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The News in Depth

WHO Updating Sterile Processing Guide to Align with US, EU, and Japan

The World Health Organization (WHO) is updating its Annex 4 “Good Manufacturing Practices for Sterile Pharmaceutical Products,” replacing its 1999 version of that document to align with more recent guidance issued by the three ICH countries....

USP Seeks Help from Industry for its Monograph Modernization Effort

The US Pharmacopeia (USP) is seeking help from drug manufacturers in its effort to update monographs for small molecules and excipients that use outdated technology, have safety/environmental concerns, or are missing key aspects. The focus for “modernization” of excipient monographs will be to replace relatively non-specific identification procedures with more specific tests such as infrared spectroscopy....

Novo Nordisk QbD Initiative Gaining Traction Faster Than Anticipated

Novo Nordisk’s broad-reaching quality-by-design (QbD) initiative for protein development is gaining traction faster than the company had anticipated, fueled by buy-in from top management and the production department....

EU and Cambodia Take Steps to Fight Counterfeit Drugs

The EU and Cambodia have recently taken additional steps in the fight against counterfeit drugs: the Council of Europe (EC) updated the EU draft guidance on “falsified medicines,” and Cambodia initiated a crackdown on illegal pharmacies operating in their country.....

Congressional Investigation into J&J Recall Actions Widens to Include Contractors

Contract firms identified as helping Johnson & Johnson with what House Oversight committee chair Edolphus Towns (D-NY) has referred to as a “phantom recall” have now received letters from the committee from asking them to detail their roles in the action....

House Committee Chair Towns Asks J&J’s CEO for Detailed Information on McNeil Recall Actions

House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Chair Edolphus Towns (D-NY) has sent a letter to Johnson & Johnson (J&J) CEO William Weldon requesting additional specific information on a market action taken regarding one of its Motrin products last year. Information requested on what Towns terms a “phantom recall” includes the names of J&J employees who were involved in making the decision to pursue this action, names of the contractors involved, and all records related to the action....

FDA Proposing More Transparency on Inspection Findings, Recalls, and Drug Filings

An FDA task force released on May 19 a set of transparency principles for public comment which propose to change what GMP and CMC documents and information are available to the public and with what timing. The proposals include making more information available more rapidly regarding GMP inspections, enforcement activities, and investigational, marketing and supplemental filings....

House Committee Hears from J&J and FDA on McNeil’s Recall and Compliance Problems

The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform brought Johnson & Johnson (J&J) and FDA to the table on May 27 to take a hard look at J&J’s recent recall and GMP compliance problems. In focus at the Congressional hearing were J&J’s actions – including what was referred to by the committee as a “phantom recall” – FDA inspection findings, and possible further GMP and criminal investigations....

Teva Discontinues Propofol in the Wake of FDA GMP Concerns and Lawsuit Verdict

In the wake of GMP concerns resulting in an FDA warning letter and recall, and a clinical practice-related lawsuit verdict involving heavy punitive damages, Teva announced on May 28 that it will discontinue manufacturing its generic injectable emulsion version of the sedative propofol....

Genzyme Consent Decree Results in $175 Million Fine, Drug Shortages Will Continue

Genzyme’s consent decree for GMP violations at its Allston, Massachucetts plant will require it to pay a $175 million “disgorgement fee” and bring the plant back into compliance with applicable regulations within a specified time frame, during which time shortages of several of its drugs will continue. The consent decree was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts on May 24, 2010, and is subject to court approval....
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