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Christine Forcier

Health Care

Breaking Into Major Markets for Medical Device Manufacturers

The benefits of working with a registrar

Published: Monday, March 12, 2012 - 09:01

The global demand for medical devices has been steady in traditional markets despite the economic downturn and even increasing in some emerging markets. For medical device manufacturers seeking access to new markets, conformity with regulatory requirements is most often a prerequisite. Those who want to compete effectively should also have in place a properly implemented and maintained quality management system.

Many manufacturers are discovering the benefits of working with a registrar because their experience and know-how provides a single source for certification to international standards and conformity assessments to medical device directives.

The benefits of management systems certification

For example, your management system’s conformity with ISO 13485—“Medical devices—Quality management systems—Requirements for regulatory purposes,” from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) can help you open the door to untapped domestic and international business opportunities, and reap the benefits of:

Expanded market access. National regulatory authorities require or strongly prefer that manufacturers marketing medical products in their countries have a third-party audited and certified management system in place. Investing in such a system speeds access into those countries that require it, and expedites market entry into the others.

Reduced cost of sales. Your certification establishes your company’s credibility and commitment to quality. Because the task of explaining the specifics and demonstrating the effectiveness of your quality system is more straightforward, it takes less time to earn your prospective customers’ trust and confidence.

Improved performance. Based on a uniform and widely accepted system of process control, your certified management system helps you improve your products and processes. This can foster improved relationships with your suppliers, business partners, and customers, and give you a real advantage in the marketplace.

While the process of breaking into a new market may seem confusing and at times a bit overwhelming, it can actually be broken down into five steps:
1. Determine if your product meets the definition of a medical device.
2. Classify your device.
3. Prepare technical documentation, and develop and implement your quality management system.
4. Fulfill premarket requirements and apply for assessment by a regulatory authority/conformity assessment body.
5. Maintain your quality management system and perform post-market surveillance activities.

The easy-to-use quick guide below summarizes the device classification, technical documentation, and quality systems requirements for medical device manufacturers in four of the world’s largest markets: the United States, the European Union, Japan, and Canada.

medical quick guide
View a larger Quick Guide image here.


About The Author

Christine Forcier’s picture

Christine Forcier

Christine Forcier is the business assurance program manager at Intertek for the medical and cosmetics sectors in North America. Her MBA is from the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto. Forcier joined Intertek in 1991, and since 1993 she’s served as lead auditor in more than 220 third-party audits. She has led Intertek’s application process for recognition by the U.S. FDA under the Accredited Persons Inspection Program. As the chair of Intertek’s Medical Center of Excellence, Forcier is involved in several international initiatives to maintain and expand the organization’s capabilities to better serve the global medical device market.


Quick and to-the-point

Quick and to-the-point response:

From the article, I saw the benefits of being registered to ISO13485 HOWEVER I didn't see the benefits of working with a registrar.