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Benjamin M. Zegarelli

Of Counsel

[email protected]



Benjamin provides counsel on compliance and regulatory issues to clients in the pharmaceutical, medical device, and biotech industries. With a clear focus on FDA regulatory counseling, Benjamin advises a breadth of health care industry clients, including pharmaceutical, medical device, and bio tech companies, on the federal and state laws surrounding medical product development and marketing. He has extensive experience guiding medical device companies through the FDA regulatory process to identify the correct regulatory pathway, assisting with communications and meetings with FDA, ensuring that regulatory submissions meet regulatory requirements, and helping to establish robust post-market quality system and compliance controls. In particular, Benjamin has counseled numerous medical device software developers, in particular software that includes artificial intelligence or machine learning functionalities, on FDA regulatory strategy, including preparing for pre-submission meetings with FDA and submitting premarket notifications (510(k)) and de novo reclassification requests. His practice also includes advising life sciences clients on regulatory compliance relating to distribution, sales, promotion, and negotiating contractual relationships with suppliers and other contractors.

Benjamin has substantial experience representing medical device companies in responding to significant unfavorable observations from FDA investigators, including regulatory violations cited in Untitled Letters or Warning Letters. He helps companies with compliance issues to navigate the process of communicating with FDA and remediating the identified compliance issues, including the development of corrective action plans and implementation of corrective and preventive actions.

In his practice, Benjamin participates in the coordination of diligence reviews of transactions involving large pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers. He is well versed in the process of developing policy positions for life sciences clients and advocating such positions before FDA or other governmental bodies through written comments or in-person meetings . His practice also includes representing both clinical trial sponsors and clinical sites on clinical research issues, including government grant regulations, as well as drafting and negotiating the agreements necessary to perform clinical research.

Benjamin has co-authored several books titled, Promotion of FDA-Regulated Medical Products and Introduction to the Due Diligence Process, Second Edition, both published by the Regulatory Affairs Professional Society. He has given numerous presentations on current health care industry topics, with titles such as Advertising and Promotion for Drugs, Devices and Biologics Using Social Media and Promotion of Investigational Drugs and Devices. He previously worked as a research chemist in the discovery group of a major research-based health care and pharmaceutical company. While in law school, he held the position of Executive Editor of the Cardozo Law Review.



  • Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law (JD, cum laude)
  • California Institute of Technology (MS, Synthetic Organic Chemistry)
  • Middlebury College (BA, Chemistry, summa cum laude)


  • Worked with several Mintz clients operating in non-FDA regulated industries to determine how to manufacture and distribute face masks and alcohol-based hand sanitizers in compliance with FDA's enforcement discretion policies during the COVID-19 pandemic, including by providing promotion and labeling advice. 
  • Counseled multiple Mintz clients developing in vitro diagnostic tests for SARS-CoV-2 on compliance with FDA’s enforcement discretion and EUA policies during the COVID-19 pandemic, including assistance with promotion and clinical testing activities.
  • Assisted a pharmacogenetics software company with drafting a pre-submission meeting briefing documents, attended the pre-submission meeting with the client and FDA, and counseled the client on drafting a marketing authorization application that addressed the issues discussed at the pre-submission meeting.
  • Advised multiple Mintz clients developing medical device software on selecting the most appropriate regulatory strategy for their products in light of contemporary FDA software policies and guidance and avoiding potential regulatory pitfalls relating to software design, quality controls, and pre-market submissions.
  • Provided extensive assistance to a major medical device manufacturer in responding to regulatory observations from multiple FDA inspections and enforcement actions, including a Warning Letter and a regulatory meeting, including development of a corrective action plan, assisting with the implementation and effectiveness evaluation of corrective and preventive actions, and auditing the company’s complaint handling and MDR reporting systems.
  • Collaborated with ML Strategies to develop a comprehensive strategy to advocate FDA and Congress for development and implementation of regulatory oversight for third-party servicers of medical devices on behalf of a major medical device manufacturer.


Recognition & Awards

  • Best Lawyers in America "Ones to Watch": Administrative / Regulatory Law (2021-2022); Health Care Law (2021-2022)


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In the weeks leading up to FDA’s October 14, 2021 Transparency of AI/ML Enabled Medical Devices Workshop (Workshop) we took a brief look at the history of FDA’s regulation of medical device software and the agency’s more recent efforts in regulating digital health. In this post, we will provide an overview of the topics discussed at the Workshop and our impressions of the agency’s likely next steps.
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In our last post, we took a brief look back through history at FDA’s approach to regulating medical device software and found that there is little distinction from the agency’s approach to hardware devices. Recently, however, FDA has announced several digital health initiatives aimed at improving the agency’s resources and policies governing software and data systems (including its own internal data systems) and changing the way the agency handles pre-market reviews of and compliance activities for software as a medical device (SaMD) and SaMD manufacturers. In this post, we will review FDA’s digital health improvement highlights from the past few years and take a quick look at the agenda for the transparency of AI/ML-enabled medical devices workshop scheduled for October 14, 2021.
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In anticipation of FDA’s virtual public workshop on transparency of artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML)-enabled medical devices scheduled for October 14, 2021, we will be posting a series detailing the history behind FDA’s regulation of software and then reporting our impressions of FDA’s presentations and statements from various attending stakeholders following meeting. In this part, we briefly summarize FDA’s traditional approach to regulating software and how software development quickly revealed the limitations of the original regulatory framework established in the 1976 Medical Device Amendments to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act).
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On June 24, 2021, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued the long-awaited Remanufacturing of Medical Devices Draft Guidance, which describes the agency’s current thinking on activities that meet the definition of remanufacturing and a process for determining whether an act done to an original equipment manufacturer’s (OEM’s) legally marketed finished device is considered remanufacturing (the “Draft Remanufacturing Guidance”).
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Bipartisan VALID Act Re-Introduced in Congress: Is Diagnostics Reform on the Horizon?

July 13, 2021 | Blog | By Joanne Hawana, Benjamin Zegarelli

In our most recent year-end blog post on devices and diagnostic products at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), we summarized the tumultuous events of 2020 with respect to laboratory developed tests (LDTs) and clinical laboratory testing in general during the COVID-19 public health emergency. We highlighted at the time an August 2020 Trump Administration order barring FDA from requiring premarket review for any LDT unless the agency goes through formal rulemaking procedures. We also speculated that although “the regulatory framework and policies surrounding LDTs will be a prominent topic of debate in 2021…there will be no quick resolution of these issues, either at a legislative or agency policy level, in the short term and that LDTs will likely remain in a gray area of FDA regulation and policy for the foreseeable future.”
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Health Law Diagnosed — Hot Topics in FDA Regulation and Enforcement

May 12, 2021 | Podcast | By Joanne Hawana, Benjamin Zegarelli

This past year has been a busy one for the FDA, but it hasn’t all been about the pandemic.
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On April 16, 2021, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published twin notices in the Federal Register effectively reversing a move by the Trump administration Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on January 15, 2021 purporting to exempt 91 medical device types from the premarket notification requirement under Section 510(k) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. HHS’s actions on January 15, signed by then-HHS Secretary Alex Azar, sought to make permanent FDA’s grant of temporary enforcement discretion for the 91 device types for the duration of the COVID-19 public health emergency.
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FDA Releases Definitive Statement on Fake Registration Certificates

March 4, 2021 | Blog | By Benjamin Zegarelli

On March 3, 2021, FDA issued a statement acknowledging that certain entities produce certificates of registration for medical device manufacturers and clarifying that the agency does not issue such certificates. The agency also announced that it sent letters to 25 entities demanding that they stop producing these false and misleading certificates because some device manufacturers and distributors are using them to claim that the devices they produce or sell are cleared, approved, or otherwise authorized by FDA.
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FDA in 2020: What a Year!

December 15, 2020 | Blog | By Benjamin Zegarelli

What a year for the Food and Drug Administration! FDA, an agency with regulatory oversight of 20-25% of products on which consumers spend, including food and medicines, but which typically stays out of the limelight, was thrust into the public eye amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. This was the year many Americans became familiar with lesser-known and niche policies like those governing emergency use authorizations (EUAs) and with the role of FDA in regulating laboratory developed tests (LDTs). The agency also took some flak for seeming to bow to political pressure in authorizing hydroxychloroquine for emergency use as a potential COVID-19 treatment, then rescinding the authorization, as well as for its less-than-accurate pronouncements of positive data concerning convalescent plasma treatment. These were reminders that the agency Americans trust to protect the public does get things wrong sometimes and is susceptible in some ways to political pressure, and that effectively ensuring the public health requires a balance between safety and effectiveness and patient access to medical products. As we look ahead, we eagerly anticipate how FDA will protect and promote public health in a Biden administration. In this post we’ll explore the FDA’s device law and policy activities from 2020.
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Bioethics in a Pandemic: FDA Guidance on Granting EUAs for a COVID-19 Vaccine

October 29, 2020 | Blog | By Bridgette Keller, Benjamin Zegarelli

Earlier this month, the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research issued its highly anticipated guidance outlining the agency’s current thinking on granting emergency use authorization (EUA) to investigational vaccines for COVID-19. This guidance was the subject of intense political debate among the White House, FDA, and other public health officials given the urgent need for a safe and effective vaccine.
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News & Press

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Mintz Member Joanne Hawana, Senior Director of ML Strategies Aaron Josephson, and Mintz Associate Benjamin Zegarelli co-authored an article published in Law360 discussing the latest actions from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in response to COVID-19.
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MedTechDive reported that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is not yet ready to go to Congress to seek new powers for its evolving precertification pilot for software, but it will need new authorities to determine how the experimental path fits into the current regulatory scheme. The article included commentary from Senior Director of ML Strategies Aaron Josephson and Mintz Associate Benjamin Zegarelli.
Bethany Hills and Benjamin Zegarelli co-author this piece reviewing the 21st Century Cures Act that requires the FDA to develop a framework for evaluating evidence in the context of drug regulation and predicting how the FDA will implement the policy.
Three attorneys from Mintz authored the initial installment of a four-part series recapping key government policies, regulations, and enforcement actions from 2016 and discussing their potential impacts on 2017.
Health Law attorney Joanne Hawana and Associate Benjamin Zegarelli authored a Law360 column on how the Senate Appropriations Committee’s approval of the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies 2017 appropriations bill sets the stage for GMO legislation. 
FDA and Health Law attorney Joanne Hawana and New York Associate Benjamin Zegarelli authored this Law360 column discussing the growing public support for genetically modified organism and genetic engineering labeling on appropriate food products across the board.