Purpose of the review
Laboratory-developed tests (LDTs) are essential for the clinical care of immunocompromised individuals. These patients often require specialized testing not available from commercial manufacturers and are therefore dependent on the laboratory to create, validate, and perform these assays. Recent paradigm-shifting legislation could alter the way that LDTs are operationalized and regulated.
On March 5th, 2020 the Verifying Accurate and Leading-Edge In-Vitro Clinical Tests Development Act (VALID) was introduced in the US Congress. This statute would overhaul existing regulatory framework by unifying the oversight of LDTs and commercial in-vitro diagnostic tests (IVDs) through the FDA. If enacted, LDTs would be subject to regulatory requirements like those found in commercial submissions for market review. Stakeholders continue to discuss the details and scope of the proposed legislation in the setting of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 pandemic, where LDTs are integral to the national COVID-19 response.
Congressional lawmakers have introduced legislation to alter the regulatory framework governing LDTs. Moving forward, a balance must be struck to ensure the availability of safe and accurate testing without delays or overregulation that could be harmful to patients. The downstream implications of how VALID and other legislation will impact laboratories, clinicians, and patients warrant close examination.