Medical device

What is an FDA Pre-Submission?

How to efficiently communicate with the FDA in order to gain valuable feedback.

November 19, 2020
Rory A. Carrillo
Principal Consultant

Pre-submission benefits

The FDA CDRH Pre-Submission, or Pre-sub, is a type of Q-Submission that provides manufacturers an opportunity to communicate with the FDA about their planned product submissions. A Pre-sub allows you to have a meeting with the FDA to discuss your plan.

Some benefits to the Pre-Sub:

  • These meetings may be very beneficial when preparing a submission for a new device that does not clearly fall within an established regulatory pathway.
  • These meetings may be very beneficial prior to initiating long term preclinical studies.
  • These meetings may be beneficial when planning a study that does not require an IDE i.e. studies outside of US or exempt or non-significant risk (NSR) devices.
  • These meetings may be beneficial before the submission to discuss non-clinical data and clinical study design
  • These meetings may be beneficial before submission of a marketing application. As the manufacturer, you can apprise the FDA review team on specifics of the device and clinical study data if there have been changes since initiation of an IDE, obtain feedback on preferred data presentation, or gain insight into the potential hurdles for approval or clearance.
  • and many more...

Pre-submission content

The following documents and information should be part of your FDA Pre-submission:

Cover letter that includes the following information:

  • ​Designation of meeting request type aka Q-Sub type i.e. Pre-sub, 
  • Manufacturer name & contact information
  • Product Name

Pre-Submission package* 

  • Purpose
  • Regulatory History
  • Planned Follow-on Submission
  • Background Information
  • Device Description
  • Proposed Predicate Devices (if applicable)
  • Intended Use/Indications for Use Statement
  • Description of How the Device is Planned to be Used
  • Preliminary Risk Analysis
  • Discussion of Relevant Prior Information
  • Proposed Study Design
  • Specific Questions
  • Meeting Attendees
  • Proposed Meeting Dates (unless written feedback is requested). 

*Reference the latest FDA Guidance on Q-subs and Pre-submission requirements here. Note - the FDA frequently updates their websites and guidances. As of March 2024 the guidance is only a draft guidance and may change in the future. 

Here is another FDA resource on the Q-submission progream -

PreStar for Pre-submissions

In 2024, the FDA released a PDF template that can be used for creating and submitting your pre-submission request electronically. You can find the template on the FDA website here -

Pre-submission process

Here is an outline of the FDA Pre-submission process:

1. Sponsor submits the complete PreStar to the Document Control Center

2. FDA conducts acceptance review (14 days)

3. Meeting/Teleconference requested:

   a. FDA works with manufacturer to schedule the meeting/teleconference (21 days)

   b. FDA provides preliminary feedback via email (at least one week prior to the meeting/teleconference)

4. FDA provides feedback (70 days)

5. After Meeting/Teleconference held:

    a. Manufacturer provides draft minutes to Document Control Center (15 days)

    b. FDA reviews/edits minutes (30 days)

Disclaimer -