BioProcess Online has a nice summary of the drug GMP warning letters issued in FY2018, as well as a comparison of trends since fiscal year 2013.
— Read on www.bioprocessonline.com/doc/an-analysis-of-fda-fy-drug-gmp-warning-letters-0003
Data Integrity definitely continues to be a theme, and I agree that we are seeing a growing trend around process validation. I also think root cause investigations was a theme of 2018 that we are going to be seeing a lot more of.
In the last 6 years, Pfizer’s Hospira plant in Kansas has received eight FDA Form 483 citations, as well as other observations for regulatory bodies, such as this summer’s from the MHRA.
The latest FDA 483 was in August 2018.
Comparing these observations with this year’s from Mylan certainly brings to mind a lot of thoughts about cleaning validation and contamination control.
All eight observations are repeat, some from multiple years. I find this troubling given the June 2018 Close Out letter to the 2017 Warning Letter.
Mylan’s West Virginia plant received a Warning Letter this month and US FDA Commission Scott Gottlieb tweeted on it, and Mylan recently issued a press release.
I’ve made a few posts on their 483:
Mylan’s issues really need to be viewed as a lens of current regulatory body thinking and not as an issue of a company behind the times. In short, this could be you and if your company is not pouring through these and evaluating your own systems you should be.
The Warning Letter has a few trends we see in this sort of document:
- Requiring an independent review. If your system is broke than the agency doesn’t trust you to say its okay. Get an independent consultant.
- Lack of quality unit authority. One of the best things my site head of quality ever said (and if he is reading this, take this as a serious compliment) was to a group of high school interns when he said the quality unit is the only part of the Pharma manufacturing organization with duties required by law. That we have a legal duty to our companies and to the patients.
- Go to the ICH guidance documents
- This is happening at more than one site. Clean it up corporate wide.
The last one is worth further thought:
These repeated failures at multiple sites demonstrate that Mylan’s management oversight and control over the manufacture of drugs is inadequate.Your executive management remains responsible for fully resolving all deficiencies and ensuring ongoing CGMP compliance. You should immediately and comprehensively assess your company’s global manufacturing operations to ensure that systems and processes, and ultimately, the products you manufacture, consistently conform to FDA requirements.
It is a critical part of your inspection program to be evaluating issues at each and every one of your sites for all your sites. The CAPA program needs to have the ability to assess CAPAs for similar root cause at all sites, that’s part of the preventive, and without it you are truly not addressing all the potential risks in your organization.
In past decades Mylan was a golden-child of cGMPs, and a lot of thought has gone into why the massive backslide. Cases like this, and Toyota, really reaffirm how a quality culture is something that must be constantly maintained and grown, and how easy it is to go backwards.