SEC Filings

INTUITIVE SURGICAL INC filed this Form 10-K on 02/02/2018
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adequate use of the Corrective and Preventive Actions process to identify and correct or prevent significant systemic failures of products or processes or in trends which suggest same; and
the reporting of Corrections and Removals, which requires that manufacturers report to the FDA recalls and field corrective actions taken to reduce a risk to health or to remedy a violation of the FFDCA that may pose a risk to health.
We are subject to inspection and marketing surveillance by the FDA to determine our compliance with regulatory requirements. If the FDA finds that we have failed to comply, it can institute a wide variety of enforcement actions, ranging from inspectional observations (Form FDA 483) to a public Warning Letter to more severe civil and criminal sanctions including the seizure of our products and equipment or ban on the import or export of our products. The FDA has in the past issued and could in the future issue Warning Letters or other communications to us. If we fail to satisfy or remediate the matters discussed in any such Warning Letters or communications, the FDA could take further enforcement action, including prohibiting the sale or marketing of the affected product. Our failure to comply with applicable requirements could lead to an enforcement action that may have an adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations. The receipt of a Warning Letter places certain limits on the ability to obtain FDA issued Certificates to Foreign Government (“CFGs”) used for new and re-registration of products in certain foreign countries.
The FDA also strictly regulates labeling, advertising, promotion, and other activities relating to the marketing of our products. Medical devices may be promoted only for their cleared or approved indications and in accordance with the provisions of the cleared or approved label. It is possible that federal or state enforcement authorities might take action if they consider our promotional or training materials to constitute promotion of an unapproved use, which could result in significant fines or penalties under a variety of statutory authorities, including under the FFDCA as well as laws prohibiting false claims for reimbursement.
In addition, any modification or change of medical devices cleared for market requires the manufacturer to make a determination whether the change is significant enough to require new 510(k) clearance. We have created labeling, advertising, and user training for the da Vinci Surgical System to describe specific surgical procedures that we believe are fully within the scope of our existing 510(k) indications for use stated in our 510(k) clearances. Although we have relied on expert in-house and external staff, consultants and advisors, some of whom were formerly employed by FDA and familiar with FDA perspective, we cannot provide assurance that the FDA would agree that all such specific procedures are within the scope of the existing general clearance or that we have compiled adequate information to support the safety and efficacy of using the da Vinci Surgical System for all such specific procedures. From time to time we modify our products, including the hardware and software in the da Vinci Surgical System, after we obtain 510(k) clearance from the FDA for the devices in ways that we do not believe require new 510(k) clearance. We cannot provide assurance that the FDA would agree in all cases with our determinations not to seek new 510(k) clearance for any of these changes. If the FDA disagrees with our assessments that a new 510(k) clearance was not required prior to commercializing the devices with these changes or modifications, then the FDA could impose enforcement sanctions and/or require us to obtain 510(k) clearance for any modification to our products. We may be prohibited from marketing the modified device until such 510(k) clearance is granted.
We have a wholly owned manufacturing facility located in Mexicali, Mexico which manufactures reusable and disposable surgical instruments. This facility is registered with the FDA as well as Mexican authorities. The facility is operated under U.S. and international quality system regulations including those applicable to Canada, the European Union, and Japan among others. Our wholly owned manufacturing facility in Mexicali, Mexico has an FDA Establishment Registration but has not been inspected by the FDA to date. If the FDA were to identify non-conformances in our product documentation or quality system compliance, it could hold indefinitely the importation of instruments at the border which would deprive us of the ability to sell and supply the majority of our customers until the FDA requirements have been satisfied. Similar supply disruptions could occur if key suppliers outside of the U.S. were to encounter non-conformances with their documentation or quality system compliance.
To be able to provide our products in other countries, we must obtain regulatory approvals and comply with the regulations of those countries which may differ substantially from those of the U.S. These regulations, including the requirements for approvals and the time required for regulatory review, vary from country to country. Obtaining and maintaining foreign regulatory approvals is complex, and we cannot be certain that we will receive regulatory approvals in any foreign country in which we plan to market our products, or to obtain such approvals on a favorable schedule. If we fail to obtain or maintain regulatory approval in any foreign country in which we plan to market our products, our ability to generate revenue will be harmed. In particular, if the FDA refuses to provide CFGs our ability to register products or renew such registrations may be delayed or denied.
The EU requires that manufacturers of medical products obtain the right to affix the CE mark, for compliance with the Medical Device Directive (93/42/EEC), as amended, to their products before selling them in member countries of the EU. The CE mark is an international symbol of adherence to quality assurance standards and compliance with applicable European medical device


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