The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has 31 advisory committees responsible for the evaluation and regulation of drugs, medical devices, and biologics. The advisory committee protects and promotes public health while meeting the requirements established in the Federal Advisory Committee Act. Committees are either mandated by statute or established at the discretion of the Department of Health and Human Services.
The advisory committee has multiple roles in developing and evaluating New Drugs, Biologics, and Medical Devices. Their primary goal lies in assisting the FDA to evaluate applications for Pre-Market Approvals (PMAs) of medical devices, New Drug Applications (NDAs), and Product Licensing Agreements (PLAs) for biologics. The committees include chairperson, members, a consumer, industry and sometimes a patient representative.
Medical Devices Advisory Committee
- Medical Devices Advisory Committee supports the FDA to protect and promote public health. The committee consists of 18 panels with a maximum of 159 standing members.
- The selection of members is carried out by the Commissioner or designee from among authorities in Clinical and Administrative Medicine, Engineering, Biological, and Physical Sciences, etc.
- The panel advises the FDA on the safety and efficacy of the medical devices except for the Medical Device Dispute Resolution Panel.
- According to the respective specialty area, the panel advises the commissioner of Food and Drugs regarding recommended classification or reclassification of devices into one of three regulatory categories.
- For recommendations of medical devices with respect to regulatory aspects, the committee reviews and evaluates the issues related to clinical study designs on the safety and effectiveness of marketed and investigational medical devices.
Overall, the 17 panels except for the Dispute Resolution Panel (DRP) of the medical device advisory committee, advise the Commissioner in accomplishing the constraints in assuring the safety and effectiveness of the medical devices in accordance with their specialtyarea and authorization. The advisory committee also plays a major supportive role to agency professionals and influence agency decisions. FDA calls meetings with the committee or with the advisory panel as necessary. Generally, each of the panels meet once a year or as per the requirements by the FDA and important regulatory decisions or discussions are carried out in these meetings. It is important that Manufacturers have a regulatory and quality team that stays abreast of decisions concerning their products and any such decisions or discussions are preemptively taken into account for a speedy FDA clearance, approval or compliance activities.