21 CFR 900.18 - Alternative requirements for § 900.12 quality standards.
(a) Criteria for approval of alternative standards. Upon application by a qualified party as defined in paragraph (b) of this section, FDA may approve an alternative to a quality standard under § 900.12, when the agency determines that:
(1) The proposed alternative standard will be at least as effective in assuring quality mammography as the standard it proposes to replace, and
(2) The proposed alternative:
(i) Is too limited in its applicability to justify an amendment to the standard; or
(ii) Offers an expected benefit to human health that is so great that the time required for amending the standard would present an unjustifiable risk to the human health; and
(3) The granting of the alternative is in keeping with the purposes of 42 U.S.C. 263b.
(b) Applicants for alternatives.
(1) Mammography facilities and accreditation bodies may apply for alternatives to the quality standards of § 900.12.
(2) Federal agencies and State governments that are not accreditation bodies may apply for alternatives to the standards of § 900.12(a).
(c) Applications for approval of an alternative standard. An application for approval of an alternative standard or for an amendment or extension of the alternative standard shall be submitted in an original and two copies to the Food and Drug Administration, Center for Devices and Radiological Health, Director, Division of Mammography Quality and Radiation Programs, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 66, rm. 4521, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002. The application for approval of an alternative standard shall include the following information:
(1) Identification of the original standard for which the alternative standard is being proposed and an explanation of why the applicant is proposing the alternative;
(2) A description of the manner in which the alternative is proposed to deviate from the original standard;
(3) A description, supported by data, of the advantages to be derived from such deviation;
(4) An explanation, supported by data, of how such a deviation would ensure equal or greater quality of production, processing, or interpretation of mammograms than the original standard;
(5) The suggested period of time that the proposed alternative standard would be in effect; and
(6) Such other information required by the Director to evaluate and act on the application.
(d) Ruling on applications.
(1) FDA may approve or deny, in whole or in part, a request for approval of an alternative standard or any amendment or extension thereof, and shall inform the applicant in writing of this action. The written notice shall state the manner in which the requested alternative standard differs from the agency standard and a summary of the reasons for approval or denial of the request. If the request is approved, the written notice shall also include the effective date and the termination date of the approval and a summary of the limitations and conditions attached to the approval and any other information that may be relevant to the approved request. Each approved alternative standard shall be assigned an identifying number.
(2) Notice of an approved request for an alternative standard or any amendment or extension thereof shall be placed in the public docket file in the Division of Dockets Management and may also be in the form of a notice published in the Federal Register. The notice shall state the name of the applicant, a description of the published agency standard, and a description of the approved alternative standard, including limitations and conditions attached to the approval of the alternative standard.
(4) All applications for approval of alternative standards and for amendments and extensions thereof and all correspondence (including written notices of approval) on these applications shall be available for public disclosure in the Division of Dockets Management, excluding patient identifiers and confidential commercial information.
(e) Amendment or extension of an alternative standard. An application for amending or extending approval of an alternative standard shall include the following information:
(1) The approval number and the expiration date of the alternative standard;
(2) The amendment or extension requested and the basis for the amendment or extension; and
(3) An explanation, supported by data, of how such an amendment or extension would ensure equal or greater quality of production, processing, or interpretation of mammograms than the original standard.
(f) Applicability of the alternative standards.
(1) Except as provided in paragraphs (f)(2) and (f)(3) of this section, any approval of an alternative standard, amendment, or extension may be implemented only by the entity to which it was granted and under the terms under which it was granted. Other entities interested in similar or identical approvals must file their own application following the procedures of paragraph (c) of this section.
(3) The agency may extend the alternative standard to other entities when FDA determines that expansion of the approval of the alternative standard would be an effective means of promoting the acceptance of measures to improve the quality of mammography. All such determinations will be publicized by appropriate means.
(g) Withdrawal of approval of alternative requirements. FDA shall amend or withdraw approval of an alternative standard whenever the agency determines that this action is necessary to protect the human health or otherwise is justified by § 900.12. Such action will become effective on the date specified in the written notice of the action sent to the applicant, except that it will become effective immediately upon notification of the applicant when FDA determines that such action is necessary to prevent an imminent health hazard.