What The FDA’s Inspections Q&A Guidance Really Means: It’s Time To Offer Virtual Inspections
Compliance experts see possibilities in offering video tours as the FDA offers “holistic” approach to assessing sites during pandemic.
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Time taken for interagency alignment, lessons learned from foreign counterparts will increase use of remote video tours, say FDA officials..
Guidance discusses what are generically called virtual inspections, but which the agency terms “remote interactive evaluations.” As site inspections remain constrained by the pandemic, remote interactive evaluations “should help FDA operate within normal timeframes,” the document says.
FDA historically has based 100% of drug adulteration warning letters on inspections but COVID-19-related travel restrictions began changing that in FY 2020, when 2% of drug GMP warning letters were based on testing import samples. The change became even more pronounced in the first two months of FY 2021, with 59% of actions related to sample testing and 41% to inspections.