Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP):
A GMP is a system for ensuring that products are consistently produced and controlled according to quality standards. It is designed to minimize the risks involved in any pharmaceutical production that cannot be eliminated through testing the final product.
GMP covers all aspects of production from the starting materials, premises and equipment to the training and personal hygiene of staff. Detailed, written procedures are essential for each process that could affect the quality of the finished product. There must be systems to provide documented proof that correct procedures are consistently followed at each step in the manufacturing process - every time a product is made.
GMP refers to the Good Manufacturing Practice Regulations promulgated by the US Food and Drug Administration under the authority of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (See Chapter IV for food, and Chapter V, Subchapters A, B, C, D, and E for drugs and devices.) These regulations, which have the force of law, require that manufacturers, processors, and packagers of drugs, medical devices, some food, and blood take proactive steps to ensure that their products are safe, pure, and effective. GMP regulations require a quality approach to manufacturing, enabling companies to minimize or eliminate instances of contamination, mixups, and errors. This in turn, protects the consumer from purchasing a product which is not effective or even dangerous. Failure of firms to comply with GMP regulations can result in very serious consequences including recall, seizure, fines, and jail time.
GMP regulations address issues including record keeping, personnel qualifications, sanitation, cleanliness, equipment verification, process validation, and complaint handling. Most GMP requirements are very general and open-ended, allowing each manufacturer to decide individually how to best implement the necessary controls. This provides much flexibility, but also requires that the manufacturer interpret the requirements in a manner which makes sense for each individual business.
GMP is also sometimes referred to as "cGMP". The "c" stands for "current," reminding manufacturers that they must employ technologies and systems which are up-to-date in order to comply with the regulation. Systems and equipment used to prevent contamination, mixups, and errors, which may have been "top-of-the-line" 20 years ago, may be less than adequate by today's standards.
GMPs are enforced in the United States by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), under Title 21 CFR. The regulations use the phrase "current good manufacturing practices" (cGMP) to describe these guidelines. Courts may theoretically hold that a 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. Since June 2010, a different set of cGMP requirements have applied to all manufacturers of dietary supplements.
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 similar requirements to WHO GMP, as does the FDA's version in the US. Similar GMPs are used in other countries, with Australia, Canada, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Philippines, Vietnam 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", which is named so because of the color of its cover; it is officially known as 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 U.S.), and applies in other countries (e.g., Australia, Canada, Singapore) which adopt ICH guidelines for the manufacture and testing of active raw materials.
GMC is part of quality assurance which ensures that products are consistently produced and controlled to the quality standards appropriate to their intended use and as required by marketing authorization or product specification.
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 the Republic of Korea (South Korea) by the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (KFDA); in Australia by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA); in Bangladesh by the Directorate General of Drug Administration (DGDA); in South Africa by the Medicines Control Council (MCC); in Brazil by the National Health Surveillance Agency (ANVISA); in India GMP inspections are carried out by state Food and Drugs Administrations (FDA) and these FDA report to the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization; in Pakistan by the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan; in Nigeria by NAFDAC; 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 U.S. 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 (21 USCS § 374), 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.