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Contamination is Major Problem Seen in GMP Warning Letters

This article was originally published in The Gold Sheet

Executive Summary

FDA’s aggressive enforcement against pharmaceutical manufacturers for GMP violations continued in the first half of the year through its use of warning letters. Inadequate contamination controls was a common deficiency found in eight of the 18 drug GMP warning letters, failure to investigate out-of-specification results continues to be the most frequent GMP deficiency in warning letters, and cites of stability problems are increasing.

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Contamination and Raw Material Testing Issues Raised in FDA Warning Letters

FDA investigators are continuing to find contamination problems and inadequate testing, according to 20 warning letters issued in the first half of 2013, as well as a troubling trend of repeat observations at Baxter, Hospira and Apotex. Observers say to expect more sterility concerns in future warning letters, particularly involving mold, as FDA ramps up GMP enforcement at compounding pharmacies.

Difficulty Identifying Experts Seen as a Factor in Poor Investigations

Pharmaceutical enterprises have become so complex that some sites with quality problems can’t find the root cause because they no longer know who their key experts are or where to find them, one industry expert says. Regardless of why they happen, inadequate investigations continue to be the most frequently cited GMP concern in FDA warning letters year after year.

User Fee Bill Puts Industry, FDA to Work on Supply Chain Risks

The user fee legislation Congress approved June 26 makes quality risk management a GMP requirement, further pressuring pharmaceutical manufacturers to make sure they are protecting their global supply chains. The bill directs FDA to inspect based on risk rather than time or location, and to rely on trusted foreign inspectorates, while adding new user fees for generic drugs that will boost funding for further expansion of the agency’s inspectorate.

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