Health Ministry to rope in State Governments to establish Medical Devices Testing Laboratories
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) is planning to rope in state governments also to establish or designate their existing laboratories as state medical devices testing laboratories and bring in enabling rules to support setting up of more testing laboratories for medical devices across the country as the sector is experiencing major regulatory paradigm shift including the introduction of a licensing regime.
A draft rule has been notified by the Ministry, under which it has proposed to insert a new sub-rule to the Rule 19, that the state government may, by notification, establish state medical devices testing laboratory for the purpose of testing and evaluation of medical devices or to carry out any other functions as may be specifically assigned to it.
The State Government may also designate any laboratory having facility for carrying out and evaluation of medical devices as state medical devices testing laboratory for the purpose, with a condition that the laboratory should be accredited by the National Accreditation Body for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL).
It has also added a definition to the state medical devices testing laboratory, stating that it means a laboratory established or designated by the state government under the Rule 19(3), which is the freshly proposed sub-rule. While the Rule 19 was specifically for Central medical devices testing laboratory, it has been proposed for amendment by omitting the word ‘Centre’, this emphasising that the laboratories could be established either by the Central or the state government. The draft amendment is expected to be taken into consideration in seven days from the date of making the draft available to the public.