Technology assessment of medical devices at the Center for Devices and Radiological Health.Am J Manag Care. 1998 Sep 25; 4 Spec No:SP129-35.AJ
We reviewed the Food and Drug Administration's regulatory process for medical devices and described the issues that arise in assessing device safety and effectiveness during the postmarket period. The Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH), an organization within the Food and Drug Administration, has the legal authority and responsibility for ensuring that medical devices marketed in the United States are both reasonably safe and effective for their intended use. This is an enormous challenge given the diversity of medical devices and the large number of different types of devices on the market. Many scientific and regulatory activities are necessary to ensure device safety and effectiveness, including technology assessment, albeit in a manner quite different from that of conventional technology assessment. The basic approach taken at the CDRH to ensure device safety and effectiveness is to develop an understanding of the way in which a medical device works and how it will perform in clinical situations.