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Health ministry to roll out materio-vigilance programme for safety of medical devices soon

Shardul Nautiyal, Mumbai
Monday, May 18, 2015, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

The Union health ministry has decided to come out with Materio-vigilance Programme of India (MvPI) in three months time to ensure safety of medical devices among the patients. This is being initiated in the backdrop of cases of malfunctioning of medical devices including the one of hip replacement implant of a leading MNC a couple of years ago,

The Ministry has constituted a national level committee to formulate a system of reporting of adverse events of medical devices under MvPI. The MvPI is meant to enable safety data collection in a systematic manner so that regulatory decisions and recommendations on safe use of medical devices for India could be based on data generated in India.

The programme is meant to monitor medical device associated adverse events (MDAE), create awareness among healthcare professionals about the importance of MDAE reporting in India and to monitor the benefit-risk profile of medical devices. It is also meant to generate independent, evidence-based recommendations on the safety of medical devices and to communicate the findings to all key stakeholders.

Envisaged to start with setting up of MvPI cells in 10 medical colleges of the country, the programme will be along the lines of the existing pharmacovigilance programme and haemovigilance programme in the country.

According to an official, the medical colleges are equipped to collect and disseminate reporting of adverse events due to medical devices. Apart from designing of forms required for effective reporting of adverse events of medical devices, the recently constituted national-level committee is currently, therefore, also looking into aspects related to doing causality assessment. This is difficult in medical devices as it requires inputs in biomedical engineering unlike in medicines where the mechanism is different for reporting of adverse drug reaction (ADR) reporting.  

Despite being a US$ 3.1 billion market for medical devices, India has no system for registering adverse events caused by medical devices or for tracking the safety record of medical devices and is dependent on data from the developed countries. The proposed plan, to be coordinated by the Indian Pharmacopoeia Commission (IPC) in Ghaziabad, envisages a nationwide programme, involving district hospitals, medical colleges and corporate hospitals.
The biotechnology wing of the Sree Chitra Thirunal Institute of Medical Sciences and Technology (SCTIMST) in Thiruvananthapuram is to be the national collaborating centre for the programme which will be run in collaboration with the Central Drug Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO).

The institute will coordinate scientific activities with the 10 medical colleges in the country. Technical support for the programme is to be provided by the Division of Healthcare Technology, a proposed WHO collaborating centre for priority medical devices and health technology policy in the National Health Systems Resources Centre.

The programme will be made nationwide soon just as pharmacovigilance, bio-vigilance and haemovigilance programmes. The central government in 2013 had made a budget allocation of Rs. 100 crore for the four surveillance programmes of the country, pharmacovigilance, bio-vigilance, materio-vigilance and haemovigilance programmes.


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