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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

CFR - Code of Federal Regulations Title 21

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The information on this page is current as of April 1 2018.

For the most up-to-date version of CFR Title 21, go to the Electronic Code of Federal Regulations (eCFR).

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Help | More About 21CFR
[Code of Federal Regulations]
[Title 21, Volume 8]
[Revised as of April 1, 2018]
[CITE: 21CFR860.3]
See Related Information on Definitions. in CDRH databases



Subpart A--General

Sec. 860.3 Definitions.

For the purposes of this part:

(a) Act means the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.

(b) Commissioner means the Commissioner of Food and Drugs, Food and Drug Administration, United States Department of Health and Human Services, or the Commissioner's designee.

(c) Class means one of the three categories of regulatory control for medical devices, defined below:

(1) Class I means the class of devices that are subject to only the general controls authorized by or under sections 501 (adulteration), 502 (misbranding), 510 (registration), 516 (banned devices), 518 (notification and other remedies), 519 (records and reports), and 520 (general provisions) of the act. A device is in class I if (i) general controls are sufficient to provide reasonable assurance of the safety and effectiveness of the device, or (ii) there is insufficient information from which to determine that general controls are sufficient to provide reasonable assurance of the safety and effectiveness of the device or to establish special controls to provide such assurance, but the device is not life-supporting or life-sustaining or for a use which is of substanial importance in preventing impairment of human health, and which does not present a potential unreasonable risk of illness of injury.

(2) Class II means the class of devices that is or eventually will be subject to special controls. A device is in class II if general controls alone are insufficient to provide reasonable assurance of its safety and effectiveness and there is sufficient information to establish special controls, including the promulgation of performance standards, postmarket surveillance, patient registries, development and dissemination of guidance documents (including guidance on the submission of clinical data in premarket notification submissions in accordance with section 510(k) of the act), recommendations, and other appropriate actions as the Commissioner deems necessary to provide such assurance. For a device that is purported or represented to be for use in supporting or sustaining human life, the Commissioner shall examine and identify the special controls, if any, that are necessary to provide adequate assurance of safety and effectiveness and describe how such controls provide such assurance.

(3) Class III means the class of devices for which premarket approval is or will be required in accordance with section 515 of the act. A device is in class III if insufficient information exists to determine that general controls are sufficient to provide reasonable assurance of its safety and effectiveness or that application of special controls described in paragraph (c)(2) of this section would provide such assurance and if, in addition, the device is life-supporting or life-sustaining, or for a use which is of substantial importance in preventing impairment of human health, or if the device presents a potential unreasonable risk of illness or injury.

(d) Implant means a device that is placed into a surgically or naturally formed cavity of the human body. A device is regarded as an implant for the purpose of this part only if it is intended to remain implanted continuously for a period of 30 days or more, unless the Commissioner determines otherwise in order to protect human health.

(e) Life-supporting or life-sustaining device means a device that is essential to, or that yields information that is essential to, the restoration or continuation of a bodily function important to the continuation of human life.

(f) Classification questionnaire means a specific series of questions prepared by the Commissioner for use as guidelines by classification panels preparing recommendations to the Commissioner regarding classification and by petitioners submitting petitions for reclassification. The questions relate to the safety and effectiveness characteristics of a device and the answers are designed to help the Commissioner determine the proper classification of the device.

(g) Supplemental data sheet means information compiled by a classification panel or submitted in a petition for reclassification, including:

(1) A summary of the reasons for the recommendation (or petition);

(2) A summary of the data upon which the recommendation (or petition) is based;

(3) An identification of the risks to health (if any) presented by the device;

(4) To the extent practicable in the case of a class II or class III device, a recommendation for the assignment of a priority for the application of the requirements of performance standards or premarket approval;

(5) In the case of a class I device, a recommendation whether the device should be exempted from any of the requirements of registration, record-keeping and reporting, or good manufacturing practice requirements of the quality system regulation;

(6) In the case of an implant or a life-supporting or life-sustaining device for which classification in class III is not recommended, a statement of the reasons for not recommending that the device be classified in class III;

(7) Identification of any needed restrictions on the use of the device, e.g., whether the device requires special labeling, should be banned, or should be used only upon authorization of a practitioner licensed by law to administer or use such device; and

(8) Any known existing standards applicable to the device, device components, or device materials.

(h) Classification panel means one of the several advisory committees established by the Commissioner under section 513 of the act and part 14 of this chapter for the purpose of making recommendations to the Commissioner on the classification and reclassification of devices and for other purposes prescribed by the act or by the Commissioner.

(i) Generic type of device means a grouping of devices that do not differ significantly in purpose, design, materials, energy source, function, or any other feature related to safety and effectiveness, and for which similar regulatory controls are sufficient to provide reasonable assurance of safety and effectiveness.

(j) Petition means a submission seeking reclassification of a device in accordance with 860.123.

[43 FR 32993, July 28, 1978, as amended at 57 FR 58403, Dec. 10, 1992; 65 FR 56480, Sept. 19, 2000]