Good Manufacturing Practices are essential for ensuring quality

Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) constitute one of the core components that go into the manufacture and distribution of foods, drugs and other pharmaceutical products. Good Manufacturing Practices are prescribed by regulatory agencies from around the world, the FDA and the EMA being among them.

The guidelines set out by these regulatory agencies are aimed at bringing about standardization in the process of manufacture of these products and to ensure their quality. The utmost diligence of organizations that manufacture these products is called for.

goodManufacturingPracticesThe FDA attaches the highest importance to quality, since drugs and pharmaceuticals are consumed by millions of Americans for a variety of diseases and conditions. Keeping this in mind, the FDA has formulated guidelines with which manufacturing maintains set quality standards across a range of products ranging from foods to pharmaceuticals. The whole set of guidelines for manufacturing products in a variety of industries and activities is clubbed under the collective term, “Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP)”. The FDA attaches the highest importance to quality, since drugs and pharmaceuticals are consumed by millions of Americans for a variety of diseases and conditions. Keeping this in mind, the FDA has formulated guidelines with which manufacturing maintains set quality standards across a range of products ranging from foods to pharmaceuticals. The whole set of guidelines for manufacturing products in a variety of industries and activities is clubbed under the collective term, “Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP)”.

Since these best practices keep changing from time to time and the latest developments overshadow the existent ones; the FDA expects manufacturers to keep abreast of the latest regulations it passes, called cGMP, meaning “current” Good Manufacturing Practice.

No single set of standardsgoodManufacturingPracticesGMPs and cGMPs are not a single, rigid and monolithic set of standards or rules that everyone is expected to implement in their manufacturing systems. The regulatory agencies prescribe a broad set of general principles, from which a manufacturer from particular industries have to implement at a minimum level of quality requirements, the ones appropriate to it. Further, these guidelines offer options on the ways by which those regulations that are relevant to it can be accomplished. The organization needs to determine the one that suits it best for implementing that system.

Purpose of Good Manufacturing PracticesgoodManufacturingPracticesWhy the regulatory agencies take this task upon themselves is because the consumer is not in a position to identify a spurious product or one that has not been through all these scientifically designated processes. The fundamental purpose for which the regulatory agencies require adherence to the CGMP regulations is that compliance to these guidelines is a means to assuring the following:

goodManufacturingPracticesIn order to achieve this, drug manufacturers have to take all the steps needed to control the manufacturing operations. This includes establishing strong Quality Management Systems, obtaining appropriate quality raw materials, establishing robust operating procedures, detecting and investigating product quality deviations, and maintaining reliable testing laboratories.

The FDA believes that putting all these steps and processes in place through this formal system of controls by a pharmaceutical company is a means to prevent mix-ups, contamination failures, deviations and errors. In addition to ensuring that drug products that go through these processes meet their quality standards; the cGMPs help to put in place systems with which proper design, monitoring, and control of manufacturing processes and facilities are assured.

Highlights of GMPs/cGMPsThe nature and role of current Good Manufacturing Practices can be summarized into the following:

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The GMP regulatory requirements in the EU

The EMA, being the regulatory agency for the EU; oversees the implementation of cGMP guidelines. The EMA’s guidelines apply to all the Member States of the European Union. The purpose for which these guidelines are set out by the EU is more or less the same as that for which other agencies such as the FDA lay out these rules. The essential reason for which this is done is to ensure that the pharmaceutical or any other regulated products:

goodManufacturingPracticesThe EU’s directives on GMP are listed out in its important legal frameworks and guidelines. These include:

  • Regulation No. 1252/2014 and Directive 2003/94/EC, which are for active substances and medicines for human use
  • Directive 91/412/EEC, which relates to medicines for veterinary use
  • Directive 2001/83/EC and Directive 2001/82/EC, which prescribe related provisions.

 

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Good Manufacturing Practices are essential for ensuring quality

Key Takeaway:

GMPs are critical for the manufacture and distribution of foods, drugs and other pharmaceutical products. These need to be implemented diligently by organizations that are involved in these products.

Quality is a great concern for a manufacturer and consumer of any product. To ensure that quality is maintained across a variety of products ranging from foods to pharmaceutical products; a few guidelines are required. These guidelines are collectively termed Good Manufacturing Practices(GMP).

Not a uniform set of standards

It needs to be understood that GMPs are not a uniform or homogeneous set of rules for everyone to follow. These are general principles laid out for ensuring that there is a minimum level of quality requirements to be fulfilled.

Agencies that control authorization and licensing for manufacture and sale of food, drug products, and active pharmaceutical products recommend these guidelines. These guidelines can be accomplished in many ways, and it is up to the organization to find out the one that suits it best and implement that system.

In essence, Good Manufacturing Practices can mean the following:

  • GMPs are set practices that manufacturers need to put in place to ensure that their products meet specified quality standards.
  • GMP guidelines consist of the minimum requirements that food product, drug or pharmaceutical manufacturers have to meet to assure that their products are of the prescribed quality and cause no harm or risk to those who consume them or the public at large
  • Regulatory agencies in several countries oversee their respective countries’ and global Good Manufacturing Practices. Good Laboratory Practices (GLP) and Good Clinical Practices (GCP) are usually analogous to GMP
  • In many countries, legislations require pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers to comply with GMP procedures. Many require these organizations to create their own GMP guidelines that are line with their legislations.

Basic points in GMP guidelines

These are the current GMP compliance requirements for pharmaceuticals (some of these guidelines overlap with those for medical devices)

 

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