FDA Provides Guidance on Remote Interactive Evaluations for Oversight of Drug Facilities During COVID-19 – FDA.gov

For Immediate Release: April 14, 2021

The following quote is attributed to Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock, M.D.

During this worldwide public health emergency, the FDA has used a variety of tools to oversee facilities that manufacture FDA-regulated products. These tools include record requests in advance of or in lieu of a drug facility inspection, relying on information from trusted regulatory partners, and remote interactive evaluations (such as remote livestreaming video of operations, teleconferences and screen sharing). We have used some or all of these approaches to evaluate facilities for human and animal medical products during the public health emergency when inspections of drug facilities were not possible due to travel or quarantine restrictions.

Inspections are an important tool to keep Americans safe, and are part of a set of tools used for regulatory oversight. As part of the wide variety of tools we have deployed during the COVID-19 pandemic, remote interactive evaluations have informed the FDAs regulatory decision-making, contributed to ensuring drug quality and helped determine the scope, depth and timing of future inspections. By necessity, we have adapted by conducting more remote interactive evaluations throughout the public health emergency and are continuing to expand their use as appropriate. The purpose of this new guidance is to provide further clarity for regulated facilities on how the FDA will request and conduct these remote interactive evaluations during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

We recognize that remote interactive evaluations do not replace inspections, and that there are situations where only an inspection is appropriate based on risk and history of compliance with FDA regulations. Within the exceptional context of a global pandemic, we see remote interactive evaluations as part of a necessary strategy to evaluate medical product facilities by using all available approaches to ensure the medical products we regulate are safe, effective and of high quality.

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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 nations food supply, cosmetics, dietary supplements, products that give off electronic radiation, and for regulating tobacco products.

04/14/2021

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FDA Provides Guidance on Remote Interactive Evaluations for Oversight of Drug Facilities During COVID-19 - FDA.gov

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