FDA outlines expectations for human drug compounders, including registered outsourcing facilities

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Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued several policy documents regarding compounded drug products for human use, as part of the agency’s continuing effort to implement the compounding provisions of the Drug Quality and Security Act (DQSA), enacted in November 2013. The policy documents consist of a draft interim guidance, a proposed rule, a final guidance, and two revised requests for nominations for the bulk drug substances lists. 

“Providing clarity to the compounding industry on the agency’s expectations for these unapproved drug products is a priority for the agency,” said Janet Woodcock, M.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “These actions are essential next steps in providing the compounding industry with the appropriate tools to comply with the law and advancing the FDA’s efforts to continue protecting patients.”

The documents available today are:

  • Draft interim guidance that describes the FDA’s expectations regarding compliance with current good manufacturing practice (CGMP) requirements for facilities that compound human drugs and register with the FDA as outsourcing facilities under section 503B of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act). The guidance focuses on CGMP requirements related to sterility assurance of sterile drug products and the general safety of compounded drug products.  
  • A proposed rule that would revise the FDA’s current list of drug products that may not be compounded because the drug products have been withdrawn or removed from the market because they were found to be unsafe or not effective. The proposed rule would modify the description of one drug product on the list and add 25 drug products to the list.

The list set forth in the proposed rule would apply to both compounders and outsourcing facilities seeking to compound drugs for human use under sections 503A and 503B, respectively. 

  • Final guidance for individuals or pharmacies that intend to compound drugs under section 503A, now that the FD&C Act has been amended by the DQSA. The guidance generally restates the provisions of section 503A, describes the FDA’s interim policies with respect to specific provisions that require implementing regulations or other actions, and contains a non-exhaustive list of potential enforcement actions against individuals or pharmacies that compound human drug products in violation of the FD&C Act.

The FDA is providing more detail on what information is needed to evaluate the nominations for placement on the lists.

The draft interim guidance and proposed rule are available for public comment for 60 days, and the dockets are open for the public to nominate bulk drug substances for compounding under section 503A or 503B for 90 days. 

The FDA, an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, protects the public health by assuring the safety, effectiveness, and security of human and veterinary drugs, vaccines and other biological products for human use, and medical devices. The agency also is responsible for the safety and security of our nation's food supply, cosmetics, dietary supplements, products that give off electronic radiation, and for regulating tobacco products.

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