The FDA’s premarket review mechanisms for class II medical devices may strike some as little more than so much regulatory esoterica, and several courts have ruled that information about the 510(k) process is inadmissible during jury trials due to the possibility of sowing confusion among jurors. An appellate court in New Jersey has ruled that such an exclusion of evidence is prejudicial in a case involving surgical mesh manufactured by two device companies, however, opening a larger debate about the propriety of such exclusions in product liability litigation for medical devices.
The Supreme Court heard the case of Minerva Surgical Inc. v. Hologic Inc., which takes up the question of assignor estoppel for patents, but the discussions that peppered the April 21 hearing lent little clarity as to how the nine justices will decide the case.
The FDA lost another hearing in the lawsuit filed against the agency by Genus Medical Technologies LLC in a case that yet again resurrects the product classification question. Both courts that heard the lawsuit asserted that the FDA does not enjoy unfettered discretion to classify a device as a drug merely as part of its authority under the Administrative Procedures Act (APA).