Utility System Qualification for the Pharmaceutical Industry

Pharma and medical equipment manufacturing is a highly-regulated industry. Given the stress on product quality and the widespread impact of substandard production on public health and safety, utility system qualification is a critical step that companies must take towards ensuring that all their products comply with federal laws and regulations.

  • Utility Systems in Pharma

    In pharmaceuticals, critical utilities like water and HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) systems form the backbone of the manufacturing process. As a result, these are treated as products that need to satisfy FDA regulatory requirements and pharma manufacturing standards, just like raw materials and other equipment used in the industry.

    The primary use of a utility system is to help pharmaceutical companies check the quality and safety of their products and to ensure they comply with the laws and statutes in the FDA dossier. Without meeting these requirements, a product may fail to be cleared for marketing.

    • Quality Maintenance in Utility Systems

      To pass inspection, utilities must pass a string of qualitative and quantitative specifications. Different utility systems have different quality and standard criteria, designed on the basis of inputs from relevant departments and organizations as well as manufacturing and engineering provisions.

      When a validation program is set in place for utility systems used in pharma, critical utilities should be first on the list. It’s important to focus on the design, qualification and monitoring of each utility system used in pharma or biotech companies, so their end product fulfills all pharmaceutical quality standards.

    • Purpose of Utility System Qualification

      Utility system qualification is designed to ensure that utilities in use conform to health and safety regulations, as well as pharma manufacturing standards and cGMP guidelines.

      Current good manufacturing practices (cGMPs) are FDA guidelines that check the design, control and monitoring of manufacturing facilities and processes. To comply with cGMP regulations, drugs and medicinal products need to be of the right quality, strength and purity, by way of adequately controlled and monitored manufacturing operations.

    • How is Utility System Qualification Conducted?

      Steps in utility system qualification include implementing strong operating procedures, establishing extensive quality control systems, procuring a consistent quality of raw material supplies and maintaining dependable testing labs.

      If such a broad control system is implemented in a pharmaceutical facility, it can help to control instances of mix-ups, contamination, errors, defects and deviations during the manufacturing process. Such pharmaceutical products are better able to meet public health and safety laws established by the FDA.

      Pharmaceutical cGMP guidelines are flexible enough that all manufacturers are free to decide how to apply FDA controls in ways that fits their unique requirements. They can make use of a variety of processing methods, testing procedures and scientific designs to adapt their manufacturing processes to meet federal laws.

      Because of the flexibility of these laws, companies can use innovative approaches and sophisticated technology to implement a system of continual improvement in order to achievement a consistent quality of pharmaceutical supplies.

    • Why is Utility System Quality Important in Pharmaceuticals?

      All pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities need to adhere strictly to FDA-approved regulations. There is a lot of stress on the compliance of facility design with cGMP regulations as well as the various procedures associated with pharmaceutical production, so drugs are manufactured under conditions that meet FDA approval.

      Failure to meet FDA regulations can result in responsive action by the authorities against the product or the responsible facility, depending upon the seriousness of non-compliance. The company may have to recall the product under orders of the FDA, to ensure it does not cause additional harm or risk to the public.

      CGMP requirements can be useful in ensuring the efficacy, quality and safety of pharmaceutical products by making sure facilities are in good operating condition, with sufficiently calibrated and well-maintained equipment, trained and experienced staff and reliable and efficient processes.

    While a utility system cannot affect product quality on its own, it forms an integral part of the manufacturing process. At RS Calibration, we can help you design and set up a calibration, qualification or validation process as per your needs. Get in touch with us to discuss your requirements now!

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