FDA alerts health care professionals and patients not to use compounded drugs from Cantrell Drug Company; agency seeks action to stop production and distribution
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is alerting health care professionals and patients not to use drug products produced by Cantrell Drug Company of Little Rock, Arkansas, including opioid products and other drugs intended for sterile injection, that were produced by the company and distributed nationwide. The agency is concerned about serious deficiencies in Cantrell’s compounding operations, including its processes to ensure quality and sterility assurance that put patient safety at risk. Administration of contaminated or otherwise poor quality drug products can result in serious and life-threatening injury or death. Continue reading.
FDA warns companies marketing unproven products, derived from marijuana, that claim to treat or cure cancer
As part of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s ongoing efforts to protect consumers from health fraud, the agency today issued warning letters to four companies illegally selling products online that claim to prevent, diagnose, treat, or cure cancer without evidence to support these outcomes. Selling these unapproved products with unsubstantiated therapeutic claims is not only a violation of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, but also can put patients at risk as these products have not been proven to be safe or effective. The deceptive marketing of unproven treatments may keep some patients from accessing appropriate, recognized therapies to treat serious and even fatal diseases.Continue reading .
Two new FDA Warning Letters for API Manufacturers in China
In June 2016, two API manufacturers in China received a Warning Letter from the FDA. Both companies had major deficiencies regarding data integrity. For instance, manipulations were found in HPLC analyses as well as in GC analyses. You will find more information on the current FDA Warning Letters for Chongqing Lummy and Shanghai Desano here. http://www.gmp-compliance.org/enews_05496_Two-new-FDA-Warning-Letters-for-API-Manufacturers-in-China_15488,15484,Z-QCM_n.html
The Chinese Company Chongqing Lummy Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. received a Warning Letter from the FDA on June 21, 2016. This Warning Letter referred to both the FDA inspection from March 14-16, 2016 and the response which the API manufacturer had sent to the FDA on March 31, 2016.
It was claimed that Chongqing Lummy Pharmaceuticals had no adequate control in place to prevent data manipulation or deletion. The FDA investigator’s review of the audit trail revealed that an analyst had manipulated the computerized gas chromatography (GC) system to falsify residual solvent results for several API batches.
The analyst had set back the clock of the GC computer to make it appear that the test had been done 7 months earlier. Then he analyzed 5 different injections in order to determine the 12-month value of the long-term stability test. Afterwards, the analyst deleted the original data and only reported the five new results that were conform. The FDA inspection revealed that this procedure of setting back the clock was conducted with at least five other API batches.
During the review of the HPLC system, the FDA inspector found that the HPLC system was configured in a way that analytical results were automatically deleted whenever a test was aborted prior to completion. The review of the audit trail for the Chemstation software indicated that during the analyses of content and impurities, the partial results of aborted tests were automatically deleted from the HPLC system’s records of these analyses. The clock was also set back on the computer for the HPLC analyses in order to retrospectively obtain “conform” results for stability tests.
The company’s response on March 31, 2016 wasn’t satisfactory for the FDA, either. In summary, the FDA writes: “Your response does not indicate how the software upgrades, the SOP revisions or trainings suggested by you can prevent data deletion in the future nor how your quality unit intends to guarantee that the data critical for approval are complete and correct. A response to the FDA is expected within 15 working days. And if you plan to discontinue the delivery of API to the U.S. altogether, FDA requests that you contact CDER’s Drug Shortages Staff immediately.”
Also with the second API manufacturer (Shanghai Desano Chemical Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.), the data of the laboratory tests were targeted. Here, the main complaint was that laboratory staff performed “unofficial” tests without adequate documentation, justification or investigation:
The original, unofficial analyses were stored in a separate “test folder” and were not part of the official QC data. The inspection revealed that this company had performed about 8,400 of these unofficial chromatographic analyses between 2012 and 2014. According to their internal SOP, all these tests should have been documented. The volume of data in these auxiliary “test folders” suggests that performing unofficial analyses is a common practice at this facility.
You can open the two Warning Letters using these links:
Chongqing Lummy Pharmceutical Co., Ltd.http://www.fda.gov/ICECI/EnforcementActions/WarningLetters/2016/ucm508291.htm
Shanghai Desano Chemical Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.http://www.fda.gov/ICECI/EnforcementActions/WarningLetters/2016/ucm508554.htm
/////////Chongqing Lummy Pharmceutical Co., Ltd, Shanghai Desano Chemical Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd, warning letters
October 31, 2015 — 2:22 AM IST,
The Pfizer Ltd. research and development plant in Dalian, China.
Bernardo De Niz/Bloomberg
A Pfizer Inc. plant in China that was being inspected by Food and Drug Administration regulators in order to ship drugs to the U.S. kept a second set of quality and manufacturing records that didn’t match official ones, according to an FDA review of the facility.
Though careers in this field are cropping up, it’s tough for entrepreneurs to find a foothold. “When I started my business, I took whatever work came my way. Beggars can’t be choosers and neither can start-ups,” says Mehul Parekh, MD and founder, Unimark Remedies. Parekh always knew he wanted to be an entrepreneur but couldn’t make up his mind about the field. He studied to become a chartered accountant and worked for six months to learn the ropes of running a business.In 1982, Parekh set up Rainbow Fine Chemicals, a pharmaceutical marketing company with Rs 3 lakh as seed money. However, Parekh knew that the opportunity and money were in making medicines. So, after his brother got a master’s degree in organic chemistry, Parekh decided to venture into the field confident in the knowledge that he could bank on his brother’s expertise. In 1995, he set up a manufacturing unit and renamed his company Unimark Remedies. “The biggest challenge is always funding. I bought the premises simply because the owner was the only one willing to sell it on credit,” says Parekh. In 1997, he purchased another plant, this time promising the owner that if he put in the capital, he would get to share the profits. “I avoid putting in huge amounts because it blocks the money that can be invested in more important areas,” he adds.
Besides funding, another roadblock faced by entrepreneurs is government regulations. Concurs Das: “Some subjects, such as highway emergency, are nobody’s baby. The police dumps it on the Transport Department, which says it’s a Health Ministry issue, which, in turn, states accidents to be a police matter.” If such issues were to deter people like Das, the healthcare sector would be in a comatose state. The fact that it has begun to emerge from it speaks volumes about the healthy outlook of such entrepreneurs.
Kerala Nalsarovar Road, Kerala Village, Bavla, Ahmedabad District, India,
The Warning Letters the FDA sent to active ingredient manufacturers last fiscal year, show similar patterns. Find out more about the frequent deficiencies found in the area of responsibility of quality assurance and in the handling of electronic data in production facilities for active pharmaceutical ingredients.
Taking a look at the Warning Letters the FDA issued after inspections of activesubstance manufacturers in the 2015 fiscal year, which ended on 30 September 2015, it is first of all striking that only non-American companies are among the addressees. Almost half of them are Indian companies. Overall the numbers look like this: India (3 WLs); China (2 WLs); Canada (1 WL); Thailand (1 WL); Czech Republic (1 WL).
The top issue in the Warning Letters is the non-GMP compliant handling of electronic data or missing data integrity. Each of the 8 warning letters contains the following comment in the same wording:
“Failure to prevent unauthorized access or changes to data and to provide adequate controls to prevent omission of data.”
The lack of access control on electronic (raw) data is an issue the FDA investigators have been observing for a long time, especially during inspections in pharmaceutical companies. In this as well as in the last fiscal year there were significant deficiencies in several companies – medicinal product as well as API manufacturers – as the comments in the appropriate Warning Letters show. For more information also see the GMP news Another FDA Warning Letter with Focus on “Data Integrity” and FDA Warning Letter on Data Integrity.
Ultimately these deficiencies can be traced back to a failure of the quality assurance unit which also affects other areas. In the Warning Letters, the following examples can be found for this:
- “Failure of your quality unit to ensure that materials are appropriately tested and the results are reported.”
“Failure of your quality unit to exercise its responsibility to ensure the APIs manufactured at your facility are in compliance with CGMP, and meet established specifications for quality and purity.”
Data were manipulated by laboratory staff (change of the file name), to fake results from identity tests in batches which in reality were not performed. Quality assurance was not able to uncover this manipulation.
Despite an unknown peak in the examination for residual solvents the relevant batches were released. Upon receipt of a complaint regarding this peak an examination was conducted with the result that the contamination originated in the production process itself. Preventive control measures to avoid this contamination were not established.
- “Failure to adequately investigate complaints and extend the investigations to other batches that may have been affected.”
As a result of a complaint (bad smell), a cause study was initiated which was completed prior to implementation of the preventive measures again. The CAPA measures subsequently carried out were obviously not associated with the reason for the complaint.
- “Failure to have appropriate controls for issuance of batch records”.
The use of document templates for batch records is out of control. These can be printed out from the production staff’s personal computers. Although there is an SOP for the control of batch records there are no appropriate training records.
- “Failure to have appropriate documentation and record controls.”
Data for tracing raw materials are not available. Log entries are without date/visa and partly corrected with Tippex. There is an SOP prohibiting the use of correction fluid, however this was not trained.
- “Failure to record activities at the time they are performed and destruction of original records.”
Original records of critical process data on uncontrolled memos were transferred subsequently in new report templates (after batch approvals) and then destroyed.
This selection of examples shows the lack of fundamental GMP principles which leads to a blatant misconduct of staff and ultimately to quality defects in the final product. The main responsibility usually has the quality unit, which task it actually would be to ensure a thorough training in production and quality control and to monitor compliance with the appropriate regulations. These examples of non-GMP-compliant behavior are not limited to active ingredient manufacturers; there are very similar findings in Warning Letters issued to medicinal product manufacturers. An analysis of these Warning Letters issued in the fiscal year 2015 will be part of one the coming newsletters.
/////Warning Letters, FDA, active ingredient manufacturers
A Warning Letter issued by the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) to an Indian API manufacturer on 13 July 2015 shows again a clear focus on the missing integrity of data. Specifically, the following issues are addressed:
1. Activities were not recorded at the time they were carried out and original data were deleted:
Entries in the manufacturing protocols were made only days after the relevant activities had been conducted. Further, batches were released before all results were available.
In particular the use of “rough notes” was criticised as these original data were completely destroyed after transfer in the batch records.
2. Due to unauthorised access to data systems, data could be modified or deleted:
Specifically HPLC, GC, and Karl Fischer Titrators were concerned. For instance, for the GC instrument multiple copies of raw data were found in the waste. And there was no password regulation for the data systems of HPLC and GC equipment, and there were no audit trail functions either.
3. There were no training protocols for the cGMP training of employees.
Altogether there were great concerns about the authenticity and reliability of the data produced in this company. Thus the FDA requested a comprehensive CAPA plan within 15 working days upon receipt of the Warning Letter.
For detailed information please see the full Mahendra Chemicals Warning Letter.
Source: FDA, United States
//////////FDA, Warning Letter, Data Integrity, Mahendra Chemicals