Monday, April 25, 2011
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
The risk for patients through spoiled or otherwise adulterated pharmaceuticals has been acknowledged for many centuries and led to the establishment of Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) and pharmacopoeial guidelines. Besides chemical purity, pharmaceuticals also have to meet microbiological standards, the latter primarily depending on the administration route. Drug products which are injected directly into blood vessels or tissues or that are applied directly into eyes and ears represent a greater infection risk than products which are administered orally or onto intact healthy skin. While parenteral drug products are required to be free from any viable microorganism (USP <71>, Ph. Eur. 2.6.1), oral and topical products are not required to be sterile, but are subject to strict guidelines limiting the number and types of acceptable microorganisms (USP <61> and <62>, Ph. Eur. 2.6.12 and 2.6.13).