The FDA’s Office of Regulatory Affairs (ORA), responsible for inspections and other field activities, has released its summary on inspectional observations listed on FDA Forms 483 from October 2020 to September 2021.
The United States Pharmacopeia has released a new Chapter 1220 on “Analytical Procedure Life Cycle” prior to its official publication and entering into force on 1 May 2022. The chapter considers the validation activities that take place across the entire life cycle of an analytical procedure and provides a framework for the implementation of the life cycle approach.
On 14 October 2021, the European Commission has proposed a “progressive roll-out” of the upcoming In Vitro Diagnostic Medical Devices Regulation, IVDR. The reason given for that is to prevent disruption in the supply of those essential healthcare products that fall under it, as well as a serious shortage of notified body capacity. The IVDR was planned to apply as of 26 May 2022.
The European Medicines Agency EMA has further updated its Q&A on nitrosamine impurities. The document is intended to support marketing authorization holders of human medicinal products and considers the latest regulatory requirements (we reported).
The Chinese NMPA applied for PIC/S pre-accession on 24 September 2021. Although this stage is a voluntary assessment process, gaps are identified between PIC/S membership requirements and the system used by the regulatory agency that is interested.
The European Directorate for the Quality of Medicines, EDQM, has identified another azido impurity which was tested positive in a mutagenic evaluation. So far, it has only been found in "Losartan potassium".
The European medicines regulatory network has announced the automatically applied extension of the validity of GMP and GDP certificates for sites in the EEA (European Economic Area) until the end of 2022, unless there are restrictions on the validity period stated in the clarifying remarks of the certificate. This extension also applies to time-limited manufacturing and import and wholesale authorisations.
As communicated by the EMA, the EUDRAGMDP database will be „merged“ with EMA’s Organisation Management Service (OMS). This is an important change to be aware of for all manufacturers, importers and distributors of human and veterinary medicines whose information is recorded in EUDRAGMDP.
On 21 September 2021, an amendment to Delegated Regulation (EU) 2016/161 was published in the Official Journal of the European Union. Article 47 "Evaluation of notifications" was adapted and in Annex I, containing the list of medicinal products exempted from the obligation to bear the safety features, a new entry has been added.
On September 15, the U.S. Pharmacopeia USP published the final draft of the chapter <1083> Supplier Qualification.
As of July 2021, the European Pharmacopoeia (Ph. Eur.) now contains chapter 2.1.7 "Balances for analytical purposes". It was included as an addition to section 2.1 Apparatus and defines the requirements placed on the "balance" tool in an analytical procedure.
This month, the Medical Devices Coordinating Group of the European Commission, MDCG, published a 7-page guideline for notified bodies, distributors, and importers of medical devices. It should provide a basis for the certification of quality management systems (QMS) related to repackaging and relabeling processes of medical devices according to MDR and IVDR.
The WHO has published three GMP-relevant draft documents in recent weeks:
- WHO good manufacturing practices for investigational products
- WHO good manufacturing practices for medicinal gases, Rev.1
- WHO good practices for research and development facilities of pharmaceutical products
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has issued a 31-page draft guideline describing the information to be included in the Summary of Product Characteristics (SmPC), labelling and package leaflet for Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products (ATMPs) that contain genetically modified cells.
On 27 July 2021, ICH published the anticipated draft of its Q13 Guideline on Continuous Manufacturing of Drug Substances & Drug Products. In Stage 2 of the ICH process the 44-page document has thus been released for public commentation.
The guideline is intended to provide "scientific and legal considerations for the design, implementation, operation and lifecycle management of continuous manufacturing (CM)".
As part of the annual budget planning acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock has addressed the problem of weaknesses in the medical devices supply chain and its overall dependence on foreign medical devices.
The European Commission announced on 14 July 2021, that the Italian company Kiwa Cermet Italia S.P.A. has been appointed as the 21st Notified Body under the EU Medical Devices Regulation (MDR) 2017/745. It has been assigned the number 0476 in the EC's Nando database.
EMA has updated its Q&A document on drug-device combination products by end of June 2021. It includes the current requirements under the Medical Devices Regulation (MDR), which entered into force on 26 May 2021. Marketing authorisation holders of combination products are provided with detailed information on all current adjustments.
On 2 July 2021 the European Medicines Agency has released a revised version of the 17-pages Q&A to aid marketing authorisation holders to assess their risk for nitrosamine impurities. The revision affects questions 3 and 10:
For the ‘call for review’ for chemically synthesised and biological medicinal products, when and how should MAHs report steps 1 and 2 to competent authorities? (Q&A 3)
Which limits apply for nitrosamines in medicinal products? (Q&A 10).
The aborted negotiations between Switzerland and the EU on the institutional framework agreement (we reported) are casting their shadow: new regulations are needed to ensure the safe supply of medical devices within Switzerland. However, not only Swiss manufacturers are affected. Medical device manufacturers who are not domiciled in Switzerland but who place products on the market there must also mandate an authorized representative in Switzerland.
The Netherlands’ DEKRA Certification B.V. was named the fifth notified body under the Regulation (EU) 2017/746 on in vitro diagnostic medical devices (IVDR) in June 2021. Dekra Certification B.V. is also a designated notified body under the MDR.
PIC/S has started the consultation process for the adoption of Annex 16 of the EU GMP Guide. It is a very important step towards international harmonisation of GMP requirements.
As every year, the EMA now publishes its report for 2020, in which it outlines achievements, decisions and objectives of the year.
In early June, the FDA unveiled the Generic Drug Cluster, the first forum for leading regulatory authorities to address the global development of generic drugs.
Once a year, operation PANGEA takes place, a globally organized action by Interpol against the online distribution of illegally imported medicines. Within this week of action, participating countries check (and close) suspicious websites and seize counterfeit medicines. In addition, this action aims to create public awareness of the issue.
The European Medicines Agency, EMA, has updated its regulatory and procedural guidance documents on parallel distribution as of 9 June 2021.
The two facilities of the Italian company Steril Milano S.r.L. in Monza and Reggiolo have closed their doors since March 2021. The company, which offers a sterilization service for medical devices, is facing serious allegations of manipulation. In the meantime, Steril Milano S.r.L's certificate has been withdrawn by the responsible accreditation body.
The FDA has finalized two guidance documents to help ensure that prescription drugs are identified and traced properly while moving through the supply chain. The documents address how to comply with the DSCSA (Drug Supply Chain Security Act) requirements.
Finally the date has come: as of 26 May 2021 the EU rules on medical devices (EU MDR) entered into force. Following a one year postponement due to COVID-19, this regulation is considered a big step forward to improve the safety and quality of medical devices. There are, however, still plenty of uncertainties for their manufacturers, but there is also a saying that every journey begins with single steps.
The new European medical device regulation came into force on 26 May 2021. Parallel, a complete revision of the Medical Devices Regulation MepV was carried out in Switzerland, under the responsibility of the Swiss BAG (Federal Office of Public Health). In context of the alignment of the MepV and the KlinV-Mep with the new EU regulations MDR and IVDR on medical devices, it was also necessary to update the existing MRA (Mutual Recognition Agreement) between Switzerland and the EU. This agreement ensures barrier-free market access and joint implementation. The MRA is, in turn, part of an "overall package" of an institutional framework agreement (Insta), which has not yet been conclusively agreed on. On the contrary: Switzerland has meanwhile broken off negotiations with the EU and described them as "having failed".
On 18 May 2021, Swissmedic and the Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety (BVL) signed a first Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in the area of veterinary medicinal products.
On 17 May 2021 the USFDA has released a revised version of its Q&A guidance on remote inspections. The 14-page document was originally published in August 2020 (we reported). As the pandemic still restricts most onsite inspections the FDA further clarifies general questions that came up since then.
The British MHRA has set up a standalone MHRA-GMDP database as a new service (alpha release). This step obviously separates the UK from the EudraGMDP where the competent EU authorities publish manufacturing and wholesale approvals, GMP certificates and non-compliance reports.
ICH published the revised version (Step 4) of the ICH Q3C(R8) Guideline on Impurities: Guideline for Residual Solvents on 22 April 2021.
As announced by PIC/S on 23 April, 2021, the PIC/S GMP Guide has been revised. The changes will take effect on 1 May 2021.
On 16 April 2021, Swissmedic announced that it is seeking harmonization with EU regulations regarding the handling of nitrosamine impurities.
On 12 April 2021, Dr Janet Woodcock, acting head of the US FDA, announced Dr Patrizia Cavazzoni's new role as director of CDER.
The European Union has published the Delegated Regulation (EU) 2021/457 in its Official Journal on 17 March 2021. It amends the Delegated Regulation (VO) 2016/161 on safety features necessary for the packaging of medicinal products for human use. The amendment is to exempt the obligation for wholesalers to deactivate the unique identifier of medicinal products exported to the United Kingdom, being considered a third country now.
EMA published Revision 3 of the Q&A on the Protocol on Ireland and Northern Ireland on 5 March 2021. The 11-page document contains 28 pairs of questions and answers. It is updated regularly and will be of interest to all GMP professionals who have business relationships with companies in Northern Ireland.
The CMDh (EMA's Coordination Group for Mutual Recognition and Decentralized Procedures) has approached one of the EMA's Safety Working Parties (SWPs) with the following two questions regarding chlorobutanol:
- Can the Safety Working Party confirm that the levels of chlorobutanol commonly used in medicinal products are safe from a toxicological point of view?
- Is it possible to determine acceptable intake levels of chlorobutanol?
The EMA published the 15-page SWP response document to these questions on March 17, 2021.
The MHRA announces its return to on-site risk based GxP inspections starting from 29 March 2021. However, it is planned to use a combined approach of both, remote and on-site inspections.