• Regulatory NewsRegulatory News

    FDA: No plans yet to resume onsite GMP foreign inspections

    An official with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said the agency has no plans to resume onsite foreign inspections for operations that are not deemed “mission critical” during the COVID-19 public health emergency. Instead, the agency is relying on the expanded use of mutual recognition agreements as an alternative tool for boots-on-the-ground inspections.   So asserted Alonza Cruse, the director of pharmaceutical quality operations in FDA’s Office of Regulato...
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    FDA-registered sites declined in 2020: OPQ drug quality report

    A new report from the US Food and Drug Administration's (FDA's) Office of Pharmaceutical Quality (OPQ) shows a small drop overall in drug manufacturing sites and a shift toward pandemic-related priorities in FY 2020.   The OPQ report on the state of pharmaceutical quality for FY 2020 notes that drug manufacturing sites included in FDA’s site catalog declined by just over 1% in FY 2020 to 4,221. Medical gas manufacturers are excluded from this figure, as are the crop ...
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    FDA’s regulatory affairs head previews Inspectional Affairs Council

    The top regulatory affairs official at the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave a preview of a soon-to-be-launched council within the agency that will focus solely on inspection-related matters.   “We will soon stand up an agency-wide decision-making body; it’s called the FDA Inspectional Affairs Council,” said Judith McMeekin, FDA’s associate commissioner for regulatory affairs within the Office of Regulatory Affairs (ORA), speaking at a virtual webinar hosted W...
  • RoundupsRoundups

    Euro Roundup: EDQM says remote inspections could be third pillar for GMP oversight

    Real-time remote inspections piloted during the COVID-19 pandemic could serve as a third pillar for the supervision of active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) manufacturers, the European Directorate for the Quality of Medicines (EDQM) said.   EDQM began piloting real-time remote inspections, which it refers to by the abbreviation RTEMIS, in 2020 in response to travel restrictions. With the vast majority of the around 40 on-site inspections EDQM performs each year happen...
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    PIC/S finalizes GMP data integrity guidance

    This week, the Pharmaceutical Inspection Co-operation Scheme (PIC/S) announced that its new guidance on good practices for data management and integrity for pharmaceutical manufacturers and distributors has come into effect.   When authorities inspect facilities of manufacturers and distributors of active pharmaceutical ingredients to ensure good manufacturing practice and good distribution practice (GMP/GDP) compliance, “The effectiveness of these inspection processes...
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    FDA gives generics updates at DIA town hall

    Officials at the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) addressed plans to prioritize on-site inspections and gave updates regarding certain new drug applications during a generics-focused virtual town hall convened by the Drug Information Association (DIA) as part of its virtual annual meeting. During the session, regulators also shared post-pandemic learnings, including the importance of international collaborations for generic drug development.   The session inclu...
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    PIC/S looks to adopt EU Annex on qualified persons, batch release

    The Pharmaceutical Inspection Cooperation Scheme (PIC/S) this week announced plans to incorporate the EU good manufacturing practice (GMP) Annex 16 on batch release by a qualified person (QP) into a PIC/S guideline. The aim is to have non-EU/European Economic Area (EEA) members incorporate Annex 16 into their regulatory systems.   The EU’s Annex 16 covers the certification of a QP that can release product batches for marketing authorization holders in the EU or labeled...
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    Pharmaceutical officials propose new USP harmonized chapter on visual inspections

    Pharmaceutical industry officials have proposed the United States Pharmacopeia (USP) develop a new harmonized chapter on visual inspections of parenteral drugs that would address current testing gaps. This chapter would be developed with input from the European Pharmacopeia and the Japanese Pharmacopeia. Such a chapter would allow for more robust detection of visible particles in these drugs, which is a common reason for reason for recalls and warning letters in the US,...
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    GAO outlines priority recommendations for FDA

    In a report to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published on Thursday, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) outlines five priorities for the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to address to meet its public health mission.   In the report, addressed to HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra, GAO calls for Becerra’s personal attention in addressing 61 open priority recommendations for the department and its sub agencies, 43 of which are holdovers from las...
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    FDA clarifies potential actions when onsite inspections are infeasible

    The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on 17 May revised its question-and-answer guidance on inspections during the COVID-19 pandemic to clarify the regulatory actions it plans to take when it cannot conduct an onsite inspection of a facility.   FDA announced that while the pandemic continues to restrict onsite inspections, the agency “intends to continue using alternative tools to evaluate facilities.” FDA continues to conduct onsite inspections for those products ...
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    Regulators discuss expectations and challenges in conducting virtual inspections

    Regulators from the US Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency gave an update on desktop and virtual inspections and offered some advice on ensuring smoother audits at a 28 April webinar.   While there seemed to be acceptance among regulators that virtual and desktop inspections are a reality until the COVID-19 public health emergency is over, a larger group of health officials at the webinar said that onsite inspections are much better at uncove...
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    FDA issues long-awaited pandemic remote inspections guidance

    More than a year after the COVID-19 pandemic forced the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to halt most on-site inspections, the agency on Wednesday issued guidance detailing its approach to remote interactive evaluations of drug and biomedical research facilities during the public health emergency.   Teleconferencing, livestreaming video and screen-sharing technologies are among the tools FDA says it will use when it determines that a remote interactive evaluation ...