GMP stands for Good Manufacturing Practice and cGMP stands for Current Good Manufacturing Practice. Both are standards by the US federal government Food and Drug Administration FDA that regulate the development, manufacturing, testing and sale of food, pharmaceuticals, and medical devices in the United States. There are similar GMP standards in Europe and the rest of world. Cleanrooms constitute the controlled environment in which most of these pharmaceutical and medical devices are manufactured and thus are subject to GMP and cGMP standards.
In the 1950’s and 1960’s poor testing and manufacturing of pharmaceutical like Sulphathiazole and Thalidomide resulted in deaths of hundreds of people as well as birth defects. These incidents led the FDA to revise manufacturing and quality control requirements leading to what eventually became known as GMPs. Congress required companies not only to ensure products were safe, but also effective and manufacturers were required to report adverse events. In the 1970’s GMPs for drugs were significantly expanded and GMPs were made final for medical devices.
GMP regulations address all aspects of pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturing, packaging, and labeling including cleanliness and sanitation, equipment function and use, recordkeeping, personnel, operations and processes, product testing, and addressing errors and complaints. Pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers must document clearly procedures and processes. They also must have quality assessment and control measures in place. Manufacturers must also perform essential testing and validation (i.e., does the process or equipment do what it is supposed to do) of equipment and operations. All processes must be reliable (i.e., produce the same result every time) with minimal variation. All equipment, techniques, and processes must be up to date. This includes R&D, manufacturing, and testing facilities like cleanrooms.
The FDA website is an excellent source of information on GMP and CGMP.
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