Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) are practices and the systems required to be adapted in pharmaceutical manufacturing, quality control, quality system covering the manufacture and testing of pharmaceuticals or drugs including active pharmaceutical ingredients, diagnostics, foods, pharmaceutical products, and medical devices.

Most of the countries have their own regulation for GMP. I would like to discuss on how EMA (EU) GMP differ with the US FDA GMP.
After evaluation of the GMP regulatory comparison of both regulatory authorities, I found that compliance with EU GMPs will most likely also ensure compliance with FDA GMPs because EMA are much more specific and detailed in their guidances as compared to the US FDA
EMA GMP vs. US FDA GMP (A general comparison):
1. Cleaning Validation:
EMA: Annex 15,Clause 41-“Test until clean” is not considered an appropriate alternative to cleaning validation.
FDA: 2 Test until clean- For the system or equipment with a validated cleaning process, this practice of resampling should not be utilized and is acceptable only in rare cases (correspondence to EMA, clause 41, but used in rare cases)
2. Personal training:
a. EMA: Chapter 2, clause 2.9- Continuing training should also be given, and its practical effectiveness should be periodically assessed.
No FDA correspondence for periodic assessment
b. EMA: Chapter 2, clause 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
No FDA correspondence
3. Sample:
a. FDA uses the term reserve sample while EMA categorize sample into two types- retention and reference sample. EMA has additional guidance for retention sample.
b. There is no EMA correspondence to US FDA 21 CFR 211.176 (penicillin contamination)
4. Internal audits:
FDA does not specifically address the requirement to conduct, or to keep records of, internal quality assurance audits. EMA has a chapter on Self Inspection in their guidance documents (Chapter 9: Self Inspection)
5. Air room classification:
a. FDA classifies air on the basis of 0.5 micron only. EMA classifies air into 0.5 and 5 micron, respectively.
b. FDA provides air classification requirement for “in operation” only. EMA provides air classification for “dynamic” and “in operation”, respectively.
c. ISO 6 classification is defined only in FDA.
d. EMA provides the description of clothing required for each grade of cleanroom.
e. Blow/fill/seal technology- FDA: The classified environment surrounding BFS machinery should generally meet Class 100,000 (ISO 8), or better, standards, depending on the design of the BFS machinery and the surrounding room.
EMA: Blow/fill/seal equipment used for aseptic production which is fitted with an effective grade A air shower may be installed in at least a grade C environment, provided that grade A/B clothing is used.
f. EMA- For classification purposes in Grade A zones, a minimum sample volume of 1m cubic should be taken per sample location (No FDA correspondence)
6. Outdoor clothing:
EMA Annex 1, Clause 44- Outdoor clothing should not be brought into changing rooms leading to grade B and C rooms. (No FDA correspondence)
7. Labeling requirement for Investigational medicinal product (IMP):
EMA requires expiry date in the label of IMP {Annex 13, clause 26(j)}. FDA exempts the requirement of expiry date for IMP, except when the new drug is reconstituted at the time of dispensing. (21 CFR 211.137)
8. Packaging control for tamper-evident packaging:
FDA (21 CFR 211.132) provides regulation for tamper-evident packaging requirements for over-the-counter (OTC) human drug products. (No EMA correspondence).
A detailed information on GMP regulation can be found in EU legislation-Eudralex: Volume 4 of “The rules governing medicinal products in the European Union”containing guidance for the interpretation of the principles and guidelines of good manufacturing practices for medicinal products for human use and US FDA 21 CFR 210 and 21 CFR 211


Tips and Thoughts on Critical Process Cleaning Procedures

Latest FDA and cGMP Compliance News

How hard can cleaning be? That is something that people who are not involved in the production of pharmaceutical products may ask, but not people in the industry. The general thought process in the industry is that cleaning and cleaning validation is a practice that is necessary and unpleasant and best to be forgotten once it is done. But with the new process validation guidance that has come out from FDA in recent years, it is more important than ever to verify, control and improve our cleaning process validation procedures.