On January 3, 2019, the National Medical Products Administration (“NMPA”) published a draft standalone software appendix of medical device good manufacturing practice (“Draft Standalone Software GMP” or “Draft Appendix”) for public comment (available here). Comments are due on January 30, 2019.
China revised its medical device GMP in 2014, which apply to all classes of devices regardless of whether they are imported or made in China. Subsequently, NMPA added various appendices (fulu) to articulate special requirements for certain types of devices, including sterile, implantable, and in vitro diagnostic devices. The Draft Appendix sets out proposed special requirements for software that falls under the definition of medical device.
In China, the definition of a medical device covers software that either itself constitutes a device (i.e., standalone software) or is an accessory/component of a device (i.e., component software). The Draft Standalone Software GMP expressly applies to standalone software and it states that it applies, “by reference,” (mutatis mutandis) to component software. If finalized, the Draft Standalone Software GMP would be effective on an undetermined date in 2020.
The Draft Appendix is a relatively simple document with four main sections:
- scope and general principles of the Draft Appendix ;
- special requirements for various aspects of the manufacturing and post-market processes (see below);
- definitions of key terms; and
- miscellaneous provisions.
Key features of the Draft Standalone Software GMP include the following: