Answers to frequently asked questions.

What is the GMDN?

The Global Medical Device Nomenclature (GMDN) is a system of internationally agreed descriptors used to identify medical device products. The GMDN Database lists all the terms, which are currently available to name and describe medical devices, although new terms are regularly issued to cope with new medical devices innovations. The GMDN is owned and managed by the GMDN Agency, a non-profit organisation.

Why is the GMDN copyrighted?

The GMDN Agency owns the copyright to the GMDN as this helps us protect and maintain the integrity of the data ensuring that any publicly available data is accurate, up to date and supports patient safety. We have several licensing agreements with many Governmental Regulators, including the United States of America's FDA, the UK’s MHRA and Australia’s TGA, to publish the GMDN to support patient safety. If you want to know more about how we can work together, please contact us at the following link www.gmdnagency.org/help/contact

How can I get a GMDN Code for my product?

Only GMDN Licensee Membership can give you access to the GMDN Codes. The GMDN Agency is a registered charity. The Agency is managed by a Board of Trustees and Policy Advisory Group which represent medical device Regulators, manufacturers and healthcare providers. Fees for licenses are reviewed each year by our Board to minimise the costs to Users. After joining the GMDN Terms and Codes are found on our website using a simple search tool. Please go to the Services menu on the website for more information.

Do I register my product with the GMDN Agency?

No, the GMDN Agency is not a Medical Device Regulator. We make available the generic GMDN Terms to standardize the naming and grouping of medical devices. This improves communication within the health-sector and helps Regulators better understand information about medical device use.

Do all manufacturers need to find GMDN Codes for their products?

Medical Device Regulators specify the use of the GMDN to meet their national requirement. For example, in the USA the FDA require the GMDN as part of their UDI Rule. The medical device Regulators in over 90 countries are using the GMDN to support patient safety and often require the GMDN Code attribute in their medical device listing or approval process.

What is the difference between a GMDN Term and a GMDN Code?

The GMDN Term is made up of several data elements, including the Term Name, GMDN Code and a Definition. As seen in this example:

- Term Name: 'General-purpose syringe'
- GMDN Code: '47017'
- Definition: 'A sterile device consisting of a calibrated barrel (cylinder) with plunger...'.

Using the GMDN Database users can search all the Term Names and Definitions for the appropriate description of their product. Once selected, the GMDN Code is made available to the User and then used for regulatory or data exchange purposes. Selected Codes are automatically added to the users 'My Terms' list for future reference and tracking for status changes by us.

How often are new GMDN terms issued?

New terms are issued frequently following requests from Users who are developing new technology or due to feedback from medical device Regulators. The GMDN Database is updated daily. Certain account types are informed by email if a term in their 'My Terms' list is modified or made obsolete.

What if my GMDN term is modified by the GMDN Agency?

A GMDN Term Name or Definition may need to be modified to expand its scope or the Term may be made obsolete if it no longer accurately represents a product group. Certain account types with these particular Terms in their 'My Terms' list will be notified automatically by email, so that they can consider whether or not to chose an alternative Term for their product. All licensee members can check the status of a GMDN Term by entering the GMDN Code in our search engine.

What if I can't find a term for my product?

If you can't find a term that is appropriate for your product, you can request assistance from the GMDN Agency. We have a free on-line Enquiry service (see Help menu) that will review your product and the relevant existing GMDN terms. The GMDN Agency will review your request and determine if a new term is justified or an existing term may need to be modified or an existing term maybe suitable. When sending an Enquiry, please include as much information about the product as possible. The Enquiry process is complex and can take several weeks to complete, so please give us plenty of time to consider your enquiry. But please let us know if your need is urgent. Basic members have lower priority in workload queue.

What if I urgently need to register my product and can't find a suitable GMDN Code?

Regulators and Conformity Assessment Bodies know the process for new term requests used by the GMDN Agency and may accept a delay in providing a GMDN Code depending on their individual requirements, provided an Enquiry for a new term has already been made. Please let us know if your Enquiry is delaying your product registration and we will try to assist.

Can anyone see the GMDN Codes I have chosen?

All client information contained in the GMDN Database is password protected, encrypted and not available to any other licensee member. Under strict controls we are required to share some client information with Medical Device Regulators, including the identification of GMDN codes selected by manufacturers and which appear in the 'My Terms' list.

Can I see all the GMDN Codes?

The GMDN Codes are protected so that most Users can only see codes relevant to their product range. This is done by the User searching the GMDN database until they find the most appropriate GMDN Term for their product. Users can see all 24,000+ GMDN Terms in the database. The User can then use a Code Credit to reveal the related GMDN Code (this is a 5-digit number). We provide accounts with a limited number of free Code Credits when you join. Thereafter Code Credits packs can be ordered free of charge, but we do monitor use of Code Credits.

What if I want to share the GMDN access across my organisation?

Multi-user access is managed within the GMDN database by the 'Users' function, found in the 'Account' menu. The Users function is restricted to users with a specific permission on their GMDN account and may also be restricted by account type - please contact us for more information.

What if I choose the wrong GMDN Code?

If the User wishes to change the GMDN Code selected for a particular product, it is recommended that the User discusses this with their Regulator or Conformity Assessment Body. Please contact us if you have any concerns. If users no longer want us to monitor a Term in the their 'My Terms' list, this can be moved to their 'My Archive' list.

Is the GMDN available in other languages?

The reference language of the GMDN is English. Terms and Definitions are translated into many languages and your preference can be chosen from the main menu. The GMDN Agency with the support of Regulators has appointed translators for this special task.

When a GMDN term is modified or made obsolete will I have to reallocate the UDI on my product and re-label?

GMDN code is not built into the Static UDI number allocated to your product and therefore changes to GMDN terms will not require you to assign a new UDI to your product and the costly relabelling that would result.

As part of their implementation of UDI, the US FDA require manufacturers to submit a GMDN Code that is not obsolete, when you provide your product information as part of the GUDID record submission. We have been informed by the FDA that it is possible to change the GMDN Code allocated to a product on the GUDID at any time, because the GMDN record is not ‘locked’ unlike other information, such as the Static UDI number.

If a product has a GMDN Code is it a Medical Device?

If a product has been assigned a GMDN Code it is not necessarily a medical device. Please refer to the regulation that applies to medical devices in your country of interest. It is envisaged that the use of the GMDN by all countries will support the harmonisation of the definition of a medical device worldwide.

Who is the GMDN Agency?

Since 1991 Medical Device experts from around the world (regulators, healthcare providers and manufacturers) have compiled the Global Medical Device Nomenclature (GMDN). This work was requested by the inter-governmental body, the Global Harmonisation Task Force (GHTF) to help accelerate international medical device regulatory harmonization and convergence. The GHTF has now been superseded by the IMDRF, see www.imdrf.org

To manage the GMDN, a non-profit maintenance agency was required. The GMDN Agency manages a licensee membership scheme to sustain the ongoing maintenance of the GMDN.

I have previously listed my product in the US FDA GUDID using a PT Code (format WXYZ). How can I find the equivalent GMDN Code?

To find the GMDN Code, please login to your GMDN account, enter the full Term Name into the Search box and follow the on-screen instructions. If you have any problems please contact us for assistance.

Can we put the GMDN Names, Definitions or Codes on the product packaging?

No, the GMDN is not intended to be on the packaging for several important reasons. The definitions are a bit wordy, the GMDN is published in over 25 languages and it would take up too much space on the packaging. Also, these technical descriptions are subject to change over time as new medical innovations become available and are therefore dynamic in nature.

Do we need to have a GMDN account in every country we operate?

If you are part of an international group of companies, we recommend you only have one GMDN account and therefore can be globally consistent in your selection of GMDN Terms for your entire product range.

We are a Distributor of medical devices, how can we get GMDN Codes for the products we stock?

We recommend you talk to your suppliers and get the relevant GMDN Terms and Codes from them. This will make sure the GMDN Terms you use are consistent with other distributors in the market. Many manufacturers are licensee members of the GMDN Agency.