New regulations issued on November 7, 2017 by FDA will make it easier for companies to offer certain types of genetic tests directly-to-consumers, without a health-care provider intermediary.
The first regulation finalizes a new medical device classification for “autosomal recessive carrier screening gene mutation detection systems.” This regulation essentially codifies classification already established by FDA in response to a request by 23andMe, and enables other laboratories to offer their DTC tests according to the criteria specified in the classification regulation. These tests may be offered without the need for FDA premarket review.
Similarly, the second regulation finalizes a new medical device classification for DTC “genetic health risk assessment” (GHR) (i.e., predictive) tests. The classification specifies the conditions under which these tests may be marketed, and includes the requirement for a 510(k) premarket notification to FDA. However, in a Federal Register Notice, also issued yesterday, FDA proposes to exempt GHR tests from the 510(k) premarket submission requirement after a lab has successfully obtained FDA clearance of its first GHR assay. Comments to this proposed exemption are being accepted by FDA until January 8.