The estimated timeline for a drug product from discovery to market is 10 to 15 years. However, less than 12 percent of drug candidates that enter clinical trials will ultimately receive FDA approval. The Orphan Drugs Act of 1983 ensured that there were adequate incentives offered to drug developers working on therapies to treat fewer than 200,000 patients in U.S.
If you are charged with any of the tasks that lead to a successful product launch in the pharmaceutical industry, you know how critical it is to execute a multitude of steps successfully. Among these are agreement by marketing on the look and design of the campaign, completion of clinical trials, project management, testing of active pharmaceutical ingredients, the completion of a trial production batch, receipt of all materials at the production site, production scheduling, regulatory agency submissions, trademark registration, and a host of others.
Probably the biggest concern for anyone implementing, deploying, and maintaining a quality management system (QMS) is the integration of risk-based thinking. While the concept of risk management is not new, previous practice was more reactionary, primarily focused on detection after the fact, root cause analysis, corrective actions, and preventing recurrence of the failure. Contemporary thinking places the emphasis on considering risks up front (prevention) and having a solid approach to address risk in planning, managing, and driving actions.
Manufacturers of sterile products must engage in critical thinking, asking “Why?” and “Why not?” questions, challenging and pushing the industry towards more effective means of quality and process control. In this way, we can ensure that we are prepared to meet the challenges of providing sterile pharmaceutical products that are not only safe and effective, but also are available and affordable for the patients who depend on them.
Success in developing a drug product, medical device, or drug substance requires navigating the tradeoffs and decisions of today’s complex global regulatory realm. Some of the most common questions about compliance concern dealing with the FDA 483 list of inspection observations, warning letters, and consent decrees following FDA regulatory action.
A recent U.S. FDA publication entitled The Future of Pharmaceutical Quality and the Path to Get There suggested that the future of pharmaceutical quality is Six Sigma, meaning that no more than 3.4 defects occur per million opportunities (at every manufacturing facility). The way to achieve this goal is to move from the current management standards to performance standards. The need for an additional incentive — the economic driver — was also recognized in the publication. The proposed path forward aims to achieve the long-standing vision of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER): “a maximally efficient, agile, flexible pharmaceutical manufacturing sector that reliably produces high-quality drugs without extensive regulatory oversight.”
Probably the most significant concern for anyone responsible for implementing, deploying, and maintaining a quality management system is the integration of risk-based thinking. While the concept of risk management is not new, previous practice was more reactionary, primarily focusing on detection after the fact, root cause analysis, corrective actions, and preventing recurrence of the failure. Contemporary thinking places the emphasis on considering risks up front (prevention) and having a solid approach to address risk in planning, managing, and driving actions.
Our discussion continues with the physical application of GMP design practices as influenced by the CDC and NIH regulations. The first part of our design discussion covers various processes and their applicable BSL levels, to understand the risk levels and what types of processes must be contained.
Serialization in the pharmaceutical sector is a direct response to the problems of counterfeit, stolen, and gray-market drugs. There’s been a huge incentive for counterfeiters to duplicate high-profit-margin products. According to the 2016 Brand Protection and Product Traceability Market Research Report from PMMI, the black market for counterfeit drugs is about $75 billion annually.
Microbial control is critical in cleanroom environments. Contaminated environments can lead to product recalls, regulatory observations, fines, or even consumer deaths. This article will address concepts of environmental monitoring and the importance of disinfectant efficacy and proper cleaning in cleanrooms.