Friday, May 3, 2013

GMP and Compounding Pharmacies --Great Charts of the FDA Inspections

It seems self-evident today, but worth remembering, that the pharmaceutical industry exists on a foundation of trust. Patients or even doctors have no way to actually determine the strength, purity and quality of the medicines prescribed and taken. Everyone trusts that the label is accurate and the medicines are pure. This was not always the case and efforts to safeguard our medicine supply led directly to USP, FDA and the GMPs.
Recently we have been reminded of the critical nature microbial Quality control plays in safe medications as contaminated medicine shipped nationally from a compounding pharmacy has sickened hundreds. The New England Compounding Center (NECC) of Framingham, MA was responsible for the manufacture of preservativefree methylprednisolone acetate. This was an aseptically produced parenteral, delivered intrathecally (directly to the spinal column, bypassing most of the body’s defense mechanisms).
It is difficult to envision a more hazardous situation and the results have been disastrous. Three lots of this product have exposed over 20,000 individuals to risk of fungal meningitis, and by latest count (April 15, 2013 - have resulted in infections in 733 patients and 53 deaths associated with these intrinsically contaminated medicines.
In response to this situation, FDA has embarked on an aggressive inspection schedule that resulted in multiple 483 findings in the beginning of 2013 (summarized in Table 1). Review of these 483 observations shows several common findings among the compounding pharmacies that received 483 observations during this time:
  • Lack of procedures to prevent microbial contamination
  • Problems with the Environmental Monitoring program
  • Problems with batch release
  • Lack of validation of the sterilization method
  • Inadequate control/cleaning/qualification of critical equipment used in manufacture
  • Issues with personnel gowning
  • Expiry dating of manufactured medicines not supported by a stability study
  • Issues with laboratory procedures or control of contract lab
  • Issues with investigations
  • Control of incoming raw materials and components
To continue reading and to view awesome charts click here

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