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Control of Components and Drug Product Containers

Updated: Feb 16


Ensuring the safety, efficacy, and quality of drugs in the pharmaceutical industry is of paramount importance. To achieve these objectives, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has established comprehensive regulations governing the manufacturing practices of finished pharmaceuticals. One critical aspect of these regulations is the control of components and drug product containers, as outlined in Title 21, Part 211, Subpart E of the FDA's regulations. While these requirements are essential for maintaining product integrity, pharmaceutical manufacturers often face several challenges in adhering to the FDA's control of components and drug product containers regulations.

Ensuring the safety, efficacy, and quality of drugs in the pharmaceutical industry is of paramount importance. To achieve these objectives, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has established comprehensive regulations governing the manufacturing practices of finished pharmaceuticals. One critical aspect of these regulations is the control of components and drug product containers, as outlined in Title 21, Part 211, Subpart E of the FDA's regulations. While these requirements are essential for maintaining product integrity, pharmaceutical manufacturers often face several challenges in adhering to the FDA's control of components and drug product containers regulations.


21 CFR Sec. 211.86 - Use of approved components, drug product containers, and closures: Components, drug product containers, and closures approved for use shall be rotated so that the oldest approved stock is used first. Deviation from this requirement is permitted if such deviation is temporary and appropriate.


Approval and Rotation of Components: The FDA mandates that pharmaceutical manufacturers use approved components, drug product containers, and closures, with the oldest approved stock being utilized first. However, managing approved components and their rotation can present significant challenges. Companies must establish effective inventory management systems to track and control the stock, ensuring that the oldest items are used first to prevent expiration or deterioration. This requires robust documentation, clear procedures, and efficient coordination among various departments involved in inventory management.


21 CFR Sec. 211.87 - Retesting of approved components, drug product containers, and closures: Components, drug product containers, and closures shall be retested or reexamined, as appropriate, for identity, strength, quality, and purity and approved or rejected by the quality control unit in accordance with § 211.84 as necessary, e.g., after storage for long periods or after exposure to air, heat, or other conditions that might adversely affect the component, drug product container, or closure.


Temporary Deviations and Retesting Requirements: While the FDA requires the use of the oldest approved stock, it allows for temporary deviations under appropriate circumstances. However, determining the suitability and appropriateness of such deviations can be challenging. Manufacturers must establish robust procedures and documentation to justify temporary deviations, ensuring that product quality and safety are not compromised. Additionally, retesting of components, drug product containers, and closures after storage or exposure to adverse conditions requires comprehensive testing protocols, efficient scheduling, and adequate resources.


21 CFR Sec. 211.89 - Rejected components, drug product containers, and closures: Rejected components, drug product containers, and closures shall be identified and controlled under a quarantine system designed to prevent their use in manufacturing or processing operations for which they are unsuitable.


Rejected Component Management and Quarantine System: Regulations demand that rejected components, drug product containers, and closures be identified and controlled under a quarantine system to prevent their use in manufacturing or processing operations. Establishing an efficient quarantine system presents challenges related to segregation, tracking, and disposal of rejected items. Manufacturers must implement robust procedures to identify and isolate rejected components, ensuring they are not inadvertently used, and develop appropriate disposal methods. This requires effective communication and coordination among various departments involved in the quarantine process.


The FDA's regulations regarding the control of components and drug product containers are essential for ensuring the quality, safety, and efficacy of pharmaceutical products. However, pharmaceutical manufacturers face various challenges in achieving compliance with these requirements. From managing approved components and their rotation to implementing effective retesting procedures, establishing suitable storage conditions, and managing rejected components, addressing these challenges requires a combination of robust systems, procedures, and qualified personnel. By overcoming these obstacles, manufacturers can ensure compliance with FDA regulations and contribute to the production of safe and high-quality pharmaceutical products for the benefit of patients worldwide. Adhering to these regulations is crucial for maintaining public trust in the pharmaceutical industry and safeguarding the health and well-being of consumers.


Contact BioBoston Consulting now or visit our website to learn more about how we can support your regulatory activities.

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