Daily Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of the Federal Government
In recent years, many important initiatives have been undertaken by regulatory authorities and industry associations to promote international harmonization of regulatory requirements. FDA has participated in many meetings designed to enhance harmonization and is committed to seeking scientifically based harmonized technical procedures for pharmaceutical development. One of the goals of harmonization is to identify and then reduce differences in technical requirements for drug development among regulatory agencies.
ICH was organized to provide an opportunity for tripartite harmonization initiatives to be developed with input from both regulatory and industry representatives. FDA also seeks input from consumer representatives and others. ICH is concerned with harmonization of technical requirements for the registration of pharmaceutical products among three regions: The European Union, Japan, and the United States. The six ICH sponsors are the European Commission; the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries Associations; the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare; the Japanese Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association; the Centers for Drug Evaluation and Research and Biologics Evaluation and Research; FDA; and the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America. The ICH Secretariat, which coordinates the preparation of documentation, is provided by the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Associations (IFPMA).
The ICH Steering Committee includes representatives from each of the ICH sponsors and the IFPMA, as well as observers from the World Health Organization, Health Canada, and the European Free Trade Area.
After consideration of the comments received and revisions to the guidance, a final draft of the guidance was submitted to the ICH Steering Committee and endorsed by the three participating regulatory agencies in November 2005.
The guidance provides recommendations for a systematic approach to quality risk management. The guidance is intended to support other ICH quality documents, complement existing quality practices and standards, and enable regulators and industry to make more effective and consistent risk-based decisions.
The guidance includes principles and examples of tools for quality risk management that can be applied to different aspects of pharmaceutical quality throughout the lifecycle of drug substances, drug products, and biological and biotechnological products. These aspects include development, manufacturing, distribution, inspection, and submission/review processes (including the use of raw materials, solvents, excipients, packaging and labeling materials in drug products and biological and biotechnological products). The guidance is not intended to create any new expectations beyond current regulatory requirements.
This guidance is being issued consistent with FDA's good guidance practices regulation (21 CFR 10.115). The guidance represents the agency's current thinking on this topic. It does not create or confer any rights for or on any person and does not operate to bind FDA or the public. An alternative approach may be used if such approach satisfies the requirements of the applicable statutes and regulations.
Interested persons may submit to the Division of Dockets Management (see
Persons with access to the Internet may obtain the document at