MDD vs MDR: A Comprehensive Guide for Legal Manufacturers

The European Union’s regulatory landscape for medical devices has undergone a significant transformation with the transition from the Medical Device Directive (MDD) to the Medical Device Regulation (MDR). This shift has profound implications for legal manufacturers, affecting everything from product development to post-market surveillance. Understanding these changes is crucial to ensure regulatory compliance and successful market access.

Understanding the MDD

The MDD, officially known as Directive 93/42/EEC, was the previous framework governing medical devices in the European Union. As a directive, it set out the goals that EU countries should achieve, but allowed for some flexibility in how they implemented the rules. This flexibility led to variations in how the rules were applied across different countries, creating inconsistencies in the regulatory landscape.

Transitioning to the MDR

The MDR, officially known as EU 2017/745, replaced the MDD in May 2021. Unlike the MDD, the MDR is a regulation, meaning it is directly applicable in all EU countries without the need for national legislation. This ensures a more uniform application of the rules across all EU countries, enhancing the overall consistency and transparency of the regulatory framework.

Key Changes from MDD to MDR

The MDR introduced several changes and enhancements compared to the MDD:

  • Expanded Definition of Medical Devices: The MDR broadens the definition of a medical device to include products for cleaning, disinfection, or sterilization of devices.
  • Enhanced Post-Market Surveillance: The MDR imposes more stringent post-market surveillance requirements, ensuring ongoing compliance and safety monitoring throughout the device lifecycle.
  • Introduction of UDI System: The MDR introduces a Unique Device Identification (UDI) system to enhance traceability of devices, improving patient safety and facilitating market surveillance.
  • Person responsible for Regulatory Compliance: The MDR requires manufacturers to designate a person responsible for regulatory compliance, ensuring a specific point of accountability within the organization.
  • Rigorous Clinical Evaluation: The MDR has more rigorous clinical evaluation requirements, necessitating robust clinical data to support the safety and performance claims of the device.


Regulatory Globe’s MDD vs MDR Gap-Assessment Tool

Transitioning from the MDD to the MDR can be a complex process. To assist legal manufacturers in this transition, Regulatory Globe offers a comprehensive MDD vs MDR Gap-Assessment Tool. This tool includes a complete comparison table between the MDD and MDR, helping manufacturers understand the new requirements and how they differ from the old ones.

The tool is designed to be user-friendly, allowing manufacturers to identify and address gaps in their compliance efforts effectively. It is a valuable resource for all legal manufacturers navigating the transition from MDD to MDR.

How does the Tool work

The MDD vs MDR Gap Assessment Tool is designed to help manufacturers navigate the transition from the Medical Device Directive (MDD) to the Medical Device Regulation (MDR). Here’s a brief instruction on how to use it:

  • Download the Tool: The first step is to download the tool. It’s typically provided in a user-friendly format like Excel.
  • Review the Comparison Table: The tool includes a comprehensive comparison table that outlines the requirements under both MDD and MDR. Review this table to understand the new requirements under MDR and how they differ from the old ones under MDD.
  • Perform a Gap Analysis: Use the tool to perform a gap analysis. This involves comparing your current compliance status under MDD with the requirements under MDR. The tool will help you identify any ‘gaps’ in compliance that need to be addressed.
  • Develop an Action Plan: Based on the gaps identified, develop an action plan to address each gap. This could involve changes to your product design, quality management system, clinical evaluation process, or post-market surveillance activities.
  • Track Progress: Use the tool to track your progress in implementing the action plan and closing the gaps. This will help ensure that you are on track to achieve full compliance with MDR.

Remember, the goal of the tool is to simplify the transition from MDD to MDR by providing a structured approach to understanding the changes and assessing your compliance status. Link to Tool


The transition from MDD to MDR represents a significant shift in the EU’s regulatory landscape for medical devices. Legal manufacturers must understand these changes to ensure compliance and maintain market access. Tools like the Regulatory Globe’s MDD vs MDR Gap-Assessment Tool can provide valuable assistance in this complex process.