TIME LIMITATIONS FOR COMPLETION OF STEPS IN PHARMACEUTICAL PROCESS
21 CFR 211.111 states that “When appropriate, time limits for the completion of each phase of production shall be established to assure the quality of the pharmaceutical drug product. Deviation from established time limits may be acceptable if such deviation does not compromise the quality of the pharmaceutical drug product. Such deviation shall be justified and documented.”
When appropriate, time limits must be established for each phase of aseptic processing
(§ 211.111). Time limits should include, for example, the period between the start of bulk product compounding and its sterilization, filtration processes, product exposure while on the processing line, and storage of sterilized equipment, containers and closures. The time limits established for the various production phases should be supported by data. Bioburden and endotoxin load should be assessed when establishing time limits for stages such as the formulation processing stage.
The total time for product filtration should be limited to an established maximum to prevent microorganisms from penetrating the filter. Such a time limit should also prevent a significant increase in upstream bioburden and endotoxin load. Because they can provide a substrate for microbial attachment, maximum use times for those filters used upstream for solution clarification or particle removal should also be established and justified.
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This Guidance is published by US FDA on September 2004
We also recommend our readers to visit US FDA’S website for undated guidances on sterile drug products