What is a Medical Device according to FD&C Act?

What is a medical device


In this article, you will learn what is a Medical Device as per Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act).

Introduction: A medical device is a product, such as an instrument, machine, implant,  or in vitro reagent, that is intended for use in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of diseases or other medical conditions.

A medical device as defined in Section 201(h) of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, is:

An instrument, apparatus, implement, machine, contrivance, implant, in vitro reagent, or other similar or related article, including a component part, or accessory which is:

  1. recognized in the official National Formulary, or the United States Pharmacopoeia, or any supplement to them,
  2. intended for use in the diagnosis of a disease or other conditions, or in the cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease, in man or other animals, or
  3. intended to affect the structure or any function of the body of man or other animals, and which does not achieve its primary intended purposes through chemical action within or on the body of man or other animals and

which does not achieve its primary intended purposes through chemical action within or on the body of man or other animals and which is not dependent upon being metabolized for the achievement of its primary intended purposes. The term “device” does not include software functions excluded pursuant to section 520(o).

To establish if a product meets the definition of a medical device, define the intended use and indications for use of the product.

What is a medical device classification

Once is defined the intended use and indications for use of the product, determine if the product meets the definition of a medical device.

How to Determine if Your Product is a Medical Device

Determine your product classification

Search the Product Classification Database

Search the FDA Product Classification Database to determine if there is an existing product classification that applies to your product:

  • Use the Quick Search feature to search by keyword(s). Please note, you may need to conduct multiple searches using a variety of keywords that describe your product (for example, search both “stent” and “stents”).
  • Use the Advanced Search feature to search by product code, regulation number, or device class.

For further information on how to classify a medical device, please refer to the How to Classify Your Device page.

Need help & support with your medical devices or need templates to create a quality manual and other procedures, visit us,

brought to you by CIQA logo


For more details on specific FDA expectations and how to create quality management system documents necessary, follow us.

Quality procedures templates

Three (3) Options to Create Quality Management Procedures:

Bronze Option. You Can Create Your Own Quality Procedures, using a Template.

You can download samples of the quality procedure templates in .pdf format. 

To see the complete list of the most popular quality procedures templates, click here.

In addition, you can request a quotation to buy online a full SOP template document in MS Word format that is completely editable, ready to fill and adapt to your specific needs.

Silver Option. We Can Bring You a Formal Training on Medical Devices?

This option is recommended if you want to learn more about how to build robust quality system procedures. One of our expert(s) can provide online step-by-step training to your team (unlimited assistance) on how to build reliable SOPs using our template(s). Also, you can improve your corporate quality procedures and policies by incorporating our template(s) and tools.  It includes a fully editable template from the Bronze option, plus training, exams, and a training certificate for each assistant.  Request a quote now.

Gold Option. We Can Create Customized Quality Management Procedures.

One of our expert(s) will create and prepare your customized SOPs with the inputs and specific information of your company. It includes a fully editable template from the Bronze option, plus online support in document creation, implementation, and training. Request a quote online.



For more information about Medical Devices, refer to:

Mobile Medical Applications

Software as a Medical Device


Further Assistance

Division of Industry and Consumer Education (DICE).


FDA and Industry Procedures for Section 513(g) Requests for Information under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act Guidance (2012).

Picture of Ramon Cayuela, MS, BS, Chemical Engineering

Ramon Cayuela, MS, BS, Chemical Engineering

CIQA President and CEO.
I've been working in validation engineering since 1992 with many multinational pharmaceutical companies. I love sharing my passion and knowledge with others. If you have any questions about anything (or just have general questions). I will be more than happy to assist you. You can count on the BEST customer service on CIQA. I go to great lengths to make sure my clients are 100% satisfied with their purchases and check emails/messages consistently throughout the day. You can rest assured that everything being sold here is as-described or your money back. I look forward to working with you!