Pharmaceutical companies must collect and evaluate data at each step of production to ensure drug quality. This process is known as validation.
To keep your business in compliance, it’s essential to understand the three main stages of pharmaceutical validation: process design, process qualification, and ongoing verification. This course from CfPIE will teach you all about these concepts.
What Is Validation?
In the pharmaceutical industry, validations ensure the quality, safety, and efficacy of drugs and other regulated products. Different types of pharmaceutical validations are conducted throughout the product lifecycle, from development to post-market surveillance. Process validation (PV) in the pharmaceutical industry demonstrates that the drug manufacturing process consistently produces a quality product. It also ensures that the product meets all safety, potency, and efficacy expectations set by regulatory agencies.
The life sciences are one of the most rigorously regulated industries globally. To avoid financial and reputational losses, manufacturers must demonstrate that their products meet the stringent requirements of various governing bodies. It includes the FDA and the European Medicines Agency, among others.
To showcase compliance, pharmaceutical companies must implement a robust process validation strategy. Ensuring products meet established quality and safety benchmarks helps businesses remain competitive.
Pharmaceutical PV programs are required by all regulatory agencies, including the FDA and EMA, to comply with Good Manufacturing Practices and other guidelines to maintain product quality and safety. Non-compliance with these regulations may lead to fines and legal issues for the company.
To ensure that their drugs are safe and effective, pharmaceutical manufacturers must rely on rigorous and detailed reporting processes during each step of the drug production cycle. Using software-powered reporting allows them to focus on the data that matters most for each process stage, ultimately leading to faster and more accurate results.
Stages Of Validation
Process validation is a critical component of the GxP regulatory framework and ensures that pharmaceutical production consistently produces drugs that meet predetermined quality standards and safety and efficacy requirements. It is a three-stage process that includes process design, qualification, and continued process verification.
The first step in the validation process is to design a pharmaceutical manufacturing process that meets all of the requirements for routine commercial production. It may include designing a reactor that synthesizes the drug, a spray dryer that dries the active ingredient, a mixing unit that combines it with excipients purchased from suppliers, and a tablet press that forms and packages the final product.
Once a pharmaceutical manufacturer has a detailed process design, they can begin the second stage of the validation process: Process Qualification. It involves running experiments or simulations to establish that a proposed pharmaceutical manufacturing process performs as expected based on its design and delivers a consistent product.
Performing a pharmaceutical validation is a team effort, so all members must have the training to focus on the work at hand. Whether they’re quality assurance staff, factory floor workers, or management teams, pharma validation training helps them develop the knowledge and skills needed to focus on the tasks.
Methods Of Validation
Regulatory agencies like the FDA and the European Medicines Agency have strict guidelines to ensure consistent quality and patient safety. Rigorous validation processes, such as GxP process validation, are vital to these regulations.
Pharmaceutical manufacturers must prove that their manufacturing process consistently produces a drug that meets predetermined specifications and quality attributes, in addition to demonstrating the consistency of the ingredients used in the process. The process validation methodology that must be applied depends on the specific pharmaceutical product in question. The most complex pharmaceutical products require the most rigorous process validation.
For example, an assay for the appearance of a chemical may need to be validated but will require a different level of detailed documentation than a chromatographic method.
Moreover, a new analysis method must be fully validated. In contrast, current methods only need to be revalidated if significant changes are made to the procedure or the composition of a drug substance or synthesis of drug substances.
In a life science industry that is so tightly regulated, drug manufacturers need to validate their process as early as possible in the design phase to help avoid costly delays later on. It will enable them to meet and even exceed quality benchmarks, resulting in superior products that appeal to consumers and healthcare providers alike.
Data Collection For Validation
The pharmaceutical industry is heavily regulated, and failing to comply with regulations can be costly. A formal validation framework is the best way to ensure that a process consistently generates high-quality products, reducing the risk of regulatory action and costly production shutdowns.
The validation process involves collecting and evaluating data from the design stage through commercial production, establishing scientific evidence that a manufacturing process can consistently produce quality drug products. It also includes qualification protocols (DQ, IQ, OQ, PQ) and continued process verification, which help to maintain compliance with established guidelines.
When designing a commercial process, engineers map out the “design space” of each piece of equipment, including its input variables and how they affect critical quality attributes (CQAs). This information creates detailed and comprehensive qualification protocols to demonstrate that the production system meets predetermined safety, efficacy, potency, and sterility requirements.
The validation process is complex and time-consuming, but it’s necessary to prevent FDA citations and maintain CGMP compliance. To help streamline the validation process, Tulip provides an all-in-one software solution that allows pharmaceutical manufacturers to automate data collection and create detailed batch records without worrying about human-based transcription errors. It allows pharmaceutical manufacturers to focus more on product quality and less on record keeping.