Standard Operating Procedure For Vendor Qualification.

SOP FOR VENDOR QUALIFICATION

  1. 0 OBJECTIVE

To lay down a procedure for selection, evaluation, Qualification, Disqualification and Re qualification of vendors.

2.0 SCOPE

This SOP is applicable for qualification & evaluation of vendors to be used in the Products manufactured for domestic market.

  3.0 RESPONSIBILITY

Head Purchase / Designee : Identification of potential vendors in co-ordination with the Product Development Laboratory.Responsible for arrangement of pre-purchase samples from the prospective vendors.To coordinate with vendor for vendor approval activity.Scheduling of vendor audit date and compliance report from vendors.To provide specification to the manufacturer or supplier.To coordinate with vendor for investigation / CAPA for on-line rejection. To forward vendor questionnaire to the vendor. Shall organize Vendor’s audit based on the need identified by the quality assurance department.
Product Development Laboratory / Production : To assist purchase department in the identification process of the prospective vendors.To evaluate pre-qualification samples submitted by prospective vendor.
Head QC / Designee : To Evaluate the pre-purchase samples from prospective vendor and making decision whether to recommend the vendor or not based on the sample evaluation.Preparation of Analytical test Report and submitting results to QA. Preparation of specifications and testing procedures.
Head QA / Designee : To forward Vendor Questionnaire to the vendor through purchase or direct and evaluate the completed one.To evaluate / audit the vendor for cGMP compliance. To create item code in ECOM if not available.To qualify vendor and to maintain approved vendor list. Preparation and distribution of vendor audit schedule to purchase. 

4.0       ACCOUNTABILITY

            Head Quality              :                       For system compliance

5.0       PROCEDURE

5.1       Definitions:

Vendor Audit:

A vendor qualification process involve in the site inspection to evaluate the capability of vendor to produce quality products.

Critical Observation: 

Observation / deficiency, which has produced or lead to a significant risk of producing a product, which is harmful to the patient.

Major Observation:

A non-critical observation/deficiency that may produce a drug not meeting to the marketing authorization or any observation that could have an indirect potential impact on the safety, purity, or efficacy of the drug substance/product.

Minor observations:

Observations that cannot be classified as either critical or major but which indicates a departure from GMP.

Manufacturer:

Manufacturer is a producer of materials at his manufacturing site and supplies it either directly or through supplier.

Supplier:

Supplier is a trader, supplying materials in original manufacturer pack.

Vendor:

A terminology used to represent both manufacturer as well as supplier to handle overall material management process.

Vendor Qualification:

A process of screening to identified vendors for their evaluation and approval after verification of their capability to produce and supply quality materials.

Vendor Management:

A process to control overall material management, which includes manufacturer as well as supplier. and material performance to meet marketing authorization/ regulatory commitments.

Vendor Audit Schedule:

A calendar to plan audits which to be performed throughout a year.

Approved Vendor List:

A list of qualified vendor with material code, Pharmacopoeial status, manufacturer code, vendor code and storage condition.

Blocking:

It is a temporary deactivation of vendor for material procurement in ECOM with reason.

Unblocking:

It is reactivation of vendor for material procurement.

Delisting:

It is removal of vendor from vendor list.

Relisting:

It is re-inclusion of vendor in vendor list. 

5.2       Vendor Qualification:

5.2.1    New material from new Vendor / an existing Vendor.

5.2.2    Existing material from new Vendor

5.2.3    Change in manufacturing site of Vendor

5.2.4    Routine (periodic) requalification of Vendor

5.2.5 Resumption of supplies after a gap of 3 years or more

5.2.6 To re-evaluate delisted Vendors.

5.3  Selection of Vendor:

5.3.1 All existing Vendors who have already been approved shall continue as Approve Vendors.

5.3.2 Product Development Laboratory in co-ordination with Head Quality shall be responsible for initiating the need for new vendors.

5.3.3 Product Development Laboratory in co-ordination with Purchase shall identify the vendors for required material, certification and specifications if applicable.

5.3.4 Purchase shall provide the information on prospective vendors to Product Development Laboratory meeting the requirements.

5.3.5 Product Development Laboratory in consultation with Head / Designee -QA shall identify one or more prospective vendors of interest and Product Development Laboratory shall send specification to prospective vendor.

5.4 Assessment of Pre-purchase samples:

5.4.1 Based on the agreed specification and technical discussion, the vendor shall arrange to forward pre-purchase samples (3 independent lots), to purchase department along with their certificates of analysis. The samples also shall be forwarded to QC through QA along with duly filled Annexure.

5.4.2 The samples should be accompanied by Standard Test procedure or Working Standard etc., where applicable.

5.4.3 QC shall analyze the sample as per specification. If any clarification is needed, then they may contact the vendor for further details.

5.4.4 Head/Designee QC, based on the COA, shall finally evaluate sample performance.

 5.4.5 When the material meets / does not meet the requirements, QC shall convey the findings to Head/Designee QA through Vendor Suitability Report.

 5.4.6 If vendor is suitable, Purchase / QA shall send the “Vendor Evaluation Questionnaire   (Manufacturer)” to the vendor directly. In case a Vendor have their own Broachers / Standard template (self-assessment report) having similar information (equivalent to), can be accepted.

 5.4.7 Upon receipt of the completed “Vendor Evaluation Questionnaire (Manufacturer)”, Head/ Designee QA shall review the questionnaire based on their overall technical capabilities and quality system. It shall be ensured that all questionnaires are accompanied by TSE (Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy) and BSE (Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy) statement. All the materials shall be free from TSE/BSE risk.

5.4.8 In specific situation, such as suitability through stability evaluation or trial is foreseen then, the vendors shall be approved as provisional vendor till the same is completed.

5.4.9 If Sample evaluation report and adequacy in GMP Questionnaire found as per the standard of Concept then Vendor shall be approved and added in Approved Vendor List.

5.4.10 In case there is inadequacy in either Sample evaluation or in the quality standard as stated in Vendor Questionnaire then Vendor shall be rejected by Head/Designee QA.

5.4.11 DMF shall be requested for regulated markets if applicable.

5.5 Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API):

5.5.1 Based on the evaluation of sample, completed Vendor  Questionnaire ( Manufacturer), their overall technical capabilities and quality system, Head/Designee-QA shall recommend the vendor as follows:

Class A: The API manufacturer having EU DMF and/or have an approval from regulatory bodies (EU, MHRA, USFDA, TGA,) of their manufacturing facilities, the manufacturer to be incorporated into “Approved Vendor List” for domestic market by QA.

Class B: The API manufacturers do not have the approval from the Regulatory bodies, but have the satisfactory vendor questionnaire and technical documents. These Vendors shall be added in approved vendor list for domestic market. Based on the risk assessment audit may be planned for these manufacturer before commercialization of the batch. 

Class C : Vendor not found acceptable based on the response of the questionnaire and thus rejected. Any waiver from the requirements as explained above shall be taken only after prior approval from Head/Designee- QA and the reason for that shall be documented on completed vendor questionnaire or a separate deviation report needs to be filled. Narcotics, controlled APIs or APIs appearing in restricted schedule shall qualify for the waiver of this kind.

5.6 Selection of Vendor for Excipients:

Upon receipt of the completed “Vendor Evaluation Questionnaire (Manufacturer)”, Head QA/Designee shall review the questionnaire. Based on overall technical capabilities and quality system, the vendors shall be added in Approved Vendor list.

It shall be ensured that all the questionnaire is accompanied by, TSE (Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy) & BSE (Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy) and GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) statement.

5.7 Selection of Vendor for packing materials:

New vendor must be qualified and approved by QA department before regular supply of packing materials.

Purchase department shall locate the new vendor and find out the details of product manufactured / supplied by them. In case of existing materials, purchase department shall provide specification to the new vendor.

For printed and primary packing materials vendor audit is performed by representative of QA department.

Samples of printed packing materials if necessary shall be submitted to QA department.

Purchase department after studying the comments of QA department shall inform the supplier for the supply of the materials.

Based on the product compliance and assessment, further procurement of packing materials should be continued. On ensuring compliance with specification the vendor shall be included in approved vendor list.    

 5.8 Rejection due to non-compliance at receipt stage.

Risk based audit e.g. Microbiological Risk.

Any other quality problems.

5.9 Selection of Vendors:

Purchase shall forward the Vendor Evaluation Questionnaire (Supplier).

After receipt, purchase department shall forward these questionnaires to QA for evaluation.

Head QA/Designee shall review the questionnaire and based on their overall technical capabilities and quality system, Head QA/Designee shall approve the supplier.

It shall be ensured that all the questionnaire is accompanied by, TSE (Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy) & BSE (Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy) certificates.

In case of contract manufacturing, the responsibility of vendor approval will be lying with contract giver unless it is clearly mentioned in the contract / technical / Quality agreement. Contract giver shall submit a declaration about their Vendor approval status and a copy of TSE/BSE declarations to Titanium Technologies (I) Pvt. Ltd.

5.10 Vendor Audit Criteria:

A Vendor which is certified by the qualified person (EU-QP) or by the contract giver shall be exempted from site inspection or the terms & conditions of signed contract agreement shall be followed.

Where a re-qualification of Vendor is due and the drug product (filled Dossier/ANDA) is under approval shall be audited after receipt of regulatory approval and before commencing of commercial /exhibit / submission batches.

Suspended/ disqualified Vendors shall be re-qualified only after submission of previous compliance and commitment from the management of Vendor.

Quality audit of excipients manufacturer shall be based on the low quality scoring.

Vendors those not ready to accept the audit for site, the undertaking shall be taken from respective vendors.

5.11 Vendor audit Plan:

Purchase department shall schedule for inspection date in coordination with manufacturer/ supplier and inform to QA.

If an audit is not feasible by location QA, QA may assign it to other location’s head QA / designee or may outsource a reputed / competent agency for it. Technical competencies and capability of outsourced agency shall be evaluated in accordance with procedure” Handling of external agencies”.

If any deviations from the above systems identified shall be recorded and justification shall be documented. These documents shall be put in respective Vendor files.

5.12 Types of Vendor Audits :

Vendor audits are classified in three categories i.e. Planned, Prospective and Cause Based Audit. An audit shall be conducted by authorized and qualified auditors.

5.13 Planned Audit :

A planned audit is applicable to re-qualification of existing qualified Vendors as per planned audit schedule.

5.14 Prospective Audit:

A prospective audit is applicable to new qualification of Vendors either for a new materials or alternate Vendor.

5.15 Cause based audit :

An audit triggered based on certain reasons / assumption about material or product to investigate any failure or a repeat audit if recommended in planned / prospective audit as remediation verification.

5.16 Planned audit schedule:

Planed audit schedule shall be prepared/approved by QA for re-qualification of approved Vendors. A schedule shall be prepared and updated in format (Annexure VII. Addendum shall be enclosed along with audit schedule for new introduction. Planned  audit schedule shall have version controlled and be approved  by QAAny deviation (+60 days) from the approved annual audit schedule shall be addressed through deviation.Copy of planned audit schedule shall be issued to purchase department. Other needs base audits (Prospective / cause based) shall be documented for records.

5.17 Auditor’s qualification:

An auditors should posses a minimum qualification up to graduate level with one of subject as chemistry, pharmacy, microbiology, biochemistry, chemical engineering, pharmaceutical engineering, and pharmaceutics having experience of more than 8 years.

An Auditor shall be trained by qualified auditors on practical aspect of audit of API manufactures and certified by senior auditor / Head Quality to conduct independent audit.

List of qualified auditors shall be maintained on Annexure X.

5.18 Disqualification of qualified auditor:

   An auditor shall be disqualified if:

Change in responsibilities

Incompetency in auditing

Fraudulent behavior

5.19 Vendor audit procedure and approval:

  Auditor shall inspect the Vendor site to evaluate GMP compliance level. A general   step are listed below (But not limited to):

  • Opening meeting with Vendor’s management team
    • Discussion on scope  of audit
    • Facility tour
    • Quality management review (man, material, procedure, facility, equipment,

  laboratory controls, production / packaging / labeling engineering control etc).

  • Discussion on audit deficiencies and closing meetings.
    • Guidance document for Vendor audit shall be referred during audit.
    • Compliance to TSE/BSE free declaration and probability of other contamination shall be verified.
    • Scope of audit to be determined as per applicable regulatory requirement of Country. ICH Q7 shall be referred for Vendor audit.
    • Audit deficiencies (non-compliance) shall be classified as critical, major and minor and recommendations.
    • In the audit, if any critical deficiency is noticed, shall be immediately notified to the senior management (Quality / Purchase Heads) of Titanium Technologies (I) Pvt. Ltd. and vendor and vendor shall be disqualified. Vendor shall submit an immediate (within 1 to 7 days based on severity) CAPA on critical deficiency. A risk shall be assessed for the material used in product or available unused stock of material at manufacturing sites either to use further or recall of products or to reject available quantity in stock.
    • A detailed audit report shall be prepared mentioning area audited i.e. general information of vendor, observations (deficiencies) recorded, product, summary, recommendation etc. and send within 30 calendar days to vendor. A timelines for response shall be assigned in the report. Unless, no critical observations are classified, a compliance report shall be asked within 30 calendar days.
    • Audit report shall be forwarded to vendor and purchase department.
    • Purchase department / QA shall ensure that compliance to the audit report shall be submitted by the vendor within stipulated timelines. If compliance report is not been received within stipulated timeline a vendor may be blocked in ECOM.
    • Upon receipt of compliance report from vendor, shall be evaluated either by auditor or designee and take the decision for approval or rejection of vendor based on facts / compliance response. An auditor may recommend approval of vendor, if there is no Critical and Major deficiencies are cited.
    • Upon satisfactory compliance of deficiencies, “Vendor Approval / Rejection Certificate” shall be issued to purchase and store and audit closure report shall be forwarded to the Vendor. 
    • Purchase department shall forward current specifications of materials to vendor in advance or with Purchase order.

             Note: Incase material receivedplant location with vendor’s corporate address instead of actual manufacturing site address, a declaration  shall be taken from the vendor with the reason/justification for the same and shall be filed in QA.

5.20 Provisional Vendors:

A provisional vendor may be restricted either for a total quantity of or for specific time or both. The system will not allow either to generate a purchase order or to make a “goods received notes” for more than quantity or consignment restricted in the system.Details of provisional vendors shall be kept along with vendor list and shall be reviewed by QA.

5.21 Approved Vendor List:

Based on the evaluation of vendor questionnaire and audit (if done) and its compliance, a provisional vendor shall be qualified as “Approved vendor” and same to include in “Approved vendor list” through change control system.

Existing vendor, where vendor audit is not necessary, based on risk assessment vendor shall be re-qualified after completion of documentary compliance (Vendor questionnaire and subsequent document evaluation) and the same shall be included in “Approved vendor list”.

The approved vendor list shall be updated at-least once in a six month, if there any change, or whenever required.

If there is any addition of new vendor within six months, the store and purchase shall be informed through and shall be kept along with approved vendor list.

Approved Vendor List can be visualized in ECOM.

5.22 Existing vendor with New Material:

If existing qualified vendor is offering new material, then they may be exempted from audit incase the manufacturing stream (site and block) is already approved by Titanium Technologies (I) Pvt. Ltd. After evaluation of material suitability w.r.t.  To product and such new material shall route through new material introduction.

Vendor shall submit a Self – assessment report/ Vendor questionnaire along with necessary documentation for GMP certification, shelf life declaration or Stability data, Residual Solvents certification, Gluten free certificate (where applicable), impurity profile data, DMF/technical dossier shall be requested from the vendor.

QA shall review the material related documents and on satisfactory finding of the review, material can be part of approved vendor list based on the justification. This new material shall be covered in the next planned audit schedule.

5.23 Re- qualification of a Vendor:

The frequency of Vendor re-qualification shall be decided based on risk assessment of individual vendor i.e. based on the previous history of vendor audits etc.

Vendors shall be re-qualified periodically i.e. every 3 years for APIs, excipients and packing materials.

TSE/BSE certificates shall be reviewed every three years.

Re- audit shall be completed before the due date or as per agreed date given by vendor; Requalification of vendor shall be done as mentioned below.

Either through an on-site inspection or, on submission of recent quality systems   certification by an officially accredited body; or

Through self-assessment report submitted by the vendor with a declaration for no change   in the manufacturing process, key starting material and its source, solvent profile etc.

5.24 Blocking of Vendor:

Head QA / Designee shall block the disqualified vendors or any vendor in ECOM so that PO cannot be issued to the vendor.

5.25 Disqualification of a Vendor

Disqualification of vendor shall be performed through change control under the following circumstances.

If material rejected on any quality aspect three times a year.

Supply of contaminated materials, which cause adverse impact on product quality.

Inability of a vendor to comply with the gaps identified during an audit and     frequent rejections which have serious impact on the product quality.

The information regarding disqualification shall be communicated to the vendor, Purchase department, relevant QP, Production & Product Development Laboratory.

5.26 Re-qualification of disqualified vendor:

A disqualified vendor shall be re-qualified by satisfactory evaluation of vendor questionnaire followed by vendor audit and satisfactory evaluation of compliances.

The re-qualification process shall be routed through a change control system. Re-qualification shall be done after change control approval.

Re-qualification of disqualified vendor shall be communicated to relevant QP.

6.0       TRAINING

Trainer   : Head – Quality Assurance

            Trainees : Staff of all the departments

7.0         DISTRIBUTION

              Master Copy                         :           Quality Assurance

              Controlled Copy                   :           Quality Assurance

8.0    ATTACHMENT

Sr. No. Annexure No. Title Format No.
1 NA NA NA

9.0 REFERENCES

In-house

10.0     ABBREVIATION

Abbreviation Extended Form
EG Engineering
SOP Standard Operating Procedure
QA Quality Assurance
WH Warehouse
NA Not Applicable
MB Microbiology

11.0    REVISION HISTORY OF CHANGE

Sr. No. Date Revision Details Revision No.
1 NA New SOP 00

Bhanu Pratap Singh

BHANU PRATAP SINGH IS EXPERIENCED IN PHARMACEUTICAL, AUTHOR AND FOUNDER OF PHARMACEUTICAL GUIDESLINE (WWW.PHARMAGUIDESLINE.COM), A WIDELY READ PHARMACEUTICAL BLOG SINCE 2019. EMAIL:- INFO@PHARMAGUIDESLINE.COM

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