Davor Milosevic, Quality Assurance Manager, Pilgrim Quality Solutions
Formal written Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) are required both by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and European Medicines Agency (EMA). While the term standard suggests “business as usual,” there’s definitely nothing standard about what they represent. SOPs, in part, demonstrate compliance and say to inspectors that you know what you are doing and why.
However, for the last couple of years, SOP deficiencies have been one of the top findings in FDA audits on both the drug and device manufacturing sides. In fact, almost every deficiency identified in FDA’s 483s and Warning Letters can be traced back to deficiencies in SOPs, or lack of compliance in following them, within an organization. As such, the entire Quality Management System (QMS) of an organization could be severely compromised due to SOP defects or mismanagement of the related processes.