule to classify "tissue expanders" as Class II (special controls) medical devices. These devices are "intended for temporary (less than 6 months) subdermal implantation to stretch the skin for surgical applications."
What makes this notice interesting is preemption. In Riegel v. Medtronic, 128 S.Ct. 999 (2008), the Supreme Court upheld preemption in part because it concluded that the premarket approval (or PMA) process for Class III medical devices results in "federal requirements" specific to the approved device. In the tissue expander proposed rule, the FDA explains its view that these special controls also amount to federal requirements that should result in preemption. It states:
"In this proposed rulemaking, FDA has tentatively determined that general controls by themselves are insufficient to provide reasonable assurance of the safety and effectiveness of the device, and that there is sufficient information to establish special controls to provide such assurance. FDA therefore proposes to establish special controls to address the issues of safety or effectiveness identified in the special controls draft guidance document. If this proposed rule is made final, these special controls would create 'requirements' for specific medical devices under 21 U.S.C. 360k, even though product sponsors would have some flexibility in how they meet those requirements (Papike v. Tambrands, Inc., 107 F.3d 737, 740-42 (9th Cir. 1997)). In addition, if this rule becomes final, as with any Federal requirement, if a State law requirement makes compliance with both Federal law and State law impossible, or would frustrate Federal objectives, the State requirement would be preempted. (See Geier v. American Honda Co., 529 U.S. 861 (2000); English v. General Electric Co., 496 U.S. 72, 79 (1990); Florida Lime & Avocado Growers, Inc., 373 U.S. 132, 142-43 (1963); Hines v. Davidowitz, 312 U.S. 52, 67 (1941).)"
Although this is the first reference we have seen to Riegel in a proposed rule to establish Class II special rules, the FDA is actually not breaking new ground. In 1997, the Papike upheld preemption in a case involving tampons (a Class II device) and an alleged failure to adequately warn of toxic shock syndrome since the FDA had issued regulations specifying the toxic shock syndrome required for tampon packaging. Other tampon cases have followed Papike, and there have been a few latex glove cases, too. See, e.g., Whitson v. Safeskin Corp., 313 F.Supp.2d 473, 479 (M.D. Pa. 2004); Busch v. Ansell Perry, Inc., 2005 WL 877805 (W.D. Ky. Mar. 8, 2005).… Continue Reading