The FDA has announced it will recognize eight European drug regulatory authorities as capable of conducting inspections of manufacturing facilities that meet FDA requirements. The eight regulatory authorities are those located in Austria, Croatia, France, Italy, Malta, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom. This achievement marks an important milestone in the implementation of a Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) that enables U.S. and EU regulators to utilize each other’s good manufacturing practice inspections of pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities.
“At a time in which medical product manufacturing is truly a global enterprise, there is much to be gained by partnering with regulatory counterparts to reduce duplicative efforts and maximize global resources while realizing the greatest bang for our collective inspectional buck,” said FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D.
Some drugs approved in the U.S. are either fully manufactured overseas or made in the U.S. but contain some foreign ingredients. All drugs approved in the U.S., regardless of where they are made, must comply with applicable U.S. regulations. One way the FDA oversees drug manufacturing is by routinely inspecting domestic and foreign drug manufacturing plants for compliance with manufacturing standards that assure quality and product label requirements.
In June 2017, the European Commission determined that the FDA “has the capability, capacity and procedures in place to carry out GMP inspections at a level equivalent to the EU.” The completion of these capability assessments enables the FDA and the EU to avoid duplication of drug inspections and allows regulators to devote more resources to other manufacturing facilities in countries where there may be greater risk. (Source: FDA Website, October 31, 2017)