Author Archives: Tony Chen

About Tony Chen

Tony Chen is Co-Founder of FDAzilla

FDA Sent These 8 Warning Letters for Pharma Companies | March 2017

We took a snapshot of the 8 warning letters the FDA sent to pharmaceutical companies last month.  Drug manufacturing violations ranged from failing to monitor the water purification system to personnel not wearing appropriate clothing to prevent contamination.

From pharmaceuticals in California, Singapore, and more, here they are:
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Why is No One Talking About This? 2016 was the Year the FDA Exploded on China

New data synthesized by FDAzilla has revealed several dramatic shifts with FDA inspection and enforcement activity.

The FDA issued 15 pharma GMP-related warning letters to manufacturing sites in China in 2016 – a 5-fold increase from years prior. China averaged 2.7 Warning Letters per year from 2013 to 2015.  This explosion was led mostly by infamous FDA investigator, Peter Baker, who performed 17 inspections in China in 2016, leading to 13 FDA Form 483s and 4 Warning Letters. Continue reading

Delay, Denial, or Limiting of Inspections Since 2008

Delay, Denial, or Limiting of Inspections Since 2008

by Barbara Unger, GMP Quality Expert and GMP Regulatory Intelligence Editor-in-Chief

In October 2014, the FDA published a final Guidance for Industry, Circumstances that Constitute Delaying, Denying, Limiting, or Refusing a Drug Inspection. Publishing this guidance was a requirement of section 707 of the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act (FDASIA).  Section 707 of FDASIA adds 501(j) to the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) to deem a drug adulterated if it “has been manufactured, processed, packed, or held in any factory, warehouse, or establishment and the owner, operator, or agent of such factory, warehouse, or establishment delays, denies, or limits an inspection, or refuses to permit entry or inspection.”  Before that time and since, the FDA cited instances where firms have delayed inspections or denied investigators access to areas or documents that they should be able to view.

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Assessing Your Readiness State for FSMA: Stabilize, Then Benchmark

Assessing Your Readiness State for FSMA: Stabilize, Then Benchmark

I find that the FSMA readiness of major food brands and CPGs runs the gamut from “scrambling” to “got it covered” — and everywhere in between. Smaller companies have been given more time to prepare by the FDA. Larger companies have considerably less runway to get ready.

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What is the Future of Outsourcing Facilities?

What is the Future of Outsourcing Facilities?

by Barbara Unger, GMP Quality Expert and GMP Regulatory Intelligence Editor-in-Chief

PART II Policies, Enforcement, and Predictions

Policies:
In this section, we will address policies and guidance that the FDA has published since the end of 2013, look at enforcement activities in this area, and make some predictions for the future of this market segment.

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FDA and MHRA MOST RECENT INSPECTION OBSERVATIONS

FDA and MHRA MOST RECENT INSPECTION OBSERVATIONS

by Barbara Unger, GMP Quality Expert and GMP Regulatory Intelligence Editor-in-Chief

INTRODUCTION:

Part of a comprehensive GMP Intelligence program is the monitoring of enforcement actions, including FDA 483s, warning letters, recalls, import alerts, consent decree agreements, and EU reports of GMDP noncompliance. This article presents the most recent GMP inspection data from CDER and MHRA.  The CDER data are from inspections conducted in FY2016 and the MHRA data come from inspections conducted in 2015.

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Outsourcing Facilities: Are They Still Worth It and Were They Ever?

The Real Story Behind Outsourcing Facilities:

Are They Still Worth It and Were They Ever?

by Barbara Unger, GMP Quality Expert and GMP Regulatory Intelligence Editor-in-Chief

PART I History and Background:

The New England Compounding Center (NECC) preparation and shipment of contaminated injectable products across state lines in 2012 created a firestorm of publicity and enforcement actions.  More than 750 patients in twenty states developed a fungal infection, fungal meningitis, and more than 60 people died.  Others became sick and suffered long term harm as reported by Kurt Eichenwald in a Newsweek article of April 2015.   In an abundance of caution, FDA quickly recommended that healthcare providers not use any product from NECC.  The FDA commissioner gave testimony before Congress in November 2012 where they outlined their response and presented FDA’s legal authority over compounded drugs.  In December 2014 fourteen arrests were made.  The owner of the pharmacy was indicted by a federal grand jury and is currently on trial.  He faces racketeering charges and twenty-five counts of second decree murder.  In May 2015, a federal bankruptcy judge approved a $200 million fund to provide compensation to victims. A recent article from the Wicked Local Framingham written by Walter F. Roche Jr., identifies some of the practices that have come to light at the trial.   This event triggered legislative changes, development of more than two dozen guidance documents, and changes in inspection practices for a niche area of drug preparation within the United States.

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Warning Letters

FDA Sent These 10 Warning Letters for Pharma Companies | January 2017

We took a snapshot of the 10 warning letters the FDA sent to pharmaceutical companies last month.  Drug manufacturing violations ranged from products not meeting “the definition and standard for chocolate” to sites “refusing to permit the FDA inspection” altogether.

From pharmaceuticals in Italy, Pennsylvania, and more, here they are (starting with the most recent):
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10 Ways to Prepare for a GMP Inspection

How to Prepare for a GMP Inspection for Small and Virtual Companies

by Barbara Unger, GMP Quality Expert and GMP Regulatory Intelligence Editor-in-Chief

Preparing for GMP inspections, particularly pre-approval inspections, can be a challenge when resources are limited and staff may have little expertise in these important activities. This becomes especially complex for start-up companies that are virtual, or essentially virtual, and rely on contract manufacturers and contract laboratories.  Virtual firms are responsible for the content of the submission, release of product to the clinic or for commercial distribution and post approval safety reporting even though they may not manufacture API or dosage form.  The following are some suggestions for these firms to ensure a successful inspection outcome when they have limited experience in this activity and limited resources:

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Warning Letters

FDA Sent These 5 Warning Letters for Pharma Companies | December 2016

We took a snapshot of the 5 warning letters the FDA sent to pharmaceutical companies last month.  Drug manufacturing violations ranged from failing to put expiration dates on containers to failing to put soap in the bathrooms.

From pharmaceuticals in Canada, Spain, and more, here they are (starting with the most recent):
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6 Changes in Regulatory and GMP Intelligence

Changes in Regulatory and GMP Intelligence

by Barbara Unger, GMP Quality Expert and GMP Regulatory Intelligence Editor-in-Chief

Surveillance, analysis and communication of regulatory and GMP intelligence has evolved over the past decade. The individual(s) tasked with this activity within pharma companies require broad experience in regulatory affairs and GMP compliance.  The individual(s) must have sufficient historical perspective to compare and contrast new requirements with those they replace and to compare requirements and expectations among the major health authorities. It is no longer sufficient to simply summarize new or revised requirements but rather it is necessary to provide the added value of determining how the new requirements may affect the firm’s operations.

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An Alternative to GMP Quality System Auditing in the Pharma Industry

An Alternative to GMP Quality System Auditing in the Pharma Industry

by Barbara Unger, GMP Quality Expert and GMP Regulatory Intelligence Editor-in-Chief

Executive Summary:

  • Historically, a quality systems approach to GMP auditing has become common practice. However, this systems approach does not routinely address the essential input into the system – the data.
  • Data integrity issues have drastically increased in the last year – and not just in foreign warning letters.
  • Why would you do business with a firm whose data you can’t trust?

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