Title 21 in the federal regulations are regulations which regulates the Food and Drugs in United States of America. Part 11 within this Code of Federal Regulations is related to US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines about electronic records and electronic signatures.
The regulations in this part set forth the criteria under which the US FDA considers electronic records, electronic signatures, and handwritten signatures executed to electronic records to be trustworthy, reliable, and generally equivalent to paper records and handwritten signatures executed on paper. 21 cfr Part 11 became effective in August 1997
21 CFR Part 11, states the requirements for procedures for creating, modifying, maintaining, archiving, retrieving, and transmitting electronic records and electronic signatures by virtue of which they can be considered or rendered to be trustworthy, reliable and equivalent to paper records.
CFR 21 Part 11 requires that a drug manufacturer ,medical device manufacturer and biologics developers and all other industries regulated by FDA to implement controls for their electronic system, like audits, documentation for software , system validations, audit trails, electronic signatures, and for systems which are handling the electronic data which is required to be maintained by the FDA predicate rules or the systems which process data used for demonstration of compliance of a requirement or a rule.
CFR21 part 11 also applies to the electronic submissions made to FDA like ANDA, NDA.
Many drug manufacturers and felt that the 21CFR11 is bit difficult to implement in the way it is desired in the regulations and US FDA has listed the points why they gave relaxations at some points of implementation in CFR 21 part 11 are as follows.
1.Unnecessarily restrict the use of electronic technology in a manner that is inconsistent with FDA’s stated intent in issuing the rule.
2.Significantly increase the costs of compliance to an extent that was not contemplated at the time the rule was drafted.
3.Discourage innovation and technological advances without providing a significant public health benefit.
In an effort towards proper implementation US FDA released a guidance document in August of 2003 the
US FDA published the ‘Part 11, Electronic Records; Electronic Signatures — Scope and Application’ guidance which describes how US FDA intends to exercise enforcement discretion and sets forth the following considerations related to Part 11:
US FDA has made an announcement on 8-july-2010 with respect to implementation of cfr 21 part 11 as follows
The US (FDA) will be conducting a series of inspections in an effort to evaluate industry’s compliance and understanding of Part 11 in light of the enforcement discretion described in the August 2003 ‘Part 11, Electronic Records; Electronic Signatures — Scope and Application’ guidance (Guidance). The Agency intends to take appropriate action to enforce Part 11 requirements for issues raised during the inspections that do not fall under the enforcement discretion discussed in the Guidance.
1. CFR 21 Part 11 remains in effect since the issuance of the guidance and the exercise of enforcement discretion applies as identified in the guidance.
2.The guidance sets out certain conditions related to the validation, audit trail, record retention, record copying, and legacy systems where the US FDA says they do not intend to take enforcement action to enforce compliance. also FDA mentions that ‘Conversely, violations of CFR 21 part 11 requirements that do not fall within the guidance’s discretion can lead to enforcement action to enforce compliance depending on the importance of the violation’.
3.Records must also be maintained or submitted in accordance with regulatory requirements outside of Part 11, and we will enforce all predicate rule requirements, including predicate rule record and recordkeeping requirements.
Only part so far routinely enforced is access control, where as 21CFR11 the “predicate rules” which required the records to be kept in the first place are still in effect. If electronic records are illegible, inaccessible, or corrupted the manufacturers are still subject to those requirements.
Paper documents are still considered if a pharma company keeps “hard copies” of all mandatory records, for regulatory purpose the paper documents are also considered as authoritative documents.
A drug manufacturer is required to make a claim very carefully about the “hard copies” of mandatory records are authoritative document. Hence to the “hard copy should be an accurate and complete copy of its electronic source and can be used for regulatory purposes.
US FDA is expected to begin conducting the CFR 21 Part 11 focused inspections soon.
Also see CFR 21 part 11 and its application on computarised systems used in clinical trials US FDA guidelines
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