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Process validation is defined as the collection and evaluation of data, from the process design stage throughout production, which establishes scientific evidence that a process is capable of consistently delivering quality products. Process validation is a requirement of current Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) for finished pharmaceuticals (21CFR 211) and of the GMP regulations for medical devices (21 CFR 820) and therefore applies to the manufacture of both drug products and medical devices.

Process validation involves a series of activities taking place over the lifecycle of the product and process.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has proposed guidelines with the following definition for process validation: – “PROCESS VALIDATION” is establishing documented evidence which provides a high degree of assurance that a specific process consistently produces a product meeting its predetermined specifications and quality attributes.

The Process validation activities can be described in three stages.

Stage 1 – Process Design: The commercial process is defined during this stage based on knowledge gained through development and scale-up activities.

Stage 2 – Process Qualification: During this stage, the process design is confirmed as being capable of reproducible commercial manufacturing.

Stage 3 – Continued Process Verification: Ongoing assurance is gained during routine production that the process remains in a state of control.

Types Of Process Validation

The guidelines on general principles of process validation mentions four types of validation:

A) Prospective validation (or premarket validation)

B) Retrospective validation

C) Concurrent validation

D) Revalidation

A) Prospective validation

Establishing documented evidence prior to process implementation that a system does what it proposed to do based on preplanned protocols. This approach to validation is normally undertaken whenever the process for a new formula (or within a new facility) must be validated before routine pharmaceutical production commences. In fact, validation of a process by this approach often leads to transfer of the manufacturing process from the development function to production.

B) Retrospective validation

Retrospective validation is used for facilities, processes, and process controls in operation use that have not undergone a formally documented validation process. Validation of these facilities, processes, and process controls is possible using historical data to provide the necessary documentary evidence that the process is doing what it is believed to do. Therefore, this type of validation is only acceptable for well-established processes and will be inappropriate where there have been recent changes in the composition of product, operating processes, or equipment.
This approach is rarely been used today because it’s very unlikely that any existing product hasn’t been subjected to the Prospective validation process. It is used only for the audit of a validated process.

C) Concurrent validation

Concurrent validation is used for establishing documented evidence that a facility and processes do what they purport to do, based on information generated during actual imputation of the process. This approach involves monitoring of critical processing steps and end product testing of current production, to show that the manufacturing process is in a state of control.

D) Revalidation

Revalidation means repeating the original validation effort or any part of it, and includes investigative review of existing performance data. This approach is essential to maintain the validated status of the plant, equipment, manufacturing processes and computer systems. Possible reasons for starting the revalidation process include:

  • The transfer of a product from one plant to another.
  • Changes to the product, the plant, the manufacturing process, the cleaning process, or other changes that could affect product quality.
  • The necessity of periodic checking of the validation results.
  • Significant (usually order of magnitude) increase or decrease in batch size.
  • Sequential batches that fail to meet product and process specifications.
  • The scope of revalidation procedures depends on the extent of the changes and the effect upon the product.

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  • vicky_yadav88

    is there any difference between process qualification and process validation?

  • Danielle Wood

    Great post. Unfortunately, a lot of products out today aren’t FDA regulated and people are getting sick from these drugs. It’s surprising how many places accept and display drugs that aren’t regulated by the FDA. I wish most of the drugs out now go through these processes of pharmaceutical manufacturing and process validation, because it would make all users feel safer. I still have to do my research every time I buy any type of supplement and I try to stick to FDA regulated supplements most of the time.

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Training of personnel on deviation reporting and deviation handling is essential to a successful implementation of deviation management. All personnel must have a clear understanding of the deviation concept on all level of operation.

From a cleaning employee to a top level manager, everyone in the organization must apply deviation management procedure or instructions.

In order to do that, it must be mandated that all employee will attend at least once per year training on how to identify and report deviations.

 

The Three Levels

It is important to keep record of all the training’s performed in order to demonstrate to auditors that all personnel in the organization are competent and can report, handle, and/or manage deviations in a swift and accurate manner.

There are three levels of training on deviation management:

  1. Level 1: Identifying deviations and reporting them
  2. Level 2: Deviation Handling and Investigating
  3. Level 3: Deviation’s Corrective and Preventive Action

Level 1: Identifying Deviations and Reporting Them

  • This level of training should be mandated for all employees.
  • In this level, the trainee must learn how to notice and identify a course of actions or results which might indicate that something deviated from the standard and approved procedures in the quality management system.
  • This particular skill is crucial to the deviation reporting.
  • The trainer must spend considerable time developing attention to details in trainees. This particular competency forms the basis on which the trainer will build the trainees knowledge of deviation management.
  • The second obstacle to overcome is to make the employees understand that deviation reporting isn’t the equivalent of mistakes reporting.
  • In my experience, at first, many employees will see deviations as a way for the top management to record their mistakes for performance evaluation and bonus estimation.
  • The trainer must explain that it is the opposite of that concept, deviation reporting is your chance to express your interest in preserving the quality of the product or the service you provide in your organization.
  • It asserts your loyalty to the a quality based product and/or service and your devotion to the company’s standards.
  • Level 2: Deviation Handling and Investigating

    • This level of training is exclusive for management staff, including both lower and upper management.
    • In this level of training, the trainer must focus on investigational techniques and root cause analysis.
    • The basis of the training is risk analysis. The trainer must be an expert in risk identification, assessment, evaluation, reduction, and communication.
    • Other essential techniques include listening skills, communication, team work, and meeting management. These skills must be honed by the trainees during the training and during normal working hours.
    • The trainer must emphasis that this level of training is a mere introduction into deviation handling and that practice makes perfect. The reason is no one can develop all the skills necessary for investigating and solving complex deviations in one training module. The experience of the person practicing those tasks is the ammunition that would help him or her succeed at his or her job.

    Level 3: Deviation’s Corrective and Preventive Action

    • This level of training is exclusive to quality assurance personnel and upper management (including other department’s managers).
    • The aim of this training is to develop the ability of trainees to find the most efficient and effective actions to correct and prevent the deviation from reoccurring.
    • As we mentioned in 3.1.8. there are several points to consider when taking corrective and preventive actions. These points must be included in the training.
    • The trainer can be someone with experience with the applied procedure for corrective and preventive action in the organization and it would be better if he or she is experienced in risk management as mentioned in level 2 training.
    • If the training is being conducted for the first or second time, the trainer must emphasis to upper management that the trainee will need time to develop the experience necessary for them to create systematic actions with little to no side effects.
    • This training must conclude that the personnel required to decide the corrective and preventive actions must convene periodically in order to discuss the effectiveness of their actions and see what they can improve in their decision approach.

    Optional Training Sessions

    There are several competencies which are essential to successful deviation management, time management is one, communication management is also an essential feature which is greatly needed for the continuous and effective follow-up of deviations throughout the organization.

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Not all suppliers are the same, for example when you buy a car or a house, time and effort is dedicated into finding the best provider with the best product in terms of quality and reliability.

Choosing a Vendor

The same methodology needs to be dedicated when choosing a vendor for your business. Not only will you be purchasing their products or services, but you will also be dealing with them on a regular basis hence your personal relationship most also be strong.

Regulated Environment

When working in a regulated environment one of the key questions that needs to be considered is will the product of service affect your product quality. If the answer is yes then it is paramount that you can trust your supplier/vendor and the quality of their product or service

Supplier Qualification Online Course

This module is taken from our course on Supplier Qualification.

 

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