Medical Devices

Revised: 10 May 2011

Instructions for Use (IFU)

All medical devices are expected to be supplied with appropriate instructions for use (IFU). Medsafe recognises the trend towards supply of instructions for use in electronic formats and has guidance regarding electronic IFU.

Regulatory requirements

There are no specific legislative or regulatory requirements for IFU for medical devices under the Medicines Act 1981 or Medicines Regulations 1984. Medsafe recommends that sponsors and manufacturers follow international best practice when preparing IFU

Contraceptive products must include IFU as specified in the relevant approved Standard for that product type. Failure to do so would be a breach of the Contraception, Sterilisation and Abortion Act 1977.

See also Contraceptive Devices

International guidance

The Global Harmonisation Task Force (GHTF) is an organisation comprising key regulators and trade representatives that is working to develop guidelines for the international harmonisation of medical device regulatory practice. Among the guidance produced by the GHTF are recommendations for the labelling and instructions for use of medical devices (refer GHTF Study Group 1 final document, GHTF/SG1/N43:2005). Medsafe recommends that sponsors and manufacturers apply the guidance contained in this document when developing their labelling and instructions for use.

Medsafe guidance regarding electronic IFU

Medsafe recognises that some countries permit the supply of IFU for medical devices in electronic formats as an alternative to hardcopy IFU supplied with the device. Electronic IFU can take several formats including; files supplied with the device on read-only media, files downloadable from the internet, and help files displayed by the device. Electronic IFU may be supplied in New Zealand but the sponsor must be able to provide upon request from a user a hardcopy of the IFU.