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Good Manufacturing Practice

Good Manufacturing Practice or GMP (also referred to as 'cGMP' or 'current Good Manufacturing Practice') is a term that is recognized worldwide for the control and management of manufacturing and quality control testing of foods and pharmaceutical products.

Since sampling products will statistically only ensure that the samples themselves (and perhaps the areas adjacent to where the samples were taken) are suitable for use, and end-point testing relies on sampling, GMP takes the holistic approach of regulating the manufacturing and laboratory testing environment itself. An extremely important part of GMP is documentation of every aspect of the process, activities, and operations involved with drug and medical device manufacture. If the documentation showing how the product was made and tested (which enables traceability and, in the event of future problems, recall from the market) is not correct and in order, then the product does not meet the required specification and is considered contaminated (adulterated in the US). Additionally, GMP requires that all manufacturing and testing equipment has been qualified as suitable for use, and that all operational methodologies and procedures (such as manufacturing, cleaning, and analytical testing) utilized in the drug manufacturing process have been validated (according to predetermined specifications), to demonstrate that they can perform their purported function(s).

In the US, the phrase "current good manufacturing practice" appears in 501(B) of the 1938 Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (21USC351). US courts may theoretically hold that a drug product is adulterated even if there is no specific regulatory requirement that was violated as long as the process was not performed according to industry standards.


The World Health Organization version

The World Health Organization (WHO) version of GMP is used by pharmaceutical regulators and the pharmaceutical industry in over one hundred countries worldwide, primarily in the developing world. The European Union's GMP (EU-GMP) enforces more compliance requirements than the WHO GMP, as does the Food and Drug Administration's version in the US. Similar GMPs are used in other countries, with Australia, Canada, Japan, Singapore and others having highly developed/sophisticated GMP requirements. In the United Kingdom, the Medicines Act (1968) covers most aspects of GMP in what is commonly referred to as "The Orange Guide", because of the colour of its cover, is officially known as The Rules and Guidance for Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Distributors.

Since the 1999 publication of GMPs for Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients, by the International Conference on Harmonization (ICH), GMPs now apply in those countries and trade groupings that are signatories to ICH (the EU, Japan and the US), and applies in other countries (e.g., Australia, Canada, Singapore) which adopt ICH guidelines to the manufacture and testing of active raw materials.

GMP is designed to help assure the quality of drug products by ensuring several key attributes, including correctness and legibility of recorded manufacturing and control documentation. Data transfers must be performed in specific ways to avoid mistakes (e.g., writing down a reading on a balance and requiring a second person to also check the balance reading to assure accuracy). Methods have been developed to make this process easier (e.g., links between equipment and central data storage facilities for direct transfer of important data).


GMPs are enforced in the United States by the FDA; within the European Union, GMP inspections are performed by National Regulatory Agencies (e.g., GMP inspections are performed in the United Kingdom by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA); in Australia by the Therapeutical Goods Administration (TGA); in India by the Ministry of Health[[1]] and by similar national organisations worldwide). Each of the inspectorates carry out routine GMP inspections to ensure that drug products are produced safely and correctly; additionally, many countries perform Pre-Approval Inspections (PAI) for GMP compliance prior to the approval of a new drug for marketing.

Regulatory agencies (including the FDA in the US and regulatory agencies in many European nations) are authorized to conduct unannounced inspections, though some are scheduled. FDA routine domestic inspections are usually unannounced, but must be conducted according to 704(A) of the FD&C Act (21USC374), which requires that they are performed at a "reasonable time." Courts have held that any time the firm is open for business is a reasonable time for an inspection.

Other Good Practices

Other 'Good Practice' systems, along the same lines as GMP, exist:

  • Good Laboratory Practice (GLP), for laboratories conducting non-clinical studies (toxicology and pharmacology studies in animals);
  • Good clinical practice' (GCP), for hospitals and clinicians conducting clinical studies on new drugs in humans;
  • Good Distribution Practice (GDP), for wholesalers and distributors; and
  • Good Regulatory Practice (GRP), for the management of regulatory commitments, procedures and documentation.

Collectively, these 'Good Practice' requirements are referred to as 'GxP' requirements, all of which follow similar philosophies. This is far from a complete list, other examples include Good Agriculture Practices, Good Guidance Practices, and Good Tissue Practices. In the US, medical device manufacturers must follow what are called "Quality System Regulations" which are deliberately harmonized with ISO requirements, not cGMPs.

See also

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Good_Manufacturing_Practice". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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