The Importance of EU/UK QP Audits

May 3, 2024

In the highly regulated pharmaceutical industry, ensuring the safety, quality, and efficacy of medicinal products is paramount. One crucial aspect of this assurance lies in the oversight provided by Qualified Persons (QPs) and the audits they conduct. Particularly, within the European Union (EU) and the United Kingdom (UK), QP audits play a pivotal role in maintaining compliance with stringent regulatory standards. This blog aims to shed light on the importance of EU/UK QP audits, examining key elements such as the Pharmaceutical Inspection Co-operation Scheme (PIC/S) and Annex 16.

QPs maintain compliance with stringent regulatory standards.

The Role of Qualified Persons (QPs)

Qualified Persons serve as the linchpin in the release of medicinal products for distribution. Their responsibility is to certify that each batch of pharmaceutical products complies with the Marketing Authorization/Clinical Trial Authorization and relevant quality standards, as outlined in Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) regulations. QPs play a critical role in safeguarding public health by ensuring that only products meeting the highest standards reach the market. The audits encompass a thorough examination of the manufacturing, quality control, and distribution processes to identify and rectify any potential deviations or deficiencies.

The requirements of QP audits reside within EU's Annex 16 of the EU GMP guidelines focuses specifically on the certification by a QP and the batch release process. It provides detailed guidance on the responsibilities of the QP, documentation requirements, and the handling of unexpected deviations. QP audits in the EU and UK closely adhere to the principles outlined in Annex 16 to ensure a standardized approach to batch release procedures.

Another pivotal regulation for QPs is the Pharmaceutical Inspection Co-operation Scheme (PIC/S) is an international framework that promotes the harmonization of GMP standards and guidelines. EU/UK QP audits often align with PIC/S principles to ensure consistency and global adherence to best practices. By adopting PIC/S standards, companies enhance their ability to navigate the complexities of the international pharmaceutical landscape, facilitating smoother market access for their products.

If you want to register your products, whether for clinical trials or commercially, you will need a QP to qualify your supply chain. This is done through QP audits and summarized in a QP declaration, certifying compliance to European GMP. The QP declaration needs to be Issued by the QP who will release your products in EU/UK.

Key Elements Examined in EU/UK QP Audits

  1. Quality Management System (QMS): Audits assess the effectiveness of the QMS in place, ensuring that it is robust and capable of maintaining high-quality standards throughout the entire product lifecycle.
  2. Documentation and Record-keeping: QP audits scrutinize documentation practices to ensure accurate and comprehensive records are maintained. This includes batch records, deviations, and change controls.
  3. Supplier and Vendor Qualification: The audits examine the processes for selecting and qualifying suppliers and vendors to guarantee the integrity of the supply chain.
  4. Training and Competency: The competency of personnel involved in the manufacturing and quality control processes is evaluated to ensure a skilled and knowledgeable workforce.

ProPharma's QP Audits Strengthen Integrity

EU/UK QP audits are integral to the pharmaceutical industry's commitment to delivering safe and effective medicinal products. By aligning with international standards such as PIC/S and Annex 16, companies can demonstrate their dedication to global best practices. As the regulatory landscape continues to evolve, QP audits remain a cornerstone for ensuring the highest levels of quality and compliance in pharmaceutical manufacturing and distribution.

Looking for QP auditor support?

ProPharma is the first ever Research & Consulting Organization (RCO)—leading with strategy, enabling customizable design and delivery of consulting solutions that are equipped to successfully navigate the increasingly complex regulatory environment. Our proven worldwide full-lifecycle expertise covering Regulatory Sciences, Clinical Research Solutions, Quality & Compliance, Pharmacovigilance Solutions, Medical Information, and R&D Technology services makes us your single source partner of choice.

Contact us to discuss ways we can partner with and assist you…Just let us know “when, what, and how” you would like your audit!


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