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IPEC extends its reach to Brazil and Argentina in an effort to harmonize excipient best practices.
The International Pharmaceutical Excipients Council (IPEC) Federation was officially formed earlier this year to coordinate IPEC's global activities in the areas of compendial harmonization, excipient guidelines and standards development, and coordination of excipient supply-chain security initiatives with regulatory agencies around the world. The Federation's current membership is made up of IPEC–Americas, IPEC–Europe, IPEC–Japan, and IPEC–China.
David R. Schoneker
IPEC–Americas has also expanded its reach in Latin America through two partnerships. The new relationships will allow the growing pharmaceutical and excipient industries in that region to participate in IPEC activities and to use IPEC guidelines to improve quality and protect patients.
In 2009, IPEC–Americas signed a formal partnership agreement with Sindusfarma in Saõ Paulo, Brazil. Sindusfarma is a key pharmaceutical trade association known for publishing various quality and good manufacturing practice (GMP) guidelines for the pharmaceutical industry. The guides are heavily used in the Brazilian pharmaceutical manufacturing sector. However, Sindusfarma has not published any guidelines specifically related to excipients and wanted to help the domestic market gain a better understanding of the types of excipient-control strategies being used in the global market.
As a result of the partnership with IPEC, Sindusfarma now has access to IPEC guidelines such as those on excipient qualification and good distribution practice, and is translating them into Portugese for distribution to the Brazilian regulatory agency, ANVISA, and the local pharmaceutical industry.
As part of the partnership launch, IPEC–Americas and Sindusfarma cosponsored an Excipient Control Strategies Conference in Saõ Paulo this past August. The event brought together experts and local representatives from IPEC–Americas, the International Pharmaceutical Excipient Auditing (IPEA) organization, and the Brazilian Pharmacopeia, as well as pharmaceutical and excipient manufacturers and excipient distributors to discuss how the use of harmonized guidelines could affect patient safety and the industry in Brazil. Perspectives from the manufacturing and excipient side were provided and discussed. Sessions also addressed third-party audits and the Brazilian Pharmacopeia's plans for handling excipients.
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IPEC–Americas also entered a partnership agreement with a pharmaceutical professional association in Buenos Aires, Argentina, called Safybi, this past August. Safybi's membership includes pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists from around the country. The association runs training sessions for the local industry on topics such as GMPs, quality, and formulation science.
As part of the partnership signing ceremony, Safybi hosted an excipient control seminar for their members covering many GMP, quality, and quality-by-design topics. Safybi is now translating the IPEC–PQG Excipient GMP and IPEC good distribution practice guidelines into Spanish. Once completed, these guidelines will be distributed to the industry in Argentina and Safybi will begin work on translating other guidelines.
Looking ahead, IPEC–Americas intends to work with its new partners to to coordinate an annual conference in each country on excipient issues. The organization is also working to set up an IPEC–India in early 2011.
David R. Schoneker is a past chair of IPEC–Americas and director of Global Regulatory Affairs for Colorcon, DSchoneker@colorcon.com