Category Archives: quality assurance

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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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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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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Inspect your FDA Inspector Before Your Inspection

Today, I’m excited to officially announce a new set of services to help you prepare for your next FDA inspections – FDA Inspector Profiles.

We’ve taken 16+ years of FDA inspection data and combined it with other relevant databases to bring you a comprehensive, detailed look into any individual FDA Inspector. Continue reading

The Story of 3 Consent Decrees

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

A consent decree agreement is an agreement filed in the US courts formalizing a voluntary agreement between two parties.  Here we will address consent decree agreements between FDA and several pharmaceutical companies based on repeated failures to adequately address CGMP deficiencies.  It is not an action taken on the basis of a single form 483, or a single warning letter.  Generally, a series of events play out over time when critical inspection observations are not addressed and are identified in subsequent inspections.  Frequently one or more warning letters are involved.  Consent decree agreements often include fines, with the option for additional financial penalties if conditions to which the firm agrees are not met.  Often these firms are required to use a 3rd party consultants to perform lot release.  Firms operating under a consent decree agreement have largely lost their independence in GMP activities.  Unlike Corporate Integrity Agreement which have a defined duration, firms must petition to have the consent decree agreement condition rescinded.

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EU vs. FDA: My Inspectors are More Rigorous Than Yours

by Barbara Unger, FDAzilla GMP Quality Expert

FDA and the EU have taken serious enforcement actions against several firms in the others geographic jurisdiction in calendar year 2016.  Perhaps this flurry of my-inspectors-are-more-rigorous-than-yours type represents an unofficial test of sorts as these two agencies move to rely more on each other’s inspections.   These inspections may test the limits and validity of the underlying assumption that would permit this mutual recognition.  Also interesting is that the European inspections specifically evaluate investigational product manufacture, something FDA does not generally do except on a for-cause basis.  Below we cover the three EU reports of GMP non-compliance issued regarding sites in the US and three FDA warning letters, one FDA import alert, and one untitled letter issued regarding sites in the EU.

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5 FEATURES TO LOOK FOR IN AN EIR

Benjamin Franklin said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”  Prepare for your FDA inspections with Establish Inspection Reports (EIR).  An EIR is the full report of an FDA inspection written by the investigators.  Among the features identified in the report are:

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Welcome to the new FDAzilla.com

Times are changing. We now live in a world where we have too much information and way too much raw data, but not enough wisdom.  More and more often, a lot of answers isn’t as useful as one good question. Isn’t the same true for our field of inspection preparation and regulatory intelligence. Why can’t we apply new data and word analysis technologies so that our teams can more effectively reach our quality goals? That’s where we’re headed at FDAzilla.  Continue reading

5 FEATURES TO LOOK FOR IN A WARNING LETTER

5 FEATURES TO LOOK FOR IN A WARNING LETTER

Warning letters are the FDA’s second level of enforcement actions after issuance of a form 483. The FDA determined that either the firm’s response to the form 483 was inadequate or the observations were serious enough to support issuance of a warning letter.   Often it is possible to determine the corrective actions necessary and the impact that the warning letter will have on the business.  To determine a letter’s impact on the business, I ask these questions:

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5 FEATURES TO LOOK FOR IN AN FDA FORM-483

 5 FEATURES TO LOOK FOR IN AN FDA FORM-483

A form-483 is the document that FDA issues at the close of an inspection where they identify observations made during the inspection.  If no observations have been made, no form 483 is issued. Based on the response submitted by the firm, FDA classifies the inspection as:  No Action Indicated (NAI) when no form 483 is issued, Voluntary Action Indicated (VAI) or Official Action Indicated (OAI).  In general, where FDA issues a form-483 with observations and the firm’s response is satisfactory, the inspection is classified VAI.

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