Directive 1. "Write
a clear SOP on drug development".
The goal of drug development is to present a quality rugged drug in
the overall shortest development time. If your firm hasn't clear,
concise drug development procedures and objectives on file, backed-up
with all the necessary protocols, from cleaning, to process to analytical
validation - don't start the project until this is done.
pilot studies - never uncontrolled
studies" - uncontrolled studies like non-validated
assays may seem cheaper at the time but generally give the wrong guidance.
A pilot study to evaluate a potential bioequivalent product with a
fully validated analytical assay/ metabolite/impurity procedure, prior
to the main study - often works out more cost effective than plunging
into a high cost study without a pilot evaluation. Never do uncontrolled
studies! (Clinical Director's Quote; "I don't do windows, doors
or uncontrolled studies".)
Directive 3. "Write
and Report Facts Faithfully"
A failed result is a positive endpoint as it may well highlight a
wrong development route. If the result stays 'failed' after a full
investigation, then report its impact and conclusions on the study
or process faithfully. Never average results in order to bring an
out-of-spec-result into specification. That's a GLP violation.
Directive 4. "Remember the 5C's of documentation"
Each documentation page of a report, protocol, method, or submission
file should be like the 5C's of a flawless diamond (cut, clarity,
clear, carat, etc.)
Clear statements, aims, objectives
conclusions and results inform the reviewer of where you are going.
Concise - a report that
is succinct and to the point is all that's needed.
Compact, avoid any padding
protocols and procedures can be written for most studies or processes
and will produce well-controlled documents.
Certify & check
- review and audit every document your development unit produces.
Sign, date and stamp documents that have passed a careful and thorough
audit review process.
Directive 5. "Be innovative and creative"
your research department to talk to the developers, the production
people, regulatory affairs and lab. Analysts. Do not compartmentalize
your personnel. Cross departmental communication imparts development
expertise and builds in genuine product value.
Challenge SOPs and procedures with the aim of producing a better product.
Documentation can always be made more attractive and user friendly.
Writing procedures using attractive fonts and point sizes often invite
Directive 6. "Be Open and Direct "
Never hide a bad study
or cover up a poor result. All test results are valid unless an appropriate
investigation procedures proves otherwise. Review your firm's out-of-specification
operational procedure, and check that there are no organization omissions.
Directive 7. "Investigate
Test results that are out-of-specification
need formal written investigations based on a OOS SOP. The result
may well be a sampling or technician error.
An extraneous peak that suddenly appeared
in an HPLC spectrum on investigation was found to
arise from a change in an inactive dye vendor and not as an anticipated
"Run a mock PAI against your Application just before submitting."
The Drug Application will eventually
be judged on the acceptability of the manufacture, control and testing
facilities as documented in the agency file and in-house supporting
Audit every facet of the development,
manufacture, control and stability procedures of the drug product.
Check and cross-reference each possible submission document against
the manufacturing / control and laboratory files and equipment logs.
Build in routine self-inspection checks during the development process.
Formulate this quality development routine by SOPs and department
"Make your Application really clear, concise and user friendly
Well prepared and assembled
print or electronic files and dossiers are a joy to read, review,
and evaluate. Use all the desk top publishing tools to shape your
firm's reports as attractive, stimulating, and interesting to read
A document can entice or repel a reader simply by its construction
- it can also be made a scientific work-of-art.
"Treat regulators like your key personnel treat you"
Listen to regulators - they
too have their story to tell and may know regulations that you don't.
Listen to their concerns clearly - it's in your product's interest.
There is no greater gratification in satisfying a PAI inspector's
requests in real-time and in producing the documentation/data requested
- before he leaves the firms' premises.
That regulator won't forget you or your product line up for review!
Work with regulators - or they will work against you and your product
may not get to the market place on time.
Treat regulators with respect - as you would like to be treated. Agency
official are understanding, experienced professionals whose prime
concern is product quality and safety.
In any regulatory meeting the only welcome outcome is a win-win scenario.
Both parties get what they want.
Remember an agency never looses an argument - the product only suffers
and gets delayed due to incomplete data or regulatory requirements.
"Talk to the regulators regularly."
Allow regulators to review protocols
prior to starting the work. Get their opinion and express your concerns
openly. Regulators like openness and honesty - and work well with
polite, respectful and professional personnel.
"Take a hard look a your cGMPs "
The absence of cGMP compliance
simply adulterates your drug development pipeline. GMP compliance
is targeted to play a more dynamic role in the drug review and PAI
(Establishment Evaluation System - FDA Drug Center and Office of Regulatory
Affairs electronic data sharing)
"Audit everything enthusiastically".
Leave no audit stone unturned!
Prof. J. D.
SANA) M.Sc.(U of WC) D. Pharm.(Wits) Neuro-Immuno Epidemiologist (IAGIM