FDA Announces “Network of Experts” Pilot Program

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“Network of Experts” intended to give FDA quicker information on emerging medical devices.

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The Food and Drug Administration‘s Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH) announced last week that it is creating a “Network of Experts” to give the agency rapid access to information and advice about emerging medical technologies.

The new network would give CDRH access to already-vetted experts who commit to respond promptly to information requests from the agency.

CDRH plans to build its network by partnering with non-profit, professional, and academic organizations within the scientific and public health community. CDRH notes that it will not partner with lobbyists and prefers to partner with organizations that screen their members for “scientific” and “professional achievement.”

The network will not replace the agency’s Special Government Employees (SGE’s), national experts who are typically given longer to respond to CDRH queries. Rather, the new network would supplement existing avenues for advice by allowing for prompt consultation when necessary over unfamiliar scientific questions about new or emerging technologies.

CDRH published a notice in the Federal Register last week inviting the public to comment on a standard operating procedure for the network. The agency also announced that it will be begin implementing the network on a pilot basis for the next twelve weeks.