Objectives: The In Vitro Diagnostics Regulation 2017/746 (IVDR) coming into force from May 2022, creates the first European regulatory recognition for biomarker tests linked to medicinal products, so-called companion diagnostics (CDx). Since the introduction of the IVDR is associated with uncertainties about its impact on hospital practice, it is urgent and valuable to investigate how and why CDx are currently used in hospital practice, which factors influence the choice for applying in-house or commercial CDx, and what the expectations are about how the IVDR may affect current practice.
Methods: We investigated these questions using an interview-based approach and focused on 15 hospital laboratories in the Netherlands, including 7 academic and 8 general hospitals. All types of CDx were considered relevant for this research, including both genetic and protein-based biomarkers.
Results: Factors found included: costs and convenience, complexity of application, and compatibility with existing workflows. Next to in-house and commercial CDx, hospital laboratories addressed compatibility by tweaking existing CDx.
Conclusion: Although increased quality of CDx is welcomed, worries toward increased costs and administrative work, and decreased quality were expressed. Further, the IVDR might also hinder using optimized in-house and tweaked CDx. Additionally, increased administrative burden could decrease innovativeness toward CDx.
Keywords: In vitro Diagnostics Regulation; biomarker testing; companion diagnostics; diagnostic testing; in vitro diagnostic medical devices.