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Indian Regulators promote two levels of GMP



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GMP deviations and even data falsification have been identified in a number of companies in India. How is it possible that interpretation of FDA and EU authorities on one side and the Indian authority on the other side come to a completely different picture? Read more in our GMP News

GMP deviations and even data falsification have been identified in a number of companies in India. The FDA has issued numerous Warning Letters, the EU has published GMP Non Compliance Reports in its EudraGMDP database and EDQM has withdrawn various CEPs because of GMP inspection findings.

In an article published by Regulatory Focus on 28 January 2014 the question has been raised whether Indian companies have a chronic data falsification problem. The article lists 7 companies in India which have received a Warning Letter in the past months – all of them because of GMP deviations and because of “actually or potentially tampering with their data”. In addition to the 7 companies the Ranbaxy case is a story of its own. Not only one facility was found to manipulate data but several sites of the company are involved. For this reason the US FDA has issued a consent decree of permanent injunction against Ranbaxy. All manufactured products in the facilities concerned are now subject to an FDA import alert.  In a press release the FDA states: “Because this company continued to violate current good manufacturing practice regulations and falsify information on drug applications, the FDA took these actions in an effort to protect consumers.” Dara Corrigan, FDA associate commissioner for regulatory affairs goes on: “The FDA continues to be committed to protecting consumers from potentially unsafe products that may be offered on the market.” On January 23, 2014 the FDA added an additional facility of Ranbaxy to the existing consent decree.

So far, the Indian Authority did not initiate the same measures like US and European counterparts. This also questions the supervision system in India. If inspections have been performed by Indian Inspectors at the concerned facilities why did they fail to make the same findings? The Drug Controller General of India, Mr. G.N. Singh, gave an interesting interpretation: According to an interview published by live mint & Wall Street Journal he said: “…it must be stated that every country has different measures and we cannot judge Ranbaxy by standards set up by the American drug regulator“. When Mr Singh was asked about the problems identified at three Ranbaxy plants he stated: “Some of those were found to be true and my office had told Ranbaxy to take corrective measures. Similar procedures will be followed in this case as well. But I do not think this is a situation which will warrant withdrawal of drugs from the domestic market. Our biggest objective is to maintain good quality of medicines and we are doing that. There are no drugs in the Indian market that are not up to the standards stated under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act.” In a final statement in the interview he also mentioned that he is “not worried about issues of quality.” In another interview with the Business Standard Press Mr Singh made an alarming statement for all customers of medicinal products and APIs in Europe and the US. “If I follow US standards, I will have to shut almost all drug facilities“. If this is the truth EU and US customers are in big trouble because products not complying to EU/US GMP standard (e.g. ICH Q7 GMP for APIs) would need to be taken from the market immediately.

This all looks like it will not fit together. How is it possible that interpretation of FDA and EU authorities on one side and the Indian authority on the other side come to a completely different picture? It can only mean that dual standards exist. This would result in two quality levels, an international and a domestic quality level. Such a policy possibly causes questions by Indian patients who have to accept a different and probably lower quality standard.

It does not look like the Indian Regulators will re-think the GMP inspection approach and the quality standard in their country. Instead of acting in his own country the Drug Controller General of India announced inspections in the US and the EU.

But what are the international implications of this strategy? European Regulators need to react as they require from the Indian Authority to issue Written Confirmations of GMP compliance. Without a Written Confirmation APIs can not enter EU market. Currently more than 200 Written Confirmations have been issued by Indian Authority. If the inspections which have been performed as a prerequisite for issuing a Written confirmation were not based on the international standard ICH Q7 (GMP for APIs) the Written Confirmations are no longer valid documents. This issue might be raised by an EU court if a substandard API in a medicinal product will cause a health risk to patients in Europe.

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DR ANTHONY MELVIN CRASTO, Born in Mumbai in 1964 and graduated from Mumbai University, Completed his Ph.D from ICT, 1991,Matunga, Mumbai, India, in Organic Chemistry, The thesis topic was Synthesis of Novel Pyrethroid Analogues, Currently he is working with AFRICURE PHARMA, ROW2TECH, CLEANCHEM LABS as ADVISOR, earlier assignment was with GLENMARK LIFE SCIENCES LTD, as CONSUlTANT, Retired from GLENMARK in Jan2022 Research Centre as Principal Scientist, Process Research (bulk actives) at Mahape, Navi Mumbai, India. Total Industry exp 32 plus yrs, Prior to joining Glenmark, he has worked with major multinationals like Hoechst Marion Roussel, now Sanofi, Searle India Ltd, now RPG lifesciences, etc. He has worked with notable scientists like Dr K Nagarajan, Dr Ralph Stapel, Prof S Seshadri, etc, He did custom synthesis for major multinationals in his career like BASF, Novartis, Sanofi, etc., He has worked in Discovery, Natural products, Bulk drugs, Generics, Intermediates, Fine chemicals, Neutraceuticals, GMP, Scaleups, etc, he is now helping millions, has 9 million plus hits on Google on all Organic chemistry websites. His friends call him Open superstar worlddrugtracker. His New Drug Approvals, Green Chemistry International, All about drugs, Eurekamoments, Organic spectroscopy international, etc in organic chemistry are some most read blogs He has hands on experience in initiation and developing novel routes for drug molecules and implementation them on commercial scale over a 32 PLUS year tenure till date Feb 2023, Around 35 plus products in his career. He has good knowledge of IPM, GMP, Regulatory aspects, he has several International patents published worldwide . He has good proficiency in Technology transfer, Spectroscopy, Stereochemistry, Synthesis, Polymorphism etc., He suffered a paralytic stroke/ Acute Transverse mylitis in Dec 2007 and is 90 %Paralysed, He is bound to a wheelchair, this seems to have injected feul in him to help chemists all around the world, he is more active than before and is pushing boundaries, He has 100 million plus hits on Google, 2.5 lakh plus connections on all networking sites, 100 Lakh plus views on dozen plus blogs, 227 countries, 7 continents, He makes himself available to all, contact him on +91 9323115463, email, Twitter, @amcrasto , He lives and will die for his family, 90% paralysis cannot kill his soul., Notably he has 38 lakh plus views on New Drug Approvals Blog in 227 countries...... , He appreciates the help he gets from one and all, Friends, Family, Glenmark, Readers, Wellwishers, Doctors, Drug authorities, His Contacts, Physiotherapist, etc He has total of 32 International and Indian awards

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