During cGMP inspections, one of the most commonly cited observations by the FDA is the inadequate investigation into deviations. Pharmaceutical companies must address this issue to maintain compliance and ensure patient safety.
Here are some key points to keep in mind regarding deviation investigations in the pharmaceutical industry:
According to the FDA, many observations state, “There is a failure to thoroughly review any unexplained discrepancy or the failure of a batch or any of its components to meet any of its specifications, whether or not the batch has already been distributed.” This emphasizes the importance of conducting thorough investigations into any deviations encountered.
The applicable regulation for conducting investigations is 21 CFR 211.192. Familiarize yourself with this regulation to ensure compliance. Additionally, the FDA may issue a Form 483 to communicate specific concerns or deficiencies found during inspections.
Common Investigation Mistakes
Several common mistakes are made during investigations, leading to inadequate results. These include:
Improper Root Cause Analysis
The investigation must include a comprehensive and proper root cause analysis. Regardless of the tools used, it is essential to have a brainstorming session where all potential root causes are considered. Eliminating each possible root cause should be based on documented evidence or scientific rationale.
Investigations should not be limited to the specific batch or product under scrutiny. It is crucial to extend the investigation to other batches and related products. This helps identify potential systemic issues that may affect the overall quality and safety of the manufacturing process.
Lack of Documentation
To ensure transparency and accountability, it is vital to document all aspects of the investigation. Potential root causes that have been eliminated must have documented evidence or scientific rationale supporting their elimination. This documentation helps demonstrate a thorough and well-reasoned investigation process.
Addressing the Issue
By addressing these common mistakes and implementing best practices, pharmaceutical companies can enhance their investigation processes. Thorough investigations into deviations not only satisfy regulatory requirements but also promote continuous improvement and quality assurance.
Remember, patient safety is our priority, and thorough investigations are crucial to ensuring the quality and efficacy of pharmaceutical products. Let’s work together to maintain compliance and deliver safe medications to those who need them.
Resource Person: Jeffrey Palmer