Pics GMP Part I 2015

Pics GMP Part I 2015


PE 009-12 (Part I)
Pics GMP Part I 2015

1 October 2015




The holder of a manufacturing authorisation must manufacture medicinal products so as to ensure that they are fit for their intended use, comply with the requirements of the Marketing Authorisation and do not place patients at risk due to inadequate safety, quality or efficacy. The attainment of this quality objective is the responsibility of senior management and requires the participation and commitment by staff in many different departments and at all levels within the company, by the company’s suppliers and by the distributors. To achieve the quality objective reliably there must be a comprehensively designed and correctly implemented system of Quality Assurance Incorporating Good Manufacturing Practice, and thus Quality Control and Quality Risk Management. It should be fully documented and its effectiveness monitored. All parts of the Quality Assurance systems should be adequately resourced with competent personnel, and suitable and sufficient premises, equipment and facilities. There are additional legal responsibilities for the holder of the manufacturing authorisation and for the authorised person(s).

The basic concepts of Quality Assurance, Good Manufacturing Practice, Quality Control and Quality Risk Management are inter-related. They are described here in order to emphasise their relationships and their fundamental importance to the production and control of medicinal products.


1.1 Quality Assurance is a wide-ranging concept, which covers all matters, which individually or collectively influence the quality of a product. It is the sum total of the organised arrangements made with the objective of ensuring that medicinal products are of the quality required for their intended use. Quality Assurance therefore incorporates Good Manufacturing Practice plus other factors outside the scope of this Guide.

The system of Quality Assurance appropriate for the manufacture of medicinal products should ensure that:

i. medicinal products are designed and developed in a way that takes account of the requirements of Good Manufacturing Practice ;

ii. production and control operations are clearly specified and Good Manufacturing Practice adopted;

iii. managerial responsibilities are clearly specified;

iv. arrangements are made for the manufacture, supply and use of the correct starting and packaging materials;

v. all necessary controls on intermediate products, and any other in- process controls and validations are carried out;

vi. the finished product is correctly processed and checked, according to the defined procedures;

vii. medicinal products are not sold or supplied before an authorised person has certified that each production batch has been produced and controlled in accordance with the requirements of the marketing authorisation and any other regulations relevant to the production, control and release of medicinal products;

viii. satisfactory arrangements exist to ensure, as far as possible, that the medicinal products are stored, distributed and subsequently handled so that quality is maintained throughout their shelf life;

ix. there is a procedure for self-inspection and/or quality audit, which regularly appraises the effectiveness and applicability of the quality assurance system.


1.2 Good Manufacturing Practice is that part of Quality Assurance which ensures that Medicinal products are consistently produced and controlled to the quality standards appropriate to their intended use and as required by the marketing authorisation or product specification.

Good Manufacturing Practice is concerned with both production and quality control. The basic requirements of GMP are that:

i. all manufacturing processes are clearly defined, systematically reviewed in the light of experience and shown to be capable of consistently manufacturing medicinal products of the required quality and complying with their specifications;

ii. critical steps of manufacturing processes and significant changes to the process are validated;

iii. all necessary facilities for GMP are provided including:

a. appropriately qualified and trained personnel;

b. adequate premises and space;

c. suitable equipment and services;

d. correct materials, containers and labels;

e. approved procedures and instructions;

f. suitable storage and transport;

iv. instructions and procedures are written in an instructional form in clear and unambiguous language, specifically applicable to the facilities provided;

v. operators are trained to carry out procedures correctly;

vi. records are made, manually and/or by recording instruments, during manufacture which demonstrate that all the steps required by the defined procedures and instructions were in fact taken and that the quantity and quality of the product was as expected. Any significant deviations are fully recorded and investigated;

vii. records of manufacture including distribution which enable the complete history of a batch to be traced, are retained in a comprehensible and accessible form;

viii. the distribution (wholesaling) of the products minimises any risk to their quality;

ix. a system is available to recall any batch of product, from sale or supply;

x. complaints about marketed products are examined, the causes of quality defects investigated and appropriate measures taken in respect of the defective products and to prevent re-occurrence.


1.3 Quality Control is that part of Good Manufacturing Practice which is concerned with sampling, specifications and testing, and with the organisation, documentation and release procedures which ensure that the necessary and relevant tests are actually carried out and that materials are not released for use, nor products released for sale or supply, until their quality has been judged to be satisfactory.

The basic requirements of Quality Control are that:

i. adequate facilities, trained personnel and approved procedures are available for sampling, inspecting and testing starting materials, packaging materials, intermediate, bulk, and finished products, and where appropriate for monitoring environmental conditions for GMP purposes;

ii. samples of starting materials, packaging materials, intermediate products, bulk products and finished products are taken by personnel and by methods approved by Quality Control;

iii. test methods are validated;

iv. records are made, manually and/or by recording instruments, which demonstrate that all the required sampling, inspecting and testing procedures were actually carried out. Any deviations are fully recorded and investigated;

v. the finished products contain active ingredients complying with the qualitative and quantitative composition of the marketing authorisation, are of the purity required, and are enclosed within their proper containers and correctly labelled;

vi. records are made of the results of inspection and that testing of materials, intermediate, bulk, and finished products is formally assessed against specification. Product assessment includes a review and evaluation of relevant production documentation and an assessment of deviations from specified procedures;

vii. no batch of product is released for sale or supply prior to certification by an authorised person that it is in accordance with the requirements of the relevant authorisations;

viii. sufficient reference samples of starting materials and products are retained to permit future examination of the product if necessary and that the product is retained in its final pack unless exceptionally large packs are produced.


1.4 Regular periodic or rolling quality reviews of all licensed medicinal products, including export only products, should be conducted with the objective of verifying the consistency of the existing process, the appropriateness of current specifications for both starting materials and finished product to highlight any trends and to identify product and process improvements. Such reviews should normally be conducted and documented annually, taking into account previous reviews, and should include at least:

i. A review of starting materials including packaging materials used in the product, especially those from new sources.

ii. A review of critical in-process controls and finished product results.

iii. A review of all batches that failed to meet established specification(s) and their investigation.

iv. A review of all significant deviations or non-conformances, their related investigations, and the effectiveness of resultant corrective and preventative actions taken.

v. A review of all changes carried out to the processes or analytical methods.

vi. A review of Marketing Authorisation variations submitted/granted/ refused, including those for third country (export only) dossiers.

vii. A review of the results of the stability monitoring programme and any adverse trends.

viii. A review of all quality-related returns, complaints and recalls and the investigations performed at the time.

ix. A review of adequacy of any other previous product process or equipment corrective actions.

x. For new marketing authorisations and variations to marketing authorisations, a review of post-marketing commitments.

xi. The qualification status of relevant equipment and utilities, e.g. HVAC, water, compressed gases, etc.

xii. A review of any contractual arrangements as defined in Chapter 7 to ensure that they are up to date.

The manufacturer and marketing authorisation holder should evaluate the results of this review and an assessment made of whether corrective and preventative action or any revalidation should be undertaken. Reasons for such corrective actions should be documented. Agreed corrective and preventative actions should be completed in a timely and effective manner. There should be management procedures for the ongoing management and review of these actions and the effectiveness of these procedures verified during self- inspection. Quality reviews may be grouped by product type, e.g. solid dosage forms, liquid dosage forms, sterile products, etc. where scientifically justified.

Where the marketing authorisation holder is not the manufacturer, there should be a technical agreement in place between the various parties that defines their respective responsibilities in producing the quality review. The authorised person responsible for final batch certification together with the marketing authorisation holder should ensure that the quality review is performed in a timely manner and is accurate.


1.5 Quality risk management is a systematic process for the assessment, control, communication and review of risks to the quality of the medicinal product. It can be applied both proactively and retrospectively.

1.6 The quality risk management system should ensure that:

- the evaluation of the risk to quality is based on scientific knowledge, experience with the process and ultimately links to the protection of the patient;

- the level of effort, formality and documentation of the quality risk management process is commensurate with the level of risk.

Examples of the processes and applications of quality risk management can be found inter alia in Annex 20.




The establishment and maintenance of a satisfactory system of quality assurance and the correct manufacture of medicinal products relies upon people. For this reason there must be sufficient qualified personnel to carry out all the tasks which are the responsibility of the manufacturer. Individual responsibilities should be clearly understood by the individuals and recorded. All personnel should be aware of the principles of Good Manufacturing Practice that affect them and receive initial and continuing training, including hygiene instructions, relevant to their needs.


2.1. The manufacturer should have an adequate number of personnel with the necessary qualifications and practical experience. The responsibilities placed on any one individual should not be so extensive as to present any risk to quality.

2.2. The manufacturer must have an organisation chart. People in responsible positions should have specific duties recorded in written job descriptions and adequate authority to carry out their responsibilities. Their duties may be delegated to designated deputies of a satisfactory qualification level. There should be no gaps or unexplained overlaps in the responsibilities of those personnel concerned with the application of Good Manufacturing Practice.


2.3. Key Personnel includes the head of Production, the head of Quality Control, and if at least one of these persons is not responsible for the release of products the authorised person(s) designated for the purpose. Normally key posts should be occupied by full-time personnel. The heads of Production and Quality Control must be independent from each other. In large organisations, it may be necessary to delegate some of the functions listed in 2.5., 2.6. and 2.7.

2.4. ...

2.5. The head of the Production Department generally has the following responsibilities:

i. to ensure that products are produced and stored according to the appropriate documentation in order to obtain the required quality;

ii. to approve the instructions relating to production operations and to ensure their strict implementation;

iii. to ensure that the production records are evaluated and signed by an authorised person before they are sent to the Quality Control Department;

iv. to check the maintenance of his department, premises and equipment;

v. to ensure that the appropriate validations are done;

vi. to ensure that the required initial and continuing training of his department personnel is carried out and adapted according to need.

2.6. The head of the Quality Control Department generally has the following responsibilities:

i. to approve or reject, as he sees fit, starting materials, packaging materials, and intermediate, bulk and finished products;

ii. to evaluate batch records;

iii. to ensure that all necessary testing is carried out;

iv. to approve specifications, sampling instructions, test methods and other Quality Control procedures;

v. to approve and monitor any contract analysts;

vi. to check the maintenance of his department, premises and equipment;

vii. to ensure that the appropriate validations are done;

viii. to ensure that the required initial and continuing training of his department personnel is carried out and adapted according to need.

Other duties of the Quality Control Department are summarised in Chapter 6.

2.7. The heads of Production and Quality Control generally have some shared, or jointly exercised, responsibilities relating to quality. These may include, subject to any national regulations:

Ø the authorisation of written procedures and other documents, including amendments;

Ø the monitoring and control of the manufacturing environment;

Ø plant hygiene;

Ø process validation;

Ø training;

Ø the approval and monitoring of suppliers of materials;

Ø the approval and monitoring of contract manufacturers;

Ø the designation and monitoring of storage conditions for materials and products;

Ø the retention of records;

Ø the monitoring of compliance with the requirements of GMP;

Ø the inspection, investigation, and taking of samples, in order to monitor factors which may affect product quality.


2.8. The manufacturer should provide training for all the personnel whose duties take them into production areas or into control laboratories (including the technical, maintenance and cleaning personnel), and for other personnel whose activities could affect the quality of the product.

2.9. Beside the basic training on the theory and practice of Good Manufacturing Practice, newly recruited personnel should receive training appropriate to the duties assigned to them. Continuing training should also be given, and its practical effectiveness should be periodically assessed. Training programmes should be available, approved by either the head of Production or the head of Quality Control, as appropriate. Training records should be kept.

2.10. Personnel working in areas where contamination is a hazard, e.g. clean areas or areas where highly active, toxic, infectious or sensitising materials are handled, should be given specific training.

2.11. Visitors or untrained personnel should, preferably, not be taken into the production and Quality Control areas. If this is unavoidable, they should be given information in advance, particularly about personal hygiene and the prescribed protective clothing. They should be closely supervised.

2.12. The concept of Quality Assurance and all the measures capable of improving its understanding and implementation should be fully discussed during the training sessions.


2.13. Detailed hygiene programmes should be established and adapted to the different needs within the factory. They should include procedures relating to the health, hygiene practices and clothing of personnel. These procedures should be understood and followed in a very strict way by every person whose duties take him into the production and control areas. Hygiene programmes should be promoted by management and widely discussed during training sessions.

2.14. All personnel should receive medical examination upon recruitment. It must be the manufacturer's responsibility that there are instructions ensuring that health conditions that can be of relevance to the quality of products come to the manufacturer's knowledge. After the first medical examination, examinations should be carried out when necessary for the work and personal health.

2.15. Steps should be taken to ensure as far as is practicable that no person affected by an infectious disease or having open lesions on the exposed surface of the body is engaged in the manufacture of medicinal products.

2.16. Every person entering the manufacturing areas should wear protective garments appropriate to the operations to be carried out.

2.17. Eating, drinking, chewing or smoking, or the storage of food, drink, smoking materials or personal medication in the production and storage areas should be prohibited. In general, any unhygienic practice within the manufacturing areas or in any other area where the product might be adversely affected, should be forbidden.

2.18. Direct contact should be avoided between the operator's hands and the exposed product as well as with any part of the equipment that comes into contact with the products.

2.19. Personnel should be instructed to use the hand-washing facilities.

2.20. Any specific requirements for the manufacture of special groups of products, for example sterile preparations, are covered in the Supplementary Guidelines.




Premises and equipment must be located, designed, constructed, adapted and maintained to suit the operations to be carried out. Their layout and design must aim to minimise the risk of errors and permit effective cleaning and maintenance in order to avoid cross-contamination, build up of dust or dirt and, in general, any adverse effect on the quality of products.



3.1. Premises should be situated in an environment which, when considered together with measures to protect the manufacture, presents minimal risk of causing contamination of materials or products.

3.2. Premises should be carefully maintained, ensuring that repair and maintenance operations do not present any hazard to the quality of products. They should be cleaned and, where applicable, disinfected according to detailed written procedures.

3.3. Lighting, temperature, humidity and ventilation should be appropriate and such that they do not adversely affect, directly or indirectly, either the medicinal products during their manufacture and storage, or the accurate functioning of equipment.

3.4. Premises should be designed and equipped so as to afford maximum protection against the entry of insects or other animals.

3.5. Steps should be taken in order to prevent the entry of unauthorised people. Production, storage and quality control areas should not be used as a right of way by personnel who do not work in them.

Production Area

3.6. In order to minimise the risk of a serious medical hazard due to cross- contamination, dedicated and self-contained facilities must be available for the production of particular medicinal products, such as highly sensitising materials (e.g. penicillins) or biological preparations (e.g. from live micro-organisms). The production of certain additional products, such as certain antibiotics, certain hormones, certain cytotoxics, certain highly active drugs and non-medicinal products should not be conducted in the same facilities. For those products, in exceptional cases, the principle of campaign working in the same facilities can be accepted provided that specific precautions are taken and the necessary

validations are made. The manufacture of technical poisons, such as pesticides and herbicides, should not be allowed in premises used for the manufacture of medicinal products.

3.7. Premises should preferably be laid out in such a way as to allow the production to take place in areas connected in a logical order corresponding to the sequence of the operations and to the requisite cleanliness levels.

3.8. The adequacy of the working and in-process storage space should permit the orderly and logical positioning of equipment and materials so as to minimise the risk of confusion between different medicinal products or their components, to avoid cross-contamination and to minimise the risk of omission or wrong application of any of the manufacturing or control steps.

3.9. Where starting and primary packaging materials, intermediate or bulk products are exposed to the environment, interior surfaces (walls, floors and ceilings) should be smooth, free from cracks and open joints, and should not shed particulate matter and should permit easy and effective cleaning and, if necessary, disinfection.

3.10. Pipe work, light fittings, ventilation points and other services should be designed and sited to avoid the creation of recesses which are difficult to clean. As far as possible, for maintenance purposes, they should be accessible from outside the manufacturing areas.

3.11. Drains should be of adequate size, and have trapped gullies. Open channels should be avoided where possible, but if necessary, they should be shallow to facilitate cleaning and disinfection.

3.12. Production areas should be effectively ventilated, with air control facilities (including temperature and, where necessary, humidity and filtration) appropriate both to the products handled, to the operations undertaken within them and to the external environment.

3.13. Weighing of starting materials usually should be carried out in a separate weighing room designed for that use.

3.14. In cases where dust is generated (e.g. during sampling, weighing, mixing and processing operations, packaging of dry products), specific provisions should be taken to avoid cross-contamination and facilitate cleaning.

3.15. Premises for the packaging of medicinal products should be specifically designed and laid out so as to avoid mix-ups or cross-contamination.

3.16. Productions areas should be well lit, particularly where visual on-line controls are carried out.

3.17. In-process controls may be carried out within the production area provided they do not carry any risk for the production.

Storage Areas

3.18. Storage areas should be of sufficient capacity to allow orderly storage of the various categories of materials and products: starting and packaging materials, intermediate, bulk and finished products, products in quarantine, released, rejected, returned or recalled.

3.19. Storage areas should be designed or adapted to ensure good storage conditions. In particular, they should be clean and dry and maintained within acceptable temperature limits. Where special storage conditions are required (e.g. temperature, humidity) these should be provided, checked and monitored.

3.20. Receiving and dispatch bays should protect materials and products from the weather. Receptions areas should be designed and equipped to allow containers of incoming materials to be cleaned where necessary before storage.

3.21. Where quarantine status is ensured by storage in separate areas, these areas must be clearly marked and their access restricted to authorised personnel. Any system replacing the physical quarantine should give equivalent security.

3.22. There should normally be a separate sampling area for starting materials. If sampling is performed in the storage area, it should be conducted in such a way as to prevent contamination or cross-contamination.

3.23. Segregated areas should be provided for the storage of rejected, recalled or returned materials or products.

3.24. Highly active materials or products should be stored in safe and secure areas.

3.25. Printed packaging materials are considered critical to the conformity of the medicinal products and special attention should be paid to the safe and secure storage of these materials.

Quality Control Areas

3.26. Normally, Quality Control laboratories should be separated from production areas. This is particularly important for laboratories for the control of biologicals, microbiologicals and radioisotopes, which should also be separated from each other.

3.27. Control laboratories should be designed to suit the operations to be carried out in them. Sufficient space should be given to avoid mix-ups and cross- contamination. There should be adequate suitable storage space for samples and records.

3.28. Separate rooms may be necessary to protect sensitive instruments from vibration, electrical interference, humidity, etc.

3.29. Special requirements are needed in laboratories handling particular substances, such as biological or radioactive samples.

Ancillary Areas

3.30. Rest and refreshment rooms should be separate from other areas.

3.31. Facilities for changing clothes, and for washing and toilet purposes should be easily accessible and appropriate for the number of users. Toilets should not directly communicate with production or storage areas.

3.32. Maintenance workshops should as far as possible be separated from production areas. Whenever parts and tools are stored in the production area, they should be kept in rooms or lockers reserved for that use.

3.33. Animal houses should be well isolated from other areas, with separate entrance (animal access) and air handling facilities.


3.34. Manufacturing equipment should be designed, located and maintained to suit its intended purpose.

3.35. Repair and maintenance operations should not present any hazard to the quality of the products.

3.36. Manufacturing equipment should be designed so that it can be easily and thoroughly cleaned. It should be cleaned according to detailed and written procedures and stored only in a clean and dry condition.

3.37. Washing and cleaning equipment should be chosen and used in order not to be a source of contamination.

3.38. Equipment should be installed in such a way as to prevent any risk of error or of contamination.

3.39. Production equipment should not present any hazard to the products. The parts of the production equipment that come into contact with the product must not be reactive, additive or absorptive to such an extent that it will affect the quality of the product and thus present any hazard.

3.40. Balances and measuring equipment of an appropriate range and precision should be available for production and control operations.

3.41. Measuring, weighing, recording and control equipment should be calibrated and checked at defined intervals by appropriate methods. Adequate records of such tests should be maintained.

3.42. Fixed pipework should be clearly labelled to indicate the contents and, where applicable, the direction of flow.

3.43. Distilled, deionized and, where appropriate, other water pipes should be sanitised according to written procedures that detail the action limits for microbiological contamination and the measures to be taken.

3.44. Defective equipment should, if possible, be removed from production and quality control areas, or at least be clearly labelled as defective.




Good documentation constitutes an essential part of the quality assurance system and is key to operating in compliance with GMP requirements. The various types of documents and media used should be fully defined in the manufacturer's Quality Management System. Documentation may exist in a variety of forms, including paper-based, electronic or photographic media. The main objective of the system of documentation utilised must be to establish, control, monitor and record all activities which directly or indirectly impact on all aspects of the quality of medicinal products. The Quality Management System should include sufficient instructional detail to facilitate a common understanding of the requirements, in addition to providing for sufficient recording of the various processes and evaluation of any observations, so that ongoing application of the requirements may be demonstrated.
There are two primary types of documentation used to manage and record GMP compliance: instructions (directions, requirements) and records/reports. Appropriate good documentation practice should be applied with respect to the type of document.
Suitable controls should be implemented to ensure the accuracy, integrity, availability and legibility of documents. Instruction documents should be free from errors and available in writing. The term ‘written’ means recorded, or documented on media from which data may be rendered in a human readable form.


Site Master File: A document describing the GMP related activities of the manufacturer.

Instructions (directions, or requirements) type:

Specifications: Describe in detail the requirements with which the products or materials used or obtained during manufacture have to conform. They serve as a basis for quality evaluation.

Manufacturing Formulae, Processing, Packaging and Testing Instructions: Provide detail all the starting materials, equipment and computerised systems (if any) to be used and specify all processing, packaging, sampling and testing instructions. In-process controls and process analytical technologies to be employed should be specified where relevant, together with acceptance criteria.

Procedures: (Otherwise known as Standard Operating Procedures, or SOPs), give directions for performing certain operations.

Protocols: Give instructions for performing and recording certain discreet operations.

Technical Agreements: Are agreed between contract givers and acceptors for outsourced activities.

Record/Report type:

Records: Provide evidence of various actions taken to demonstrate compliance with instructions, e.g. activities, events, investigations, and in the case of manufactured batches a history of each batch of product, including its distribution. Records include the raw data which is used to generate other records. For electronic records regulated users should define which data are to be used as raw data. At least, all data on which quality decisions are based should be defined as raw data.

Certificates of Analysis: Provide a summary of testing results on samples of products or materials1 together with the evaluation for compliance to a stated specification.

Reports: Document the conduct of particular exercises, projects or investigations, together with results, conclusions and recommendations.


4.1 All types of document should be defined and adhered to. The requirements apply equally to all forms of document media types. Complex systems need to be understood, well documented, validated, and adequate controls should be in place. Many documents (instructions and/or records) may exist in hybrid forms,

i.e. some elements as electronic and others as paper based. Relationships and control measures for master documents, official copies, data handling and records need to be stated for both hybrid and homogenous systems. Appropriate controls for electronic documents such as templates, forms, and master documents should be implemented. Appropriate controls should be in place to ensure the integrity of the record throughout the retention period.

4.2 Documents should be designed, prepared, reviewed, and distributed with care. They should comply with the relevant parts of Product Specification Files, Manufacturing and Marketing Authorisation dossiers, as appropriate. The reproduction of working documents from master documents should not allow any error to be introduced through the reproduction process.

1 Alternatively the certification may be based, in-whole or in-part, on the assessment of real time data (summaries and exception reports) from batch related process analytical technology (PAT), parameters or metrics as per the approved marketing authorisation dossier.

4.3 Documents containing instructions should be approved, signed and dated by appropriate and authorised persons. Documents should have unambiguous contents and be uniquely identifiable. The effective date should be defined.

4.4 Documents containing instructions should be laid out in an orderly fashion and be easy to check. The style and language of documents should fit with their intended use. Standard Operating Procedures, Work Instructions and Methods should be written in an imperative mandatory style.

4.5 Documents within the Quality Management System should be regularly reviewed and kept up-to-date. When a document has been revised, systems should be operated to prevent inadvertent use of superseded documents.

4.6 Documents should not be hand-written; although, where documents require the entry of data, sufficient space should be provided for such entries.


4.7 Handwritten entries should be made in clear, legible, indelible way.

4.8 Records should be made or completed at the time each action is taken and in such a way that all significant activities concerning the manufacture of medicinal products are traceable.

4.9 Any alteration made to the entry on a document should be signed and dated; the alteration should permit the reading of the original information. Where appropriate, the reason for the alteration should be recorded.


4.10 It should be clearly defined which record is related to each manufacturing activity and where this record is located. Secure controls must be in place to ensure the integrity of the record throughout the retention period and validated where appropriate.

4.11 Specific requirements apply to batch documentation which must be kept for one year after expiry of the batch to which it relates or at least five years after certification of the batch by the Authorised Person, whichever is the longer. For investigational medicinal products, the batch documentation must be kept for at least five years after the completion or formal discontinuation of the last clinical trial in which the batch was used. Other requirements for retention of documentation may be described in legislation in relation to specific types of product (e.g. Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products) and specify that longer retention periods be applied to certain documents.

4.12 For other types of documentation, the retention period will depend on the business activity which the documentation supports. Critical documentation, including raw data (for example relating to validation or stability), which supports information in the Marketing Authorisation should be retained whilst the authorisation remains in force. It may be considered acceptable to retire certain documentation (e.g. raw data supporting validation reports or stability reports) where the data has been superseded by a full set of new data. Justification for this should be documented and should take into account the requirements for retention of batch documentation; for example, in the case of process validation data, the accompanying raw data should be retained for a period at least as long as the records for all batches whose release has been supported on the basis of that validation exercise.

The following section gives some examples of required documents. The quality management system should describe all documents required to ensure product quality and patient safety.


4.13 There should be appropriately authorised and dated specifications for starting and packaging materials, and finished products.

Specifications for starting and packaging materials

4.14 Specifications for starting and primary or printed packaging materials should include or provide reference to, if applicable:

a) A description of the materials, including:

- The designated name and the internal code reference;

- The reference, if any, to a pharmacopoeial monograph;

- The approved suppliers and, if reasonable, the original producer of the material;

- A specimen of printed materials;

b) Directions for sampling and testing;

c) Qualitative and quantitative requirements with acceptance limits;

d) Storage conditions and precautions;

e) The maximum period of storage before re-examination.

Specifications for intermediate and bulk products

4.15 Specifications for intermediate and bulk products should be available for critical steps or if these are purchased or dispatched. The specifications should be similar to specifications for starting materials or for finished products, as appropriate.

Specifications for finished products

4.16 Specifications for finished products should include or provide reference to:

a) The designated name of the product and the code reference where applicable;

b) The formula;

c) A description of the pharmaceutical form and package details;

d) Directions for sampling and testing;

e) The qualitative and quantitative requirements, with the acceptance limits;

f) The storage conditions and any special handling precautions, where applicable;

g) The shelf-life.


Approved, written Manufacturing Formula and Processing Instructions should exist for each product and batch size to be manufactured.

4.17 The Manufacturing Formula should include:

a) The name of the product, with a product reference code relating to its specification;

b) A description of the pharmaceutical form, strength of the product and batch size;

c) A list of all starting materials to be used, with the amount of each, described; mention should be made of any substance that may disappear in the course of processing;

d) A statement of the expected final yield with the acceptable limits, and of relevant intermediate yields, where applicable.

4.18 The Processing Instructions should include:

a) A statement of the processing location and the principal equipment to be used;

b) The methods, or reference to the methods, to be used for preparing the critical equipment (e.g. cleaning, assembling, calibrating, sterilising);

c) Checks that the equipment and work station are clear of previous products, documents or materials not required for the planned process, and that equipment is clean and suitable for use;

d) Detailed stepwise processing instructions [e.g. checks on materials, pre- treatments, sequence for adding materials, critical process parameters (time, temp etc)];

e) The instructions for any in-process controls with their limits;

f) Where necessary, the requirements for bulk storage of the products; including the container, labeling and special storage conditions where applicable;

g) Any special precautions to be observed.

Packaging Instructions

4.19 Approved Packaging Instructions for each product, pack size and type should exist. These should include, or have a reference to, the following:

a) Name of the product; including the batch number of bulk and finished product;

b) Description of its pharmaceutical form, and strength where applicable;

c) The pack size expressed in terms of the number, weight or volume of the product in the final container;

d) A complete list of all the packaging materials required, including quantities, sizes and types, with the code or reference number relating to the specifications of each packaging material;

e) Where appropriate, an example or reproduction of the relevant printed packaging materials, and specimens indicating where to apply batch number references, and shelf life of the product;

f) Checks that the equipment and work station are clear of previous products, documents or materials not required for the planned packaging operations (line clearance), and that equipment is clean and suitable for use;

g) Special precautions to be observed, including a careful examination of the area and equipment in order to ascertain the line clearance before operations begin;

h) A description of the packaging operation, including any significant subsidiary operations, and equipment to be used;

i) Details of in-process controls with instructions for sampling and acceptance limits.

Batch Processing Record

4.20 A Batch Processing Record should be kept for each batch processed. It should be based on the relevant parts of the currently approved Manufacturing Formula and Processing Instructions, and should contain the following information:

a) The name and batch number of the product;

b) Dates and times of commencement, of significant intermediate stages and of completion of production;

c) Identification (initials) of the operator(s) who performed each significant step of the process and, where appropriate, the name of any person who checked these operations;

d) The batch number and/or analytical control number as well as the quantities of each starting material actually weighed (including the batch number and amount of any recovered or reprocessed material added);

e) Any relevant processing operation or event and major equipment used;

f) A record of the in-process controls and the initials of the person(s) carrying them out, and the results obtained;

g) The product yield obtained at different and pertinent stages of manufacture;

h) Notes on special problems including details, with signed authorisation for any deviation from the Manufacturing Formula and Processing Instructions;

i) Approval by the person responsible for the processing operations.

Note: Where a validated process is continuously monitored and controlled, then automatically generated reports may be limited to compliance summaries and exception / out-of-specification (OOS) data reports.

Batch Packaging Record

4.21 A Batch Packaging Record should be kept for each batch or part batch processed. It should be based on the relevant parts of the Packaging Instructions.

The batch packaging record should contain the following information:

a) The name and batch number of the product;

b) The date(s) and times of the packaging operations;

c) Identification (initials) of the operator(s) who performed each significant step of the process and, where appropriate, the name of any person who checked these operations;

d) Records of checks for identity and conformity with the packaging instructions, including the results of in-process controls;

e) Details of the packaging operations carried out, including references to equipment and the packaging lines used;

f) Whenever possible, samples of printed packaging materials used, including specimens of the batch coding, expiry dating and any additional overprinting;

g) Notes on any special problems or unusual events including details, with signed authorisation for any deviation from the Packaging Instructions;

h) The quantities and reference number or identification of all printed packaging materials and bulk product issued, used, destroyed or returned to stock and the quantities of obtained product, in order to provide for an adequate reconciliation. Where there are there are robust electronic controls in place during packaging there may be justification for not including this information;

i) Approval by the person responsible for the packaging operations.



4.22 There should be written procedures and records for the receipt of each delivery of each starting material, (including bulk, intermediate or finished goods), primary, secondary and printed packaging materials.

4.23 The records of the receipts should include:

a) The name of the material on the delivery note and the containers;

b) The "in-house" name and/or code of material (if different from a);

c) Date of receipt;

d) Supplier’s name and manufacturer’s name;

e) Manufacturer’s batch or reference number;

f) Total quantity and number of containers received;

g) The batch number assigned after receipt;

h) Any relevant comment.

4.24 There should be written procedures for the internal labeling, quarantine and storage of starting materials, packaging materials and other materials, as appropriate.


4.25 There should be written procedures for sampling, which include the methods and equipment to be used, the amounts to be taken and any precautions to be observed to avoid contamination of the material or any deterioration in its quality.


4.26 There should be written procedures for testing materials and products at different stages of manufacture, describing the methods and equipment to be used. The tests performed should be recorded.


4.27 Written release and rejection procedures should be available for materials and products, and in particular for the certification for sale of the finished product by the Authorised Person(s). All records should be available to the Authorised Person. A system should be in place to indicate special observations and any changes to critical data.

4.28 Records should be maintained for the distribution of each batch of a product in order to facilitate recall of any batch, if necessary.

4.29 There should be written policies, procedures, protocols, reports and the associated records of actions taken or conclusions reached, where appropriate, for the following examples:

- Validation and qualification of processes, equipment and systems;

- Equipment assembly and calibration;

- Technology transfer;

- Maintenance, cleaning and sanitation;

- Personnel matters including signature lists, training in GMP and technical matters, clothing and hygiene and verification of the effectiveness of training;

- Environmental monitoring;

- Pest control;

- Complaints;

- Recalls;

- Returns;

- Change control;

- Investigations into deviations and non-conformances;

- Internal quality/GMP compliance audits;

- Summaries of records where appropriate (e.g. product quality review);

- Supplier audits.

4.30 Clear operating procedures should be available for major items of manufacturing and test equipment.

4.31 Logbooks should be kept for major or critical analytical testing, production equipment, and areas where product has been processed. They should be used to record in chronological order, as appropriate, any use of the area, equipment/method, calibrations, maintenance, cleaning or repair operations, including the dates and identity of people who carried these operations out.

4.32 An inventory of documents within the Quality Management System should be maintained.




Production operations must follow clearly defined procedures; they must comply with the principles of Good Manufacturing Practice in order to obtain products of the requisite quality and be in accordance with the relevant manufacturing and marketing authorisations.


5.1. Production should be performed and supervised by competent people.

5.2. All handling of materials and products, such as receipt and quarantine, sampling, storage, labelling, dispensing, processing, packaging and distribution should be done in accordance with written procedures or instructions and, where necessary, recorded.

5.3. All incoming materials should be checked to ensure that the consignment corresponds to the order. Containers should be cleaned where necessary and labelled with the prescribed data.

5.4. Damage to containers and any other problem which might adversely affect the quality of a material should be investigated, recorded and reported to the Quality Control Department.

5.5. Incoming materials and finished products should be physically or administratively quarantined immediately after receipt or processing, until they have been released for use or distribution.

5.6. Intermediate and bulk products purchased as such should be handled on receipt as though they were starting materials.

5.7. All materials and products should be stored under the appropriate conditions established by the manufacturer and in an orderly fashion to permit batch segregation and stock rotation.

5.8. Checks on yields, and reconciliation of quantities, should be carried out as necessary to ensure that there are no discrepancies outside acceptable limits.

5.9. Operations on different products should not be carried out simultaneously or consecutively in the same room unless there is no risk of mix-up or cross- contamination.

5.10. At every stage of processing, products and materials should be protected from microbial and other contamination.

5.11. When working with dry materials and products, special precautions should be taken to prevent the generation and dissemination of dust. This applies particularly to the handling of highly active or sensitising materials.

5.12. At all times during processing, all materials, bulk containers, major items of equipment and where appropriate rooms used should be labelled or otherwise identified with an indication of the product or material being processed, its strength (where applicable) and batch number. Where applicable, this indication should also mention the stage of production.

5.13. Labels applied to containers, equipment or premises should be clear, unambiguous and in the company's agreed format. It is often helpful in addition to the wording on the labels to use colours to indicate status (for example, quarantined, accepted, rejected, clean, ...).

5.14. Checks should be carried out to ensure that pipelines and other pieces of equipment used for the transportation of products from one area to another are connected in a correct manner.

5.15. Any deviation from instructions or procedures should be avoided as far as possible. If a deviation occur, it should be approved in writing by a competent person, with the involvement of the Quality Control Department when appropriate.

5.16. Access to production premises should be restricted to authorised personnel.

5.17. Normally, the production of non-medicinal products should be avoided in areas and with the equipment destined for the production of medicinal products.


5.18. Contamination of a starting material or of a product by another material or product must be avoided. This risk of accidental cross-contamination arises from the uncontrolled release of dust, gases, vapours, sprays or organisms from materials and products in process, from residues on equipment, and from operators' clothing. The significance of this risk varies with the type of contaminant and of product being contaminated. Amongst the most hazardous contaminants are highly sensitising materials, biological preparations containing living organisms, certain hormones, cytotoxics, and other highly active materials. Products in which contamination is likely to be most significant are those administered by injection, those given in large doses and/or over a long time.

5.19. Cross-contamination should be avoided by appropriate technical or organisational measures, for example:

a) production in segregated areas (required for products such as penicillins, live vaccines, live bacterial preparations and some other biologicals), or by campaign (separation in time) followed by appropriate cleaning;

b) providing appropriate air-locks and air extraction;

c) minimising the risk of contamination caused by recirculation or re-entry of untreated or insufficiently treated air;

d) keeping protective clothing inside areas where products with special risk of cross-contamination are processed;

e) using cleaning and decontamination procedures of known effectiveness, as ineffective cleaning of equipment is a common source of cross- contamination;

f) using "closed systems" of production;

g) testing for residues and use of cleaning status labels on equipment.

5.20. Measures to prevent cross-contamination and their effectiveness should be checked periodically according to set procedures.


5.21. Validation studies should reinforce Good Manufacturing Practice and be conducted in accordance with defined procedures. Results and conclusions should be recorded.

5.22. When any new manufacturing formula or method of preparation is adopted, steps should be taken to demonstrate its suitability for routine processing. The defined process, using the materials and equipment specified, should be shown to yield a product consistently of the required quality.

5.23. Significant amendments to the manufacturing process, including any change in equipment or materials, which may affect product quality and/or the reproducibility of the process should be validated.

5.24. Processes and procedures should undergo periodic critical revalidation to ensure that they remain capable of achieving the intended results.


5.25. The purchase of starting materials is an important operation which should involve staff who have a particular and thorough knowledge of the suppliers.

5.26. Starting materials should only be purchased from approved suppliers named in the relevant specification and, where possible, directly from the producer. It is recommended that the specifications established by the manufacturer for the starting materials be discussed with the suppliers. It is of benefit that all aspects of the production and control of the starting material in question, including handling, labelling and packaging requirements, as well as complaints and rejection procedures are discussed with the manufacturer and the supplier.

5.27. For each delivery, the containers should be checked for integrity of package and seal and for correspondence between the delivery note and the supplier's labels.

5.28. If one material delivery is made up of different batches, each batch must be considered as separate for sampling, testing and release.

5.29. Starting materials in the storage area should be appropriately labelled (see Chapter 5, Item 13). Labels should bear at least the following information:

Ø the designated name of the product and the internal code reference where applicable;

Ø a batch number given at receipt;

Ø where appropriate, the status of the contents (e.g. in quarantine, on test, released, rejected);

Ø where appropriate, an expiry date or a date beyond which retesting is necessary.

When fully computerised storage systems are used, all the above information should not necessarily be in a legible form on the label.

5.30. There should be appropriate procedures or measures to assure the identity of the contents of each container of starting material. Bulk containers from which samples have been drawn should be identified (see Chapter 6, Item 13).

5.31. Only starting materials which have been released by the Quality Control Department and which are within their shelf-life should be used.

5.32. Starting materials should only be dispensed by designated persons, following a written procedure, to ensure that the correct materials are accurately weighed or measured into clean and properly labelled containers.

5.33. Each dispensed material and its weight or volume should be independently checked and the check recorded.

5.34. Materials dispensed for each batch should be kept together and conspicuously labelled as such.


5.35. Before any processing operation is started, steps should be taken to ensure that the work area and equipment are clean and free from any starting materials, products, product residues or documents not required for the current operation.

5.36. Intermediate and bulk products should be kept under appropriate conditions.

5.37. Critical processes should be validated (see "VALIDATION" in this Chapter).

5.38. Any necessary in-process controls and environmental controls should be carried out and recorded.

5.39. Any significant deviation from the expected yield should be recorded and investigated.


5.40. The purchase, handling and control of primary and printed packaging materials should be accorded attention similar to that given to starting materials.

5.41. Particular attention should be paid to printed materials. They should be stored in adequately secure conditions such as to exclude unauthorised access. Cut labels and other loose printed materials should be stored and transported in separate closed containers so as to avoid mix-ups. Packaging materials should be issued for use only by authorised personnel following an approved and documented procedure.

5.42. Each delivery or batch of printed or primary packaging material should be given a specific reference number or identification mark.

5.43. Outdated or obsolete primary packaging material or printed packaging material should be destroyed and this disposal recorded.


5.44. When setting up a programme for the packaging operations, particular attention should be given to minimising the risk of cross-contamination, mix-ups or substitutions. Different products should not be packaged in close proximity unless there is physical segregation.

5.45. Before packaging operations are begun, steps should be taken to ensure that the work area, packaging lines, printing machines and other equipment are clean and free from any products, materials or documents previously used, if these are not required for the current operation. The line-clearance should be performed according to an appropriate check-list.

5.46. The name and batch number of the product being handled should be displayed at each packaging station or line.

5.47. All products and packaging materials to be used should be checked on delivery to the packaging department for quantity, identity and conformity with the Packaging Instructions.

5.48. Containers for filling should be clean before filling. Attention should be given to avoiding and removing any contaminants such as glass fragments and metal particles.

5.49. Normally, filling and sealing should be followed as quickly as possible by labelling. If it is not the case, appropriate procedures should be applied to ensure that no mix-ups or mislabelling can occur.

5.50. The correct performance of any printing operation (for example code numbers, expiry dates) to be done separately or in the course of the packaging should be checked and recorded. Attention should be paid to printing by hand which should be re-checked at regular intervals.

5.51. Special care should be taken when using cut-labels and when over-printing is carried out off-line. Roll-feed labels are normally preferable to cut-labels, in helping to avoid mix-ups.

5.52. Checks should be made to ensure that any electronic code readers, label counters or similar devices are operating correctly.

5.53. Printed and embossed information on packaging materials should be distinct and resistant to fading or erasing.

5.54. On-line control of the product during packaging should include at least checking the following:

a) general appearance of the packages;

b) whether the packages are complete;

c) whether the correct products and packaging materials are used;

d) whether any over-printing is correct;

e) correct functioning of line monitors.

Samples taken away from the packaging line should not be returned.

5.55. Products which have been involved in an unusual event should only be reintroduced into the process after special inspection, investigation and approval by authorised personnel. Detailed record should be kept of this operation.

5.56. Any significant or unusual discrepancy observed during reconciliation of the amount of bulk product and printed packaging materials and the number of units produced should be investigated and satisfactorily accounted for before release.

5.57. Upon completion of a packaging operation, any unused batch-coded packaging materials should be destroyed and the destruction recorded. A documented procedure should be followed if uncoded printed materials are returned to stock.


5.58. Finished products should be held in quarantine until their final release under conditions established by the manufacturer.

5.59. The evaluation of finished products and documentation which is necessary before release of product for sale are described in Chapter 6 (Quality Control).

5.60. After release, finished products should be stored as usable stock under conditions established by the manufacturer.


5.61. Rejected materials and products should be clearly marked as such and stored separately in restricted areas. They should either be returned to the suppliers or, where appropriate, reprocessed or destroyed. Whatever action is taken should be approved and recorded by authorised personnel.

5.62. The reprocessing of rejected products should be exceptional. It is only permitted if the quality of the final product is not affected, if the specifications are met and if it is done in accordance with a defined and authorised procedure after evaluation of the risks involved. Record should be kept of the reprocessing.

5.63. The recovery of all or part of earlier batches, which conform to the required quality by incorporation into a batch of the same product at a defined stage of manufacture should be authorised beforehand. This recovery should be carried out in accordance with a defined procedure after evaluation of the risks involved, including any possible effect on shelf life. The recovery should be recorded.

5.64. The need for additional testing of any finished product which has been reprocessed, or into which a recovered product has been incorporated, should be considered by the Quality Control Department.

5.65. Products returned from the market and which have left the control of the manufacturer should be destroyed unless without doubt their quality is satisfactory; they may be considered for re-sale, re-labelling or recovery with a subsequent batch only after they have been critically assessed by the Quality Control Department in accordance with a written procedure. The nature of the product, any special storage conditions it requires, its condition and history, and the time elapsed since it was issued should all be taken into account in this assessment. Where any doubt arises over the quality of the product, it should not be considered suitable for re-issue or re-use, although basic chemical re- processing to recover active ingredients may be possible. Any action taken should be appropriately recorded.




Quality Control is concerned with sampling, specifications and testing as well as the organisation, documentation and release procedures which ensure that the necessary and relevant tests are carried out, and that materials are not released for use, nor products released for sale or supply, until their quality has been judged satisfactory. Quality Control is not confined to laboratory operations, but must be involved in all decisions which may concern the quality of the product. The independence of Quality Control from Production is considered fundamental to the satisfactory operation of Quality Control (see also Chapter 1).


6.1. Each holder of a manufacturing authorisation should have a Quality Control Department. This department should be independent from other departments, and under the authority of a person with appropriate qualifications and experience, who has one or several control laboratories at his disposal. Adequate resources must be available to ensure that all the Quality Control arrangements are effectively and reliably carried out.

6.2. The principal duties of the head of Quality Control are summarised in Chapter

2. The Quality Control Department as a whole will also have other duties, such as to establish, validate and implement all quality control procedures, keep the reference samples of materials and products, ensure the correct labelling of containers of materials and products, ensure the monitoring of the stability of the products, participate in the investigation of complaints related to the quality of the product, etc. All these operations should be carried out in accordance with written procedures and, where necessary, recorded.

6.3. Finished product assessment should embrace all relevant factors, including production conditions, results of in-process testing, a review of manufacturing (including packaging) documentation, compliance with Finished Product Specification and examination of the final finished pack.

6.4. Quality Control personnel should have access to production areas for sampling and investigation as appropriate.


6.5. Control Laboratory premises and equipment should meet the general and specific requirements for Quality Control areas given in Chapter 3.

6.6. The personnel, premises, and equipment in the laboratories should be appropriate to the tasks imposed by the nature and the scale of the manufacturing operations. The use of outside laboratories, in conformity with the principles detailed in Chapter 7, Contract Analysis, can be accepted for particular reasons, but this should be stated in the Quality Control records.


6.7. Laboratory documentation should follow the principles given in Chapter 4. An important part of this documentation deals with Quality Control and the following details should be readily available to the Quality Control Department:

Ø specifications;

Ø sampling procedures;

Ø testing procedures and records (including analytical worksheets and/or laboratory notebooks);

Ø analytical reports and/or certificates;

Ø data from environmental monitoring, where required;

Ø validation records of test methods, where applicable;

Ø procedures for and records of the calibration of instruments and maintenance of equipment.

6.8. Any Quality Control documentation relating to a batch record should be retained for one year after the expiry date of the batch.

6.9. For some kinds of data (e.g. analytical tests results, yields, environmental controls, ...) it is recommended that records in a manner permitting trend evaluation be kept.

6.10. In addition to the information which is part of the batch record, other original data such as laboratory notebooks and/or records should be retained and readily available.


6.11. The sample taking should be done in accordance with approved written procedures that describe:

Ø the method of sampling;

Ø the equipment to be used;

Ø the amount of the sample to be taken;

Ø instructions for any required sub-division of the sample;

Ø the type and condition of the sample container to be used;

Ø the identification of containers sampled;

Ø any special precautions to be observed, especially with regard to the sampling of sterile or noxious materials;

Ø the storage conditions;

Ø instructions for the cleaning and storage of sampling equipment.

6.12. Reference samples should be representative of the batch of materials or products from which they are taken. Other samples may also be taken to monitor the most stressed part of a process (e.g. beginning or end of a process).

6.13. Sample containers should bear a label indicating the contents, with the batch number, the date of sampling and the containers from which samples have been drawn.

6.14. Reference samples from each batch of finished products should be retained till one year after the expiry date. Finished products should usually be kept in their final packaging and stored under the recommended conditions. Samples of starting materials (other than solvents, gases and water) should be retained for at least two years after the release of the product if their stability allows. This period may be shortened if their stability, as mentioned in the relevant specification, is shorter. Reference samples of materials and products should be of a size sufficient to permit at least a full re-examination.


6.15. Analytical methods should be validated. All testing operations described in the marketing authorisation should be carried out according to the approved methods.

6.16. The results obtained should be recorded and checked to make sure that they are consistent with each other. Any calculations should be critically examined.

6.17. The tests performed should be recorded and the records should include at least the following data:

a) name of the material or product and, where applicable, dosage form;

b) batch number and, where appropriate, the manufacturer and/or supplier;

c) references to the relevant specifications and testing procedures;

d) test results, including observations and calculations, and reference to any certificates of analysis;

e) dates of testing;

f) initials of the persons who performed the testing;

g) initials of the persons who verified the testing and the calculations, where appropriate;

h) a clear statement of release or rejection (or other status decision) and the dated signature of the designated responsible person.

6.18. All the in-process controls, including those made in the production area by production personnel, should be performed according to methods approved by Quality Control and the results recorded.

6.19. Special attention should be given to the quality of laboratory reagents, volumetric glassware and solutions, reference standards and culture media. They should be prepared in accordance with written procedures.

6.20. Laboratory reagents intended for prolonged use should be marked with the preparation date and the signature of the person who prepared them. The expiry date of unstable reagents and culture media should be indicated on the label, together with specific storage conditions. In addition, for volumetric solutions, the last date of standardisation and the last current factor should be indicated.

6.21. Where necessary, the date of receipt of any substance used for testing operations (e.g. reagents and reference standards) should be indicated on the container. Instructions for use and storage should be followed. In certain cases it may be necessary to carry out an identification test and/or other testing of reagent materials upon receipt or before use.

6.22. Animals used for testing components, materials or products, should, where appropriate, be quarantined before use. They should be maintained and controlled in a manner that assures their suitability for the intended use. They should be identified, and adequate records should be maintained, showing the history of their use.


6.23. After marketing, the stability of the medicinal product should be monitored according to a continuous appropriate programme that will permit the detection of any stability issue (e.g. changes in levels of impurities, or dissolution profile) associated with the formulation in the marketed package.

6.24. The purpose of the on-going stability programme is to monitor the product over its shelf life and to determine that the product remains, and can be expected to remain, within specifications under the labelled storage conditions.

6.25. This mainly applies to the medicinal product in the package in which it is sold, but consideration should also be given to the inclusion in the programme of bulk product. For example, when the bulk product is stored for a long period before being packaged and/or shipped from a manufacturing site to a packaging site, the impact on the stability of the packaged product should be evaluated and studied under ambient conditions. In addition, consideration should be given to intermediates that are stored and used over prolonged periods. Stability studies on reconstituted product are performed during product development and need not be monitored on an on-going basis. However, when relevant, the stability of reconstituted product can also be monitored.

6.26. The on-going stability programme should be described in a written protocol following the general rules of Chapter 4 and results formalised as a report. The equipment used for the on-going stability programme (stability chambers among others) should be qualified and maintained following the general rules of Chapter 3 and annex 15.

6.27. The protocol for an on-going stability programme should extend to the end of the shelf life period and should include, but not be limited to, the following parameters:

• number of batch(es) per strength and different batch sizes, if applicable

• relevant physical, chemical, microbiological and biological test methods

• acceptance criteria

• reference to test methods

• description of the container closure system(s)

• testing intervals (time points)

• description of the conditions of storage (standardised ICH conditions for long term testing, consistent with the product labelling, should be used)

• other applicable parameters specific to the medicinal product.

6.28. The protocol for the on-going stability programme can be different from that of the initial long-term stability study as submitted in the marketing authorisation dossier provided that this is justified and documented in the protocol (for example the frequency of testing, or when updating to ICH recommendations).

6.29. The number of batches and frequency of testing should provide a sufficient amount of data to allow for trend analysis. Unless otherwise justified, at least one batch per year of product manufactured in every strength and every primary packaging type, if relevant, should be included in the stability programme (unless none are produced during that year). For products where on-going stability monitoring would normally require testing using animals and no appropriate alternative, validated techniques are available, the frequency of testing may take account of a risk-benefit approach. The principle of bracketing and matrixing designs may be applied if scientifically justified in the protocol.

6.30. In certain situations, additional batches should be included in the on-going stability programme. For example, an on-going stability study should be conducted after any significant change or significant deviation to the process or package. Any reworking, reprocessing or recovery operation should also be considered for inclusion.

6.31. Results of on-going stability studies should be made available to key personnel and, in particular, to the Authorised Person(s). Where on-going stability studies are carried out at a site other than the site of manufacture of the bulk or finished product, there should be a written agreement between the parties concerned.
Results of on-going stability studies should be available at the site of manufacture for review by the competent authority.

6.32. Out of specification or significant atypical trends should be investigated. Any confirmed out of specification result, or significant negative trend, should be reported to the relevant competent authorities. The possible impact on batches on the market should be considered in accordance with chapter 8 of the GMP Guide and in consultation with the relevant competent authorities.

6.33. A summary of all the data generated, including any interim conclusions on the programme, should be written and maintained. This summary should be subjected to periodic review.




Contract manufacture and analysis must be correctly defined, agreed and controlled in order to avoid misunderstandings which could result in a product or work of unsatisfactory quality. There must be a written contract between the Contract Giver and the Contract Acceptor which clearly establishes the duties of each party. The contract must clearly state the way in which the authorised person releasing each batch of product for sale exercises his full responsibility.

Note: This Chapter deals with the responsibilities of manufacturers towards the Component Authorities of the Participating Authorities with respect to the granting of marketing and manufacturing authorisations. It is not intended in any way to affect the respective liability of contract acceptors and contract givers to consumers.


7.1. There should be a written contract covering the manufacture and/or analysis arranged under contract and any technical arrangements made in connection with it.

7.2. All arrangements for contract manufacture and analysis including any proposed changes in technical or other arrangements should be in accordance with the marketing authorisation for the product concerned.


7.3. The Contract Giver is responsible for assessing the competence of the Contract Acceptor to carry out successfully the work required and for ensuring by means of the contract that the principles and Guidelines of GMP as interpreted in this Guide are followed.

7.4. The Contract Giver should provide the Contract Acceptor with all the information necessary to carry out the contracted operations correctly in accordance with the marketing authorisation and any other legal requirements. The Contract Giver should ensure that the Contract Acceptor is fully aware of any problems associated with the product or the work which might pose a hazard to his premises, equipment, personnel, other materials or other products.

7.5. The Contract Giver should ensure that all processed products and materials delivered to him by the Contract Acceptor comply with their specifications or that the products have been released by an authorised person.


7.6. The Contract Acceptor must have adequate premises and equipment, knowledge and experience, and competent personnel to carry out satisfactorily the work ordered by the Contract Giver. Contract manufacture may be undertaken only by a manufacturer who is the holder of a manufacturing authorisation.

7.7. The Contract Acceptor should ensure that all products or materials delivered to him are suitable for their intended purpose.

7.8. The Contract Acceptor should not pass to a third party any of the work entrusted to him under the contract without the Contract Giver's prior evaluation and approval of the arrangements. Arrangements made between the Contract Acceptor and any third party should ensure that the manufacturing and analytical information is made available in the same way as between the original Contract Giver and Contract Acceptor.

7.9. The Contract Acceptor should refrain from any activity which may adversely affect the quality of the product manufactured and/or analysed for the Contract Giver.


7.10. A contract should be drawn up between the Contract Giver and the Contract Acceptor which specifies their respective responsibilities relating to the manufacture and control of the product. Technical aspects of the contract should be drawn up by competent persons suitably knowledgeable in pharmaceutical technology, analysis and Good Manufacturing Practice. All arrangements for manufacture and analysis must be in accordance with the marketing authorisation and agreed by both parties.

7.11. The contract should specify the way in which the authorised person releasing the batch for sale ensures that each batch has been manufactured and checked for compliance with the requirements of Marketing Authorisation.

7.12. The contract should describe clearly who is responsible for purchasing materials, testing and releasing materials, undertaking production and quality controls, including in-process controls, and who has responsibility for sampling and analysis. In the case of contract analysis, the contract should state whether or not the Contract Acceptor should take samples at the premises of the manufacturer.

7.13. Manufacturing, analytical and distribution records, and reference samples should be kept by, or be available to, the Contract Giver. Any records relevant to assessing the quality of a product in the event of complaints or a suspected defect must be accessible and specified in the defect/recall procedures of the Contract Giver.

7.14. The contract should permit the Contract Giver to visit the facilities of the Contract Acceptor.

7.15. In case of contract analysis, the Contract Acceptor should understand that he is subject to inspection by the competent Authorities.




All complaints and other information concerning potentially defective products must be carefully reviewed according to written procedures. In order to provide for all contingencies, a system should be designed to recall, if necessary, promptly and effectively products known or suspected to be defective from the market.


8.1. A person should be designated responsible for handling the complaints and deciding the measures to be taken together with sufficient supporting staff to assist him. If this person is not the authorised person, the latter should be made aware of any complaint, investigation or recall.

8.2. There should be written procedures describing the action to be taken, including the need to consider a recall, in the case of a complaint concerning a possible product defect.

8.3. Any complaint concerning a product defect should be recorded with all the original details and thoroughly investigated. The person responsible for Quality Control should normally be involved in the study of such problems.

8.4. If a product defect is discovered or suspected in a batch, consideration should be given to checking other batches in order to determine whether they are also affected. In particular, other batches which may contain reworks of the defective batch should be investigated.

8.5. All the decisions and measures taken as a result of a complaint should be recorded and referenced to the corresponding batch records.

8.6. Complaints records should be reviewed regularly for any indication of specific or recurring problems requiring attention and possibly the recall of marketed products.

8.7. Special attention should be given to establishing whether a complaint was caused because of counterfeiting.

8.8. The Competent Authorities should be informed if a manufacturer is considering action following possibly faulty manufacture, product deterioration, detection of counterfeiting or any other serious quality problems with a product.


8.9. A person should be designated as responsible for execution and co-ordination of recalls and should be supported by sufficient staff to handle all the aspects of the recalls with the appropriate degree of urgency. This responsible person should normally be independent of the sales and marketing organisation. If this person is not the authorised person, the latter should be made aware of any recall operation.

8.10. There should be established written procedures, regularly checked and updated when necessary, in order to organise any recall activity.

8.11. Recall operations should be capable of being initiated promptly and at any time.

8.12. All Competent Authorities of all countries to which products may have been distributed should be informed promptly if products are intended to be recalled because they are, or are suspected of, being defective.

8.13. The distribution records should be readily available to the person(s) responsible for recalls, and should contain sufficient information on wholesalers and directly supplied customers (with addresses, phone and/or fax numbers inside and outside working hours, batches and amounts delivered), including those for exported products and medical samples.

8.14. Recalled products should be identified and stored separately in a secure area while awaiting a decision on their fate.

8.15. The progress of the recall process should be recorded and a final report issued, including a reconciliation between the delivered and recovered quantities of the products.

8.16. The effectiveness of the arrangements for recalls should be evaluated regularly.




Self inspections should be conducted in order to monitor the implementation and compliance wit Good Manufacturing Practice principles and to propose necessary corrective measures.

9.1. Personnel matters, premises, equipment, documentation, production, quality control, distribution of the medicinal products, arrangements for dealing with complaints and recalls, and self inspection, should be examined at intervals following a pre-arranged programme in order to verify their conformity with the principles of Quality Assurance.

9.2. Self inspections should be conducted in an independent and detailed way by designated competent person(s) from the company. Independent audits by external experts may also be useful.

9.3. All self inspections should be recorded. Reports should contain all the observations made during the inspections and, where applicable, proposals for corrective measures. Statements on the actions subsequently taken should also be recorded.

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