November 2022

Concept Paper on the revision of EU-PIC/S GMP Annex 11 (Computerised Systems)

Geneva, 17 November 2022:  A dedicated European Medicines Agency (EMA) Drafting Group, in which PIC/S is represented by Ib Alstrup (Denmark / DKMA), who is also the Chair of the PIC/S Working Group on the revision of PI 011 (PIC/S Recommendation on Computerised Systems), has developed a concept paper on the revision of Annex 11 (computerised systems) of the EU-PIC/S GMP Guide.

This concept paper is submitted to a joint PIC/S-EMA public consultation from 16 November 2022 until 16 January 2023 and can be downloaded on the PIC/S website ( ) as well as on the EMA website (,-reflection-papers-and-draft-guidelines-section )

Comments should be sent to using the EMA template downloadable via the link provided in the Concept Paper by 16 January 2023.

October 2022

PIC/S 50th Anniversary

Geneva, 14 October 2022: The Pharmaceutical Inspection Co-operation Scheme (PIC/S) celebrated its 50th anniversary at a special symposium in Dublin (Ireland) on 4 October 2022. Since the first meeting of the PIC Committee in 1972, PIC/S has come a long way! The symposium titled “Thriving at 50 and Striving Forward” aimed at promoting and highlighting PIC/S’ contributions to international collaboration and co-operation while being resolutely turned towards the future.

The symposium was opened by Ireland’s Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) Chief Executive, Ms Lorraine Nolan, who was hosting. The PIC/S Chairperson, Mr Paul Gustafson (Health Canada) presented on PIC/S new strategic plan for 2023-2027 while the PIC/S Deputy Chairperson, Ms Susan Laska (US FDA), outlined the evolution of pharma industry and PIC/S. The keynote speaker, Ms. Emer Cooke, Executive Director of the European Medicines Agency (EMA), addressed how to strive for better international relationships and collaboration. The programme comprised a wide range of presentations and panel discussions on inspection-related topics, which included participation from Heads of Medicines Agencies, Heads of GMDP Inspectorates and official PIC/S representatives.

Close to 200 participants from all continents participated in the event, including most of PIC/S 54 Participating Authorities and 7 (Pre-)Applicant Authorities, PIC/S Associated Partner Organisations (European Commission, EDQM, EMA, UNICEF, WHO and WOAH) as well as a number of non-PIC/S Competent Authorities. The anniversary also provided a unique opportunity to meet and engage with a range of invited stakeholders present for the occasion and to reconnect with the wider PIC/S network. A more detailed press release will follow covering also PIC/S meetings and 2022 Annual Training Seminar, which took place in Dublin back-to-back with the anniversary symposium.

> To the new PIC/S Strategic Plan (2023-2027)

> To the Anniversary Programme

> To the Anniversary Group Photo

> To the Anniversary Promotional Video

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”.

January 2022

New PIC/S Executive Bureau

Geneva, 4 January 2022: A new PIC/S Executive Bureau (EB) took office on 1 January 2022. Due to the pandemic, the election of the Executive Bureau was carried out by written procedure and successfully completed on 13 December 2021. The PIC/S Committee unanimously elected Mr Paul Gustafson (Canada / ROEB) as Chairperson for the period 2022-2023. Mr Gustafson will be assisted by Ms Susan Laska (US FDA), PIC/S Deputy Chairperson. The full Executive Bureau for the period 2022-2023 consists of:

  • Mr Paul Gustafson (Canada / ROEB), PIC/S Chairperson;
  • Ms Susan Laska (US FDA), PIC/S Deputy Chairperson and Chair of the Sub-Committee on Strategic Development (SCSD).
  • Ms Anne Hayes (Ireland / HPRA), immediate past PIC/S Chairperson;
  • Mr Jacques Morénas (France / ANSM), Chair of the Sub-Committee on Training (SCT);
  • Dr Andreas Krassnigg (Austria / AGES), Chair of the Sub-Committee on Expert Circles (SCEC);
  • Mr Ger Jan van Ringen (Netherlands / IGJ), Chair of the Sub-Committee on Budget, Risk and Audit (SCB);
  • Mr Ian Jackson (UK / MHRA), Chair of the Sub-Committee on GM(D)P Harmonisation (SCH);
  • Dr Kentaro Hara (Japan / PMDA), Chair of the Sub-Committee on Communication (SC COM); and
  • Mr Henning Willads Petersen (Denmark / DKMA), Chair of the Sub-Committee on Compliance (SCC).