Trust us: IAG is not an acronym that you want to be too familiar with. It stands for Inspection Action Group, the multidisciplinary team at the MHRA that determines whether your organisation maintains or loses its manufacturing or wholesale dealers licence.
It may be surprising to some of you that after 50 years plus of pharmaceutical legislation and GMP/GDP regulations that 3-4 companies a month still find themselves being referred to IAG with the potential of having their licences suspended or coming under strict and costly surveillance by the MHRA Compliance Management Team.
However, this is not so surprising to us in the EPIC Auditors team. Most of us are ex MHRA Inspectors, and we know only too well that any change in the Senior Management of a company can have a significant effect on the quality mindset and compliance level of a site.
Hopefully it will be for the better but sadly all too often it is for the worse. Most of the companies that we work with require our help because the quality focus at senior level is inadequate. It is still rare to see a Quality Director on the Board of Directors and this role should be seen as important as that of the Finance Director and Operations Director. If all Senior Management Teams had the Quality training and Quality understanding required to run the business in a cost effective and compliant manner, then we might see a reduction in IAG cases at MHRA.
It is our opinion that anyone appointed to a Senior Management Team role should undergo mandatory training in Quality Management and ICH Q 10 principles. Those companies that we have provided this training for will hopefully endorse our thinking. It is a requirement of GMP that all employees have training in Quality Management and this includes the Senior Management Team. Failures to implement an appropriate Pharmaceutical Quality System and to conduct suitable and effective quality management reviews with the involvement of senior management, feature in the top 10 deficiencies raised by MHRA year on year. Ensuring the Senior Management Team are aware of and are trained in their quality role and responsibilities, should lead to fewer companies facing the threat of IAG.