News

April 2021

Revision of PIC/S GMP Guide (PE 009-15)

Geneva, 23 April 2021: The PIC/S GMP Guide to Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) for Medicinal Products has been revised to include a new Annex 2A and 2B:

  • Annex 2A: Manufacture of Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products for Human Use (ATMP); and
  • Annex 2B: Manufacture of Biological Medicinal Substances and Products for Human Use

Annex 2A provides PIC/S GMP requirements for ATMP - it is not a standalone document but it enables reasonable harmonisation with the standalone ATMP Guidelines published by the European Commission.  Annex 2B had very minor revisions and continues to harmonise with the EU Annex 2 for human use biological medicinal substances and products. 

The revision has been successfully completed by the PIC/S Sub-Committee on the Harmonisation of GM(D)P, led by Paul Gustafson (Canada / ROEB), based on the work of the PIC/S Working Group on Annex 2. This Working Group was led by Francesco Cicirello (formerly with Australia / TGA) until May 2020 and then by Christina Meissner (Austria / AGES), who finalised the revision.

The revised GMP Guide (PE 009-15), with the new Annex 2A and 2B, will enter into force on 1 May 2021. All non-EEA Participating Authorities of PIC/S and Applicants have been invited to transpose the revised Chapters of the PIC/S GMP Guide into their own GMP Guides.

To download the revised GMP Guide (PE 009-15), please consult the page “Publications

September 2022

The European Commission (DG SANTE) becomes a new PIC/S Associated Partner Organisation

Geneva, 29 September 2022 : The PIC/S Committee has granted the status of Associated Partner Organisation to the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety (DG SANTE).

Recognising that they share a common goal to protect public and animal Health and Safety, PIC/S and DG SANTE have agreed to enter into a working arrangement to co-operate in areas of common interest. The co-operation will notably be on Good Manufacturing and Distribution Practice (GMDP) standards and their implementation processes for medicinal products for human or veterinary use with a view to make best use of available resources and avoid duplication of activities. DG SANTE has very close relations and interactions as part of the EU Regulatory Network with the European Medicines Agency (EMA), which has its own co-operation agreement with PIC/S. Also the Heads of Medicines Agencies of the European Economic Area (HMA) have signed a letter of agreement with PIC/S in 2016. The co-operation between PIC/S and DG SANTE under this new arrangement will be complementary to those co-operations.

This new bilateral co-operation arrangement will lead to opportunities for increased international co-operation and is very much in line with similar agreements that PIC/S has signed with other associated partners such as EMA, EDQM, UNICEF, WOAH and WHO. Along with this new co-operation arrangement, a new trilateral working arrangement on the exchange of non-public information between PIC/S, EC and EMA has also been signed.

An official welcome will be given to DG SANTE at the next PIC/S Committee meeting in Dublin (Ireland) on 3 October 2022.

September 2022

Publication of revised PIC/S Annex 1

The revised Annex 1 to the PIC/S GMP Guide on the manufacture of sterile products has been published and will enter into force on 25 August 2023, except for point 8.123 which is postponed until 25 August 2024. The date of entry into operation is aligned with that of the revised EU Annex 1, which is identical to PIC/S Annex 1 (with some very minor editorial differences).

The entry into force closes a long revision process, which has been driven jointly by PIC/S and the EMA Inspectors’ Working Group (IWG) on GMDP in close co-operation with the European Commission (EC) and the World Health Organization (WHO). This has been a best-in-class model of international co-operation between EC, EMA, WHO, and PIC/S.

Annex 1 was first published in 1971 based on a PIC/S recommendation to ensure the sterility of medicinal products for the benefits of patients. It has undergone a number of partial revisions since its publication. This is, however, the first full revision aiming at restructuring this Annex, adding clarity to the requirements on the sterile manufacturing of medicinal products and introducing the principles of Quality Risk Management to allow for the inclusion of new technologies and innovative processes.

PIC/S decided to establish a Working Group on Annex 1 at its Rome meeting on 15-16 May 2014. It was then merged with the EMA IWG Drafting Group with a view to jointly revise Annex 1. WHO also decided to join the revision process with a view to align Annex 1 to the WHO GMP Guide. The joint Working Group included representatives of the Competent Authorities of PIC/S and EEA as well as WHO. The Working Group was first chaired by Andrew Hopkins (UK / MHRA) and then by Abdelaali Sarakha (France / ANSM).

Following two written consultations of Competent Authorities, the revision of Annex 1 was submitted to joint public consultation in December 2017. Over 6,300 comments were received during the 3-month consultation and then reviewed by the Working Group in 2018-19. This resulted into a new draft of the revised Annex 1, which was submitted to a second joint consultation from February to July 2020, during which approximately 2,000 comments were received and then reviewed by the Working Group in 2020-21.

The revised Annex 1 was then submitted to adoption to the EMA IWG on GMDP and the PIC/S Committee on 1 March and 29 April 2022, respectively. It has then been published by the EC on Eudralex and by PIC/S on the PIC/S website.

June 2022

PIC/S 50th Anniversary & Seminar 2022

Geneva, 15 June 2022: Registrations for the 2022 PIC/S Seminar on "Inspecting the Pharmaceutical Quality System (PQS)" which will be hosted by Ireland / HPRA in Dublin from 5-7 October 2022 are now open (for Medicines Regulatory Authorities only). Extended deadline for registration is 14 September 2022.

The Seminar will be preceded by the PIC/S 50th Anniversary Symposium & Celebration Dinner on 4 October 2022 (only upon invitation).

March 2022

Statement on the situation in Ukraine

Geneva, 25 March 2022: 

PIC/S is a non-binding, informal co-operative arrangement among Regulatory Authorities in the field of Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) of medicinal products for human or veterinary use. It has the legal status of an Association under the Swiss law. PIC/S presently comprises 54 Members, which includes the State Service of Ukraine on Medicines and Drugs Control (SMDC).

Given the ongoing tragic events in Ukraine, PIC/S wishes to express its sympathy with all those affected by the war, in particular the most vulnerable: the wounded and the sick. More than ever, patients, whether civilian or military, must be granted indiscriminate access to medicines and medical treatment, irrespective of the circumstances.

As any organisation around the world, PIC/S stands by its Members. PIC/S appeals for a peaceful resolution to the crisis to enable all its Members to continue their important work in protecting patient safety, including the inspection of medicinal products. Violence against staff of any PIC/S Member, who are working to ensure the access of patients to medicine, is unacceptable.

Peaceful co-operation among Regulatory Authorities is at the very heart of PIC/S. PIC/S wishes to reaffirm that as a technical, non-political organisation, it is more important than ever to promote co-operation between Regulatory Authorities in the field of public health. PIC/S is not an agreement among States. While waiting for peace to return to Europe, PIC/S will continue to work untiringly to protect patient safety.

February 2022

Revision of PIC/S GMP Guide (PE 009-16)

Geneva, 1 February 2022: The PIC/S GMP Guide to Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) for Medicinal Products has been revised to include:

  • a revised Annex 13 on the Manufacture of Investigational Medicinal Products; and
  • a new Annex 16 on the Certification by the Authorised Person and Batch Release

PIC/S Annex 13 has been revised based on EC Regulation No. 536/2014 on Clinical Trials, which will replace EU Annex 13. This is in line with the Co-operation Agreement between PIC/S and EMA, which provides that the PIC/S and EU GMP Guides should be harmonised with the aim of keeping GMP standards equivalent, thus facilitating the exchange and use of information concerning the manufacture of medicinal products.

PIC/S Annex 16 is a new annex to the PIC/S GMP Guide. Historically, PIC/S did not adapt EU Annex 16, when it was adopted as part of the EU GMP Guide. Initially, PIC/S considered this annex to be EU-specific and difficult to transpose for PIC/S purposes, in particular since the PIC/S GMP Guide is limited to the manufacture of medicinal products and not to import and distribution. Following a consultation of PIC/S Participating Authorities in 2017, it was agreed to make an attempt to transpose EU Annex 16, considering that a PIC/S adaptation could offer added benefit to better convey expectations associated with product release and further international harmonisation efforts in line with PIC/S’ mission to lead the international development, implementation and maintenance of harmonised GMP standards and quality systems of inspectorates in the field of medicinal products. PIC/S also agreed that elements in Annex 16 related to imported medicinal products would be voluntary, dependent on national law.

Both Annexes were successfully approved by the PIC/S Committee by written procedure on 26 January 2022. The drafting / revision process has been successfully driven by the PIC/S Sub-Committee on the Harmonisation of GM(D)P (SCH), led by outgoing SCH Chair Paul Gustafson (Canada / ROEB) and incoming SCH Chair, Ian Jackson (UK / MHRA).

The revised GMP Guide (PE 009-16), with the revised Annex 13 and the new Annex 16, will enter into force on 1 February 2022. This coincides with the entry into force of Regulation No. 536/2014 on Clinical Trials replacing EU Annex 13. 

All non-EEA Participating Authorities of PIC/S and Applicants have been invited to transpose Annexes 13 & 16 of the PIC/S GMP Guide into their own GMP Guides.

To download the revised GMP Guide (PE 009-16), please consult the page “Publications”.