Inspections, Compliance, Enforcement, and Criminal Investigations

SYNECCO LTD. 11/18/13


Department of Health and Human Services logoDepartment of Health and Human Services

Public Health Service
Food and Drug Administration
 10903 New Hampshire A venue
Silver Spring, MD 20993 


November 18, 2013
Gary Yu
Quality Manager
Synecco Ltd.
456 Bona Mansion, Yingzhou, Room 1604
Middle Taikang Road
Ningbo, China, 315300
Dear Mr. Yu:
During an inspection of your firm located in Ningbo, China,on July 08, 2013, through July 10, 2013, an investigator from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) determined that your firm is a contract manufacturer, contract sterilizer, and foreign exporter for feeding tubes; enteral feeding tubes (sterile); gastrointestinal tubes and accessories (sterile); enteral only extension tubes (sterile); syringe pistons (sterile); and liquid medication dispensers distributed in the U.S. under the (b)(4) label. Under section 201(h) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the Act), 21 U.S.C. § 321(h), these products are devices because they are intended for use in the diagnosis of disease or other conditions or in the cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease, or to affect the structure or function of the body.
This inspection revealed that these devices are adulterated within the meaning of section 501(h) of the Act, 21 U.S.C. § 351(h), in that the methods used in, or the facilities or controls used for, their manufacture, packing, storage, or installation are not in conformity with the current good manufacturing practice requirements of the Quality System regulation found at Title 21, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Part 820.
We received a response from you, dated July 29, 2013, concerning our investigator’s observations noted on the Form FDA 483 (FDA 483), List of Inspectional Observations, which was issued to your firm. We address this response below, in relation to each of the noted violations. These violations include, but are not limited to, the following:
1.    Failure to establish and maintain procedures to include requirements for identifying the actions needed to correct and prevent recurrence of nonconforming product and other quality problems, as required by 21 CFR 820.100(a)(3).  
For example: Corrective Action Report (CAR) CAR-01-04-13-001, for the (b)(4) 35 ml syringe, was initiated in response to a complaint. The complaint describes a defect in which a (b)(4). The investigation identified, in the root cause analysis section, that a “(b)(4).” However, your firm failed to identify the action to correct and prevent recurrence of this quality problem. Your firm did not identify an appropriate sample size and implement this in the sample plan.  The “Corrective and Preventive Actions” section of the CAPA Database, form FM019.Ver01, and the “Corrective and Preventive Action” section of CAR-01-04-13-001, simply reads: “(b)(4).”
We reviewed your firm’s response and conclude that it is not adequate. Your firm has not identified and implemented an appropriate sampling plan for the final inspection for the syringe. While your firm’s response contained a plan to modify its CAPA process and perform a retrospective review of closed CAPAs, it did not address the inadequate sampling plan and all of the planned corrective actions have not been completed.   
2.    Failure to maintain a record of investigation, when an investigation is made under CFR 820.198(b), a record of the investigation shall be maintained by the formally designated unit identified in paragraph (a) of this section. The record of investigation shall include: the name of the device; the date the complaint was received; any device identification and control number used; the name, address and phone number of the complainant; the nature and details of the complaint; the dates and results of the investigation; any corrective action taken; and any reply to the complainant, as required by 21 CFR 820.198(e). 
For example, complaints received between May 02, 2012, and June 20, 2013, lacked information on the complaint receipt date, the complaint source, complainant feedbacks (who and when), root cause, and date of complaint disposition.
The adequacy of your firm’s response cannot be determined at this time. While your firm’s response contained a plan to address its complaint handling procedure, complete a retrospective review of all complaints, and perform an assessment to determine risk to product in the field, all of the corrective actions have not been completed.
3.    Failure to ensure, when the results of a process cannot be fully verified by subsequent inspection and test, that the process shall be validated with a high degree of assurance and approved according to established procedure, as required by 21 CFR 820.75(a). For example:
a)    Sterilization Validation Protocol QJ/NTY 7.5-06A-2012, Rev A/0, and Sterilization Validation Report QJ/NTY 7.5-06A-2012, Rev A/0, reported that the sterilization chamber dedicated to (b)(4) products was “(b)(4),” whereas the actual sterilization chamber identified on the floor was “(b)(4).”
b)    Sterilization Validation Protocol QJ/NTY 7.5-06A-2012, Rev A/0, lacked specifications for the defined parameters such as sterilization temperature, vacuum pressure, humidity, EO dosage, and aeration time.
c)    Validation protocol QJ/NTY 7.5.01a-2013 did not define and specify the pressures employed in the sealing of the Tyvek 4058B + 0.15 mm PE/PA film pouches used in the packing of (b)(4) Sterile Syringes.
d)    Sealing validation report QJ/NTY 7.5.01b-2013 failed to identify and report the name of the validated product, the (b)(4) batches/lots, and the sampling size.
e)    Sealing validation test records did not identify the name of the validated product, the Batch/Lot, the temperatures, the pressure, and the sealing holding time as specified by the validation protocol QJ/NTY 7.5 01a-2013.
f)    Validation protocols and reports failed to identify the title of the preparing, reviewing, and approving officials.
The adequacy of your firm’s response cannot be determined at this time. While your firm’s response contained a plan to correct issues related to equipment traceability, specifications for sterilization parameters, pouch sealing pressures, packaging validation control, and proper document preparation, all of the corrective actions have not been completed.
4.    Failure to establish procedures for quality audits and conduct such audits to ensure that the quality system is in compliance with the established quality system requirements and to determine the effectiveness of the quality system, as required by 21 CFR 820.22.
For example, your firm failed to conduct the (b)(4) and (b)(4) audits of its device contract manufacturer, as defined by your firm’s Internal Audit Control SOP QP-8.2-02, dated September 01, 2010.
Your firm’s response to this observation appears to be adequate
5.    Failure to establish and maintain procedures for identifying product during all stages of receipt, production, distribution and installation, to prevent mix-ups, as required by 21 CFR 820.60.
For example, a review of the DHR for the 35 ml (b)(4) syringe, lot #(b)(4) (sterilization lot #(b)(4)), was deficient in that the identification of the sterilization lot was not reported. 
The adequacy of your firm’s response cannot be determined at this time. While your firm’s response contained a plan to: review its procedures relevant to documentation of product tests and specifications, revise SOP’s and train personnel, all planned corrective actions have not been completed. 
The U.S. federal agencies may be advised of the issuance of Warning Letters about devices so that they may take this information into account when considering the award of contracts. Additionally, premarket approval applications for Class III devices to which the Quality System regulation deviations are reasonably related will not be approved until the violations have been corrected. 
Please notify this office in writing, within fifteen business days from the date you receive this letter, of the specific steps your firm has taken to correct the noted violations, including an explanation of how your firm plans to prevent these violations, or similar violations, from occurring again.  Include documentation of the corrections and/or corrective action (including any systemic corrective actions) that your firm has taken.  If your firm’s planned corrections and/or corrective actions will occur over time, please include a timetable for implementation of those activities.  If corrections and/or corrective actions cannot be completed within fifteen business days, state the reason for the delay and the time within which these activities will be completed.  Please provide a translation of documentation not in English to facilitate our review.
Your firm’s response should be sent to: Food and Drug Administration, Center for Devices and Radiological Health, Office of Compliance, Field Operations Branch, White Oak Building 66, Rm 2609, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Silver Spring, MD 20993. Refer to CMS Case # 410611. If you have any questions about the contents of this letter, please contact: Carl Fischer at 301-796-5489.
Finally, you should know that this letter is not intended to be an all-inclusive list of the violations at your firm’s facility.  It is your firm’s responsibility to ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations administered by FDA.  The specific violations noted in this letter and in the Inspectional Observations, FDA 483, issued at the close of the inspection may be symptomatic of serious problems in your firm’s manufacturing and quality management systems.  Your firm should investigate and determine the causes of the violations, and take prompt actions to correct the violations and bring the products into compliance. 
Sincerely yours,
Steven D. Silverman
Office of Compliance
Center for Devices and
     Radiological Health
Tony Doherty
Chief Operations Officer
Synecco Limited
Unit 8, Galway Technology Park
Galway, Ireland

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