HHS OIG: US FDA Inspection Manual Revision Could Reduce Unannounced Inspections Abroad
Poor inspection history was dropped as a criteria for unannounced inspections, OIG says in an audit report, even as support grows for surprise inspections of poor quality sites. An exhaustive review of foreign for-cause inspections shows the FDA reorganization has sped up a process that must go faster still. Meanwhile, whatever happened to experienced investigators’ training records?
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Unannounced facility visits also were to start again in China, but FDA Commissioner Robert Califf said they have been delayed by the COVID-19 outbreak in the country.
'Concept of Operations' document spells out how FDA's realigned inspectorate and program offices will work together to accelerate drug manufacturing facility evaluations and inspections in line with generic and brand drug product reviews. Under the new approach, the agency expects to produce establishment inspection reports, facility classifications and warning letters more quickly, giving applicants more time to avoid manufacturing-related complete response letters.
US FDA’s structure for its new pharmaceutical inspectorate, part of the massive reorganization of the Office of Regulatory Affairs, includes four domestic divisions, a fifth handling foreign inspections and the sixth handling program functions. New staff directory could prove valuable to pharmaceutical companies learning to interact with a very different field organization.