BioPharm International-11-15-2004


November 15, 2004

What are current good manufacturing practices (cGMPs)? Where did they come from? What are the actual "practices" described in the Code of Federal Regulations, 21 CFR. If you are new to the pharmaceutical or biotechnology industries, you may enter your first "GMP Training" session without much context or perspective. A set of arcane rules is presented; you were never taught these in science classes.

Good manufacturing practices (GMPs) are manufacturing guidelines for ensuring the safety and efficacy of drug products and medical devices. The GMPs are legal regulations, based on the United States Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. But, why do we need the GMPs? Shouldn't we, as knowledgeable individuals, groups, and companies, be able to figure out how to produce drugs and devices that are safe and effective?

GMP is the acronym for Good Manufacturing Practice. The GMPs represent a set of regulations that were promulgated as a final rule by FDA in 1978 and intended to ensure the safety and efficacy of the nation's drug products. The GMPs, as we know them today, are the result of over a century of actions by industry and reactions by government and consumer groups to bring guidance and controls to the food and drug industry, resulting in a safe supply of food and medicines.

There continues to be much interest within industry and FDA about the future of the GMPs. Discussion groups have been spawned within professional organizations and at FDA to reevaluate the aging GMPs and associated guidance documents to ensure that the government does not impede technological progress, focuses its resources effectively, and upholds its mandate to protect the public.