The FDA recently revamped the methods it uses to determine which foreign and domestic drug manufacturing sites warrant inspection or other types of surveillance and at what frequency. The agency also introduced a multiyear resource planning process that will enable it to better use resources and plan frequencies of product sampling as well as inspections.
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.
It has never been clear whether visual inspection is reliable since it has never actually been validated. If it can be validated, then the use of this technique for release of equipment would be justified and might even be used in place of traditional swab methods, which take substantial amounts of time and resources to develop, validate, and perform.