The new APIC Guidance on Handling of Insoluble Matter and Foreign Particles in the Manufacture of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients

Foreign particles in APIs or medicinal preparations are undesirable and sometimes lead to a recall of the batches concerned. Depending on the type of particles their presence in active pharmaceutical ingredients may be harmless; in many cases they are inevitable. In any case the manufacturer must find an adequate way how to handle those impurities visible to the human eye. The search for a guideline or another official document in the relevant regulations is in vain. Visible particles or fibres are only mentioned in the USP chapter <790>, in chapter 2.9.20 of the European Pharmacopoeia as well as in the United States Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act).

In order to remedy this lack of guidance or recommendations a group of experts within APIC has drawn up a guidance on the handling of foreign particles. This "Guidance on Handling of insoluble Matter and Foreign Particles in APIs" describes in detail

  • the types of particles which can often occur during the manufacture of APIs, API intermediates and raw materials (including packaging materials),  
  • suitable measures to minimize the presence of particles or to remove them, 
  • how to determine them analytically 
  • how to identify the source and to carry out subsequent CAPA measures and an adequate risk management.

This APIC guidance offers valuable assistance for all API manufacturers that are confronted with the problem of the occurrence of foreign particles in their products, intermediates or raw materials. The implementation of the very concrete and practicable recommendations in this guidance offers also valuable supporting arguments for GMP inspections or audits and can help to avoid unpleasant surprises.

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