On August 25th, the EU published its long-anticipated revised good manufacturing practice (GMP) Annex 1 for the manufacturing of sterile drug products. 

Annex 1 includes technical guidelines and principles for sterile drug GMPs and reflects changes to both manufacturing and regulatory environments. 

The release has been 14 years in the making. The current Annex has seen several proposed revisions since 2008 and resulted in more than 2,000 comments during the consultation period after the 2020 proposed revision.  

Why the GMP Annex 1 Revision?  

The latest revision to Annex 1 was initiated through a need to add principles like quality risk management and to align standards such as PIC/S and WHO as well as the FDA’s guidance for sterile drug products produced by aseptic processing. Additionally, warning letters for sterile manufacturing and statements of noncompliance, as well as related recalls led to the need for the Annex 1 revision.  

The changes to Annex 1 are meant to increase the safety of pharmaceutical products, by reducing the severity and frequency of recalls within the industry.  

What’s Included in the GMP Annex 1 Revision?  

A new section on pharmaceutical quality systems was added that incorporates quality risk management principles. The update reflects the importance of quality risk management to prevent contamination and emphasizes the importance of a contamination control strategy to reduce quality risk and noncompliance. It also includes an expansion in new technology coverage. 

The basic structure of the Annex hasn’t changed and consists of 10 sections, including:  

  • Scope  
  • Principle  
  • Pharmaceutical quality system  
  • Premises  
  • Equipment  
  • Utilities  
  • Personnel  
  • Production and specific technologies  
  • Environmental and process monitoring  
  • Quality control  

Preparing for Compliance 

There’s still time for compliance as Annex 1 will take effect on August 25th, 2023. This excludes section 8.123 for “Product transfer/loading/unloading areas for lyophilizers” which is set to take effect in 2 years.  

Organizations can start preparing for compliance now ahead of the 2023 deadline by being proactive and implementing new technologies and processes.  

Reach out to Sparta for more insights into compliance with EU Annex 1.