Implications of FDA’s Quality Management System Regulation (QMSR) Final Rule

by | Feb 21, 2024 | Blog

On February 2, 2024, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a final rule to amend the device current good manufacturing practice (CGMP) requirements of the Quality System Regulation (QSR). The final rule is effective February 2, 2026. 

The FDA plays a crucial role in ensuring the safety, effectiveness, and quality of medical devices marketed in the United States. As part of its regulatory oversight, the FDA has introduced the Quality Management System Regulation (QMSR) to establish requirements for manufacturers to ensure the quality of their medical devices. Through the QSMR final rule, FDA is harmonizing quality management system requirements for medical devices with requirements used by other regulatory authorities, primarily through incorporating by reference the quality management system requirements of ISO 13485. 

In this blog post, we will delve into the details of the FDA’s QMSR final rule, its significance, and its implications for medical device manufacturers. 


What is the FDA’s Quality Management System Regulation (QMSR)?


FDA is revising its medical device CGMP requirements as set forth in the QS regulation, codified in 21 CFR part 820. FDA is accomplishing this primarily by incorporating by reference the 2016 edition of ISO 13485 (ISO 13485). ISO 13485 is available in read-only format at the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Incorporated by Reference (IBR) Portal. 

The QMSR sets forth the requirements for establishing and maintaining a quality management system (QMS) for medical device manufacturing. This regulation is based on international quality management standards such as ISO 13485, with additional requirements tailored to the specific needs of the medical device industry in the United States.  


Key Components of the QMSR Final Rule


  1. Management Responsibility: The final rule emphasizes the importance of top management’s commitment to quality and outlines their responsibilities in ensuring the effectiveness of the QMS.
  2. Quality System Requirements: It defines comprehensive requirements for various aspects of the QMS, including document control, design controls, corrective and preventive actions (CAPA), and process validation.
  3. Design Controls: Manufacturers must establish and maintain procedures for the design and development of medical devices, ensuring they meet specified requirements and are safe and effective for their intended use.
  4. Corrective and Preventive Actions (CAPA): The final rule mandates the implementation of procedures for investigating and addressing nonconformities and implementing preventive actions to prevent their recurrence. 
  5. Process Validation: Manufacturers must validate processes used in the production of medical devices to ensure they consistently meet predetermined specifications and quality attributes. 
  6. Internal Audits: The final rule will result in establishments conducting internal audits and management reviews based on aligned requirements as opposed to auditing and assessing separately to comply with the requirements of the previous QS regulation and ISO 13485 individually. FDA intends to replace its current inspection approach for medical devices, Quality System Inspection Technique (QSIT), with an inspection approach that will be consistent with the requirements of the QMSR. 
  7. Part 4: FDA has made conforming edits to Part 4 (21 CFR Part 4) to clarify the device Quality Management System (QMS) requirements for combination products. These edits do not impact the CGMP requirements for combination products.  


Implications for Medical Device Manufacturers


  1. Compliance Requirements: Manufacturers must ensure compliance with the QMSR final rule by implementing robust quality management systems that meet the regulatory requirements.
  2. Enhanced Quality Assurance: The QMSR final rule aims to enhance the quality assurance processes within medical device manufacturing, ultimately benefiting patients and healthcare providers. 
  3. Documentation and Recordkeeping: Adequate documentation and recordkeeping are essential to demonstrate compliance with the QMSR requirements and facilitate regulatory inspections and audits. 
  4. Continuous Improvement: By implementing the principles of the QMSR final rule, manufacturers can drive continuous improvement in their processes, leading to better products and increased customer satisfaction. 




FDA’s Quality Management System Regulation (QMSR) final rule is a critical regulatory framework that outlines the requirements for establishing and maintaining quality management systems in the medical device industry.  

By complying with these requirements, manufacturers can ensure the safety, effectiveness, and quality of their products, ultimately benefiting patients and healthcare providers. It is essential for manufacturers to stay informed about regulatory updates and proactively implement measures to meet the requirements of the QMSR final rule. 

Although the final rule will not be in effect until February 2, 2026, we strongly encourage manufacturers to initiate a gap analysis and implementation plan without delay.   

Our quality team is ready to support you in ensuring you handle all the changes and requirements in the most efficient way. 

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