Modernization of the heavy-metals standard has been a long time in development and involves experts from all over the world.
The improvements include being able to identify the contaminant and being able to measure it at levels where toxic impacts
occur. The new term for this standard has changed from "Heavy Metals" to "Elemental Impurities" to reflect these improvements.
Harmonization efforts are proceeding through normal channels at ICH and the parties are agreed to standardize limit criteria
whenever the same metals are involved. The normal process of harmonizing existing regional standards is being used.
Jon E. Clark is the Associate Director for Program Policy in the FDA Office of Pharmaceutical Science. He is a founding member of the
ICH Expert Working Group on Elemental Impurities (Q3D) and has been a member of multiple ICH working groups, Jon.Clark@fda.hhs.gov
. John S. Punzi, PhD, is Director, Quality Assurance & Technical Affairs at CHPA.
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