Improving Global Compliance: A Successful Audit in Indore, India

Our expert consultants, Darren Jones and Philip Rose have returned from a successful on-site audit in Indore, India. Working alongside a highly skilled team, they exemplified EPiC Auditors Ltd’s unwavering commitment to delivering GXP auditing excellence worldwide.

During the rigorous audit, our consultants meticulously assessed critical elements of the sterility assurance operation, implementing robust auditing practices and identifying areas for improvement. Through close collaboration with the local team, they successfully strengthened regulatory compliance for the site which will undoubtedly enhance overall performance.

At EPiC Auditors Ltd, we specialise in providing comprehensive GXP auditing, consultancy, and training services to the pharmaceutical industry. Our mission is to improve and protect public health by ensuring global compliance and upholding the highest standards of patient safety.

Choose EPiC Auditors Ltd for superior solutions that significantly impact your organisation’s quality, compliance, and patient safety.

Contact us today to learn how our experts can support your success on a global scale.

Email: enquiries@epic-auditors.com

Global Compliance and the team in Indore

EPiC Top Tips – Self-Inspection

 “Mind the Gap” – 5 Top Tips for Improved Self-Inspection

Article By Michelle Yeomans Operations Manager for EPiC Auditors Limited

During our time as MHRA Inspectors and now as pharmaceutical consultants, at EPiC we routinely see non-compliant sites i.e., those referred to MHRA’s Inspection Action Group (IAG) with a series of self-inspection reports indicating a high level of compliance. This begs the question why do some self-inspection programmes fail to adequately appraise the effectiveness and applicability of pharmaceutical quality systems (PQS)? 

Here are our top tips on how to avoid gaps between self-inspection and regulators findings: 

  1. Remember why you are performing self-inspections Self-inspections are often not taken as seriously as regulatory inspections, but ultimately have the same objective to protect patients and product quality. Self-inspections can help identify and address deficiencies to support maintaining an “inspection ready” status by providing confidence that you as a licence holder are meeting your legal obligations to comply with EU GMP and GDP requirements.   
  1. Self-inspection perception – Unless sufficient time and resources are allocated to self-inspection, programmes can become too informal and rushed. Taking the time to objectively evaluate a process, facility, or document should be seen as value adding by providing an opportunity to gather information about compliance and is a way for Senior management including QPs/RPs to have oversight of the performance of all areas of the business.​ 
  1. Self-inspection focus – Consider whether audits should be horizontal audits i.e., follow the process flow from goods receipt to product release for example or be focussed on just one area of the process.​ Use a risk-based approach by researching the most common deficiencies found during inspections and audits e.g., consider examples which are published by MHRA, or featured in EPiC Seminar presentations, to ensure “hot topics” are include as an area of focus during the audit. Identify the high-risk areas of the process which will require more of your attention. This can be done by looking at the past performance of the area – deviations, change controls, previous audit findings etc​. 
  1. Invest in Auditor training – Audits drive big decisions such as capex, awarding contracts, supplier approval, compliance level assessment, etc. so it is important auditors are trained. This includes having an understanding and ability to apply a broad range of softer behavioural and questioning skills, follow good practice guidance on the principles of auditing, and can demonstrate an understanding of the applicable GXP rules and regulations. 
  1. Post audit activity – It’s not all about performing the audit, it is equally important to maintain a focus on CAPA completion and ongoing effectiveness checks. Successful completion of CAPA is integral to achieving the objective to protect patient and product quality and drives sustainable compliance. 

By following these 5 tips, you can improve the effectiveness of self-inspections, ensure that the PQS is continuously improving and “mind the gap” between self-inspection and regulatory findings! 

Get in touch if you what to know more about our bespoke inhouse training course on effective and value adding self-inspection and how we train auditors.  

Call to speak to one of our pharmaceutical consultants: +44 (0)1244 980544 or email us atenquiries@epic-auditors.com

Making Pharmaceuticals Conference

Serious about Making Pharmaceuticals?

Our Directors Richard Andrews and Darren Jones will be joining GMP Healthcare Ltd on stand 220 at this year’s Making Pharmaceuticals Conference in Coventry on the 25th – 26th April 2023.

As the largest Pharmaceutical Event in the UK, it covers everything from Processing, Medical Devices, Regulatory, Clinical Testing, Research & Development, Operational Excellence, Pharmaceutical Quality, Serialisation, Clinical Trial Testing, Ingredients / Excipients, Microbiology, Pharmaceutical Engineering, Packaging & Labelling, New Technologies & Data Management.

We will be on hand to discuss any challenges you are facing and offering our expertise to help pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, as well as other associated healthcare clients, to achieve and maintain regulatory compliance and excellent pharmaceutical quality systems, to best industry standards.

Registrations are open for your complimentary Exhibition & Conference passes. It will be great to catch up with clients and colleagues old and new. If you are attending, please come along and say hello at the Making Pharmaceuticals Conference!

Making Pharmaceuticals Conference

WE SPECIALISE in helping pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, as well as other associated healthcare clients, to achieve and maintain regulatory compliance and excellent pharmaceutical quality systems, to best industry standards. As ex MHRA inspectors, we know how the Regulators work and think. No consultants know how the MHRA operates better than we do.  We specialise in mock inspections; GXP audits, supply chain and system audits. We work with large organisations but also have a particular interest in supporting new and expanding small companies including wholesalers; contract laboratories and clinical development laboratories.

EPiC Top Tips-Knowledge Management

Top Tips for Implementing Effective Knowledge Management Practices

Article By Michelle Yeomans Operations Manager for EPiC Auditors Limited

Pharmaceutical Quality System

At the EPiC Autumn Compliance Seminar, I delivered a presentation outlining the direction of travel in demonstrating compliance  (Session 1. GMP Seminar 10th November 2022 9am to 10am) which highlighted how global regulators are looking at new ways to be agile and make best use of resources and reduce regulatory complexity. The aim is to benefit patients by supporting access to quality medicines by adopting the same requirements for the formats and data expectations in regulatory submissions and applying the same standards in regulatory review, assessment, and inspection to support reliance. Such approaches will require companies to demonstrate effective use of data, knowledge management and to implement a culture of continuous improvement throughout the product lifecycle.  

How organisations create, manage, and use knowledge is a key component of an effective Pharmaceutical Quality System (PQS) as defined by ICH Q10. The need to minimise knowledge loss is a primary concern, as loss of knowledge can lead to poor risk-based decision making and inefficiencies in trying to retrieve past knowledge or having to  “reinvent the wheel” to replace lost knowledge.

Hardly a week goes by without seeing a post on LinkedIn from a network connection who is “happy to share” that they are starting a new position. Whilst this is exciting for the individual to be embarking on a new chapter in their career, what can organisations do to minimise the risk of specialist knowledge walking out of the door with them?

Tips for implementing effective knowledge management practices:

  1. It’s important to recognise that it is the people and not the data that underpin an organisations’ knowledge base. Compile and maintain a list or matrix of subject matter experts (SMEs) to increase awareness of “go to” people and encourage communication, networking and sharing of past and current knowledge.
  2. Don’t wait until someone is working their notice to try to capture all that they know, as there won’t be enough time to transfer valuable knowledge to colleagues. Think about how you can capture and manage knowledge as a continuous improvement activity e.g., capturing and implementing lessons learned and after-action reviews.
  3. Advances in technology to support remote collaborative working accelerated during the Covid-19 pandemic and has increased the availability and accessibility of creative tools to capture and share information. Explore what options are available with IT and Data Management colleagues to make use of available tools to help build and improve your knowledge management systems.
  4. Asking someone to write down everything they know about a particular product, process, system, operation is a daunting task. People may not be aware of the knowledge they possess or how valuable it is to others. Indecision on what to include could result in a lot of the implicit knowledge remaining in people’s heads and at risk of being lost. As implicit knowledge is often difficult to articulate, transfer of knowledge can be achieved more effectively by encouraging regular interaction with colleagues e.g., networking forums, and sharing practical experiences through coaching and mentoring opportunities.  
  5. For knowledge to be usable, it needs to be captured in an effective manner. Consider using a variety of formats to encourage information sharing and capturing knowledge e.g., video recordings, voice notes, whiteboards, story boards etc. Look at how the resulting output could be adopted into workflows, SOPs, Work Instructions, etc. as continuous improvement helping to retain current knowledge and support the development of new knowledge.

The above practical tips are intended to help minimise the risk of knowledge loss and support compliance with the EU GMP requirement to implement quality improvements appropriate to the current level of process and products knowledge (EU GMP Chapter 1, 1.4 (xi)) and ICH Q10 principles.

If you need our help and support, then please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Telephone: +44 (0)1244 980544 or email us at enquiries@epic-auditors.com

MHRA Compliance Monitor Process (Part 2)

MHRA Inspectorate Blog has recently published Part 2 in the Compliance Monitor Process series with further information about the Compliance Monitor (CM) role and application process.

The blog can be found here: Compliance Monitor Process (Part 2)– CM role and application process

The blog acknowledges that it is common for companies that are at IAG to employ consultants to assist with remediation activities, and this is something that EPiC has extensive experience of supporting including reporting on progress to MHRA. The application process for an individual to apply for the CM pilot programme to be named on a register will be based on an eligibility assessment by MHRA considering career history, relevant experience, not having been personally the subject of MHRA regulatory action and/or significant adverse findings in the previous 3 years, and the need to have completed relevant training in the CM process. Eligible CM’s will then be assessed by MHRA for suitability on a case-by-case basis when they are nominated by a company, to confirm that they have sufficient experience of the dosage forms and site operations and that there is no conflict of interest. 

In response to the recent MHRA Inspectorate Blog post, Richard Andrews commented “It is good to see that both eligibility and suitability of the CM are being assessed which draws parallels from the naming of Qualified Persons (QPs) on UK manufacturing licences. Although a QPs eligibility to be named may be assessed by the Joint Professional Bodies, MHRA, or an EU regulator, their suitability to be named on a specific UK manufacturing licence is assessed and decided by MHRA based on site-specific knowledge and experience, which is above and beyond their eligibility assessment. The same two-stage approach will help to ensure CMs will have the background experience and site-specific knowledge to assess risks to product quality and patients in developing and overseeing remediation plans and assisting with implementation. This type of remediation work is a core service we offer at EPiC and is why our consultants will be applying to be named as CMs.”  

Compliance monitoring