Quality Metrics for Drug Manufacturing


The portal is not opening in January 2018 for widespread, voluntary reporting. Stay tuned for additional updates.

Quality metrics are used throughout the drugs and biologics industry to monitor quality control systems and processes and drive continuous improvement efforts in drug manufacturing.  These metrics can also be useful to FDA:  to help develop compliance and inspection policies and practices, such as risk-based inspection scheduling of drug manufacturers; to improve the Agency’s ability to predict, and therefore, possibly mitigate, future drug shortages; and to encourage the pharmaceutical industry to implement state-of-the-art, innovative quality management systems for pharmaceutical manufacturing.  FDA is issuing a revised draft guidance that includes an explanation of how the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) and the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER) intend to utilize submitted data and quality metrics to help ensure that their policies and practices continue to support continuous improvement and innovation in the pharmaceutical manufacturing industry. 

In order to achieve these goals, FDA is initiating a quality metrics reporting program.  FDA issued a draft guidance regarding the collection of quality metrics on July 28, 2015.  In response to comments received in the public docket (FDA-2015-D-2537), FDA is issuing a revised draft guidance for additional public comment.  As described in this guidance, FDA is initiating a voluntary reporting phase of the FDA quality metrics reporting program.  In the voluntary reporting phase of the program, FDA expects to learn more about a limited set of quality metrics, associated analytics, and improve the FDA quality metrics reporting program. 

During the voluntary phase of the reporting program, FDA will accept voluntarily submissions of data from owners and operators of human drug establishments.  FDA expects that the large majority of voluntary reports will be submitted by establishments engaged in the manufacture, preparation, propagation, compounding, or processing of finished dosage forms (FDF) of “covered drug products” or active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) used in the manufacture of “covered drug products.”1

The voluntary reporting phase of the program described in this guidance is not focused on reporting from certain CDER regulated manufacturers (i.e., compounders operating under section 503A or registered as outsourcing facilities under section 503B of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) or CBER regulated manufacturers of blood and blood components for transfusion, vaccines, in vitro diagnostics,2 cell therapy products, gene therapy products, allergenic extracts, human cells, tissues, and cellular and tissue based products).3


Helpful Resources:

Related Information

Additional FDA Resources (2015)

Future Updates

  • Quality Metrics Reporters List (not yet available)

External References

1 The terms “covered drug product” and “covered establishment” are defined in section III.A. of the revised draft guidance

2 This guidance is not applicable to biological products that meet the definition of a device in section 201(h) of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. 321(h)).

3 The guidance does apply to licensed biological products that are plasma derived products, including recombinant and transgenic versions of plasma derivatives.

Page Last Updated: 12/15/2017
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