Today at Rimsys, we unveiled the 2023 MedTech Regulatory Performance Report, a new set of insights into the state of medtech regulatory affairs. Compiled based on interviews with 200 regulatory professionals and executives, the study provides a detailed look into how regulatory teams are staffed, their processes, the tools they use, and ultimately how they perform.
Why did we create this study? There were two driving factors behind the research. The first was a common theme that we heard from a number of our customers: Regulatory leaders don’t have clear data and benchmarks. They don’t necessarily know how long a new market submission should take, and how to plan for or assess the work of their teams. While other studies look at the medtech industry broadly or the state of the regulatory profession, this study tries to build a comprehensive resource for regulatory (and company) leaders.
The second factor was really for ourselves and the team at Rimsys. As a company building solutions specifically for medtech regulatory affairs, we wanted more insight into where companies were successful, where they struggled, and where we can add value.
What did we find? Regulatory teams perform a lot of hero work and rate themselves highly for their accomplishments. At the same time there is a lot of opportunity for process improvements, and companies that invest in digital transformation for regulatory affairs see better performance.
Regulatory teams are generally pretty small. Most companies have less than 10 full-time regulatory professionals. These small teams complete an enormous amount of work. Last year on average, RA teams completed 50 license renewals, 50 license updates, and 10 new market submissions. This is impressive output.
Digging a bit under the covers, we found that this output relied heavily on the support of external consultants. 90% of companies use consultants to keep pace with their regulatory workload. Front-line employees also struggle with burnout. They were much more likely to report feeling under-resourced than regulatory leaders.
A lot of regulatory work remains extremely manual. 70% of regulatory teams spend half their time or more on repetitive administrative tasks. All of this manual work increases the frequency of errors and required rework. 61% of companies reported a major non-compliance incident in the past 2 years.
Manual work also makes it difficult to complete regulatory projects in a timely fashion. Teams completed a lot of projects, but each took a long time. Over half of all companies spend 4 months or more on license renewals, license updates, and new market submissions.
As regulatory requirements become more complex, there’s a natural question about how teams will work moving forward. MDR & IVDR in Europe have significantly increased the regulatory workload required to bring and keep products on the market. Will organizations be able to keep pace with the same resources, tools, and processes?
No, and the performance report shows that medtech companies are investing to improve their regulatory capabilities. The majority of companies are planning to increase the sizes of their RA teams in 2023, and 40% expect to increase their investments in regulatory software. Companies are increasingly adopting specialized software to better support regulatory processes.
The full survey results provide insights into more aspects of regulatory performance. They show that companies need to take a deeper look into their processes and how regulatory resources are allocated. There are two ways to learn more: