• RF Quarterly

    Evolution of the Japanese regulatory system and agencies

    The Japanese regulatory system has been recognized as one of the most sophisticated and stringent regulatory systems in the world. The regulatory policies are developed and administered by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW), the Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Agency (PMDA) executes the policies, and certain authorities are delegated to local governments. Over the last 6 decades, the Japanese regulator has faced many challenges but has kept enhancing the...
  • Feature ArticlesFeature Articles

    FDA ‘high-risk’ foreign inspections: Post‒COVID-19 response to GMP challenges

    This article examines the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) return to inspections that were put on hold during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. It outlines the agency’s oversight of drug and biological products during the pandemic and its plans moving forward. The authors summarize the agency’s guidance and policies, industry considerations, and recommendations to manufacturers preparing for their next FDA inspection.   Keywords FDA, inspections, quality, risk m...
  • Regulatory NewsRegulatory News

    FDA asks manufacturers to develop risk management plans to avert shortages

    The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued draft guidance that spells out which types of drugs and medical devices are vulnerable to shortages and should be subject to risk management plan (RMP) reporting. The guidance also recommends risk factors to consider when developing the content of the RMPs.     Under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), FDA was given new authorities to collect information from manufacturers in respond...
  • Regulatory NewsRegulatory News

    Pharmaceutical industry groups suggest ICH Q9 changes

    The proposed revisions of the International Council of Harmonization’s (ICH) Q9 (R1) guideline on risk management should be better aligned with medical device quality risk standards as well as international standards. Further, a firm’s information technology (IT) program should be subject to the same level of risk controls as other areas within an organization, representatives of the pharmaceutical industry said in their comments on the update.   The European Medicin...
  • RF Quarterly

    Current good manufacturing practices and quality system design

    Quality by design, or the principle of building quality into a product and testing, was introduced in 2011 as process validation guidance. Today it is codified within the Title 21 section 820. The quality management system (QMS) encompasses this principle in all areas of healthcare manufacturing – including drugs, biologics, and devices – and, with compliance, can ensure the safety and effectiveness of all manufactured products. The establishment, implementation, and maint...
  • RF Quarterly

    Medical device quality management systems

    Introduction A quality management system (QMS) is one of the five medical device conformity assessment elements. 1 Manufacturers of medical devices are expected to implement, document, and maintain a QMS that “ensures the medical devices it designs, manufactures, and supplies to the market are safe, perform as intended, and comply with the relevant provisions of the regulations in the countries where the product is made available.” 2   Today, a QMS is seen as a ...
  • Feature ArticlesFeature Articles

    MDR, IVDR, and compliance: A guide for distributors

    Distributors must prepare for new incoming requirements under EU medical device and in vitro diagnostic device regulations. The importance of establishing an effective quality management system, drafting comprehensive contractual agreements and, if required, engaging notified bodies, has created much uncertainty for distributors. To fulfil these new requirements and maintain device supply chains, it is essential for distributors to act early, ensure sufficient in-house com...
  • Feature ArticlesFeature Articles

    Risk management, drug shortages and the EU portal for clinical trials

    Feature articles during May focused on risk management and mitigation in dealing with contractors and vendors and included articles on best practices in good vendor management, use of risk management to support outsourcing activities, testing in-house versus outsourcing, and outsourcing in regulatory operations. Also included were in-depth examinations of challenges and opportunities in “bespoke” therapies, a critical appraisal of drug shortages in Germany and an update on...
  • Feature ArticlesFeature Articles

    A guide to good vendor management

    This article addresses best practices for regulatory affairs departments in their work with vendors. The author provides an overview of the vendor-contract giver relationship, then discusses finding an appropriate vendor, due diligence in selecting a vendor, vendor-related risk management, contract management, performance evaluation, maintaining the vendor-contract giver relationship, and the importance of follow-up meetings, audits, and reviews.   Introduction   A...
  • Feature ArticlesFeature Articles

    Using risk management to support outsourcing activities

    This article outlines organizational risks and benefits with respect to third-party vendors and partnerships in regulatory affairs functions. It also discusses the different controls available to apply an effective risk management program in an organization.   Introduction   The use of contracted or third-party services can be an effective way for organizations to resource projects or programs. This way of working has been a growing trend in business operations, e...
  • Regulatory NewsRegulatory News

    EMA Staff Losses Tick Up as Workload Increases

    As the interim arrangements to allow European Medicines Agency (EMA) staff to telework from London have now ended, the agency said its total available workforce in Amsterdam is about 730, which is about 20% less than the 900 staffers EMA had in London. “Due to these ongoing resource constraints, delivery of EMA’s work programme for Q4 2019 will be challenging for the Agency, particularly in view of the need to implement new legislation for veterinary medicines and medic...
  • Regulatory NewsRegulatory News

    Experts Tell Device Companies Not to Fret Over QMS Transition

    Ahead of the proposed shift away from the current US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) quality management system (QMS) CFR 21 Part 820 regulation toward ISO 13485:2016, a new white paper sheds light on how the action will impact medical device development. The white paper identified three interrelated principles that will define the direction of the agency’s process, which has yet to be clearly defined, after the transition . These principles relate to the concept of ...