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Site Visit Training Program for Office of Pharmaceutical Quality Staff; Information Available to Industry

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Food and Drug Administration, HHS.




The Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) in the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is announcing the 2017 CDER Office of Pharmaceutical Quality (OPQ) Staff Experiential Learning Site Visit Program. The purpose of this document is to invite pharmaceutical companies interested in participating in this program to submit a site visit proposal to CDER's OPQ.


Submit either an electronic or written proposal to participate in this program by January 17, 2017. See section IV of this document for information on what to include in such proposals.

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Janet Wilson, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 75, Rm. 4642, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002, 240-402-3969, email:

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I. Background

A critical part of the commitment by CDER to make safe and effective high-quality drugs available to the American public is gaining an understanding of all aspects of drug development and a drug's commercial life cycle, including the variety of drug manufacturing operations. To support this commitment, CDER has initiated various training and development programs, including the 2017 OPQ Staff Experiential Learning Site Visit Program. This site visit program is designed to offer experiential and firsthand learning opportunities that will provide OPQ staff with a better understanding of the pharmaceutical industry and its operations, as well as of the challenges that impact a drug's development program and commercial life cycle. The goal of these visits is to provide OPQ staff exposure to the drug development and manufacturing processes in industry; therefore, a tour of pharmaceutical company facilities is an integral part of the program.

II. The Site Visit Program

In this site visit program, groups of OPQ staff—who have experience in a variety of backgrounds, including science, statistics, manufacturing, engineering and testing—will observe operations of commercial manufacturing, pilot plants, and testing over a 1- to 2-day period. To facilitate the learning process for OPQ staff, overview presentations by industry related to drug development and manufacturing may be provided, which may allow the participating sites to benefit by having an opportunity to showcase their technologies and manufacturing processes.

OPQ encourages companies engaging in the development and manufacturing of both drug substances and drug products to respond. However, please note that this site visit program is not intended to supplement or to replace a regulatory inspection, e.g., a preapproval inspection, pre-license inspection or a surveillance inspection. OPQ staff participating in this program will grow professionally by gaining a better understanding of current industry practices, processes, and procedures.

Although observation of all aspects of drug development and production would be beneficial to OPQ staff, OPQ has identified a number of areas of particular interest to its staff. The following list identifies some of these areas but is not intended to be exhaustive or to limit industry response:

  • Drug products and active pharmaceutical ingredients

○ Solutions, suspensions, emulsions, and semisolids

○ Sustained, modified, and immediate release formulations

○ Drug-device combination products, particularly inhalation, transdermal, iontophoretic, and implant formulations

○ Biotechnology products

  • Design, development, manufacturing, and controls

○ Engineering controls for aseptic formulations

○ Unique delivery technologiesStart Printed Page 80667

○ Hot melt extrusion processes

○ Soft-gel encapsulation processes

○ Lyophilization processes

○ Blow-Fill-Seal and isolators

○ Spray-drying processes

○ Process analytical technology and Real Time Release Testing

  • Emerging technologies

○ Continuous manufacturing

○ 3-dimensional printing

○ Nanotechnology

III. Site Selection

Selection of potential facilities will be based on the priorities developed for OPQ staff training, the facility's current regulatory status with FDA, and on consultation with the appropriate FDA district office. All travel expenses associated with this program will be the responsibility of OPQ; therefore, selection will be based on the availability of funds and resources for the fiscal year. OPQ will not provide financial compensation to the pharmaceutical site as part of this program.

IV. Proposals for Participation

Companies interested in offering a site visit or learning more about this site visit program should respond by submitting a proposal directly to Janet Wilson (see the DATES and FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT sections of this document for more information). To aid in OPQ's site selection, your proposal should include the following information:

  • A contact person
  • Site visit location(s)
  • Facility Establishment Identifier and DUNS numbers, as applicable
  • Maximum number of OPQ staff that can be accommodated during a site visit, and
  • A sample agenda outlining the proposed learning objectives and associated activities for the site visit

Proposals submitted without this minimum information will not be considered. Based on response rate and type of responses, OPQ may or may not consider alternative pathways to meeting our training goals.

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Dated: November 9, 2016.

Peter Lurie,

Associate Commissioner for Public Health Strategy and Analysis.

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[FR Doc. 2016-27454 Filed 11-15-16; 8:45 am]