Annual Product Quality Review as per EU Pharmaceutical Guidelines and RegulationsAnnual Product Quality Review

SOP Instructions for Preparing an Annual Product Quality Review (APQR) for Oral Solid Dosage Forms as per EU Pharmaceutical Guidelines and Regulations

This SOP outlines the procedures for preparing an Annual Product Quality Review (APQR) for oral solid dosage form pharmaceutical products, adhering to EudraLex – Volume 4 Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) for Medicinal Products for Human and Veterinary Use and ICH Q9 Quality Risk Management principles.

1. Scope

This SOP applies to all marketed oral solid dosage form pharmaceutical products manufactured and/or marketed by [Company Name].

2. References

  • EudraLex – Volume 4 Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) for Medicinal Products for Human and Veterinary Use
  • ICH Q9 Quality Risk Management
  • [Company-specific Quality Management System documents]
  • European Pharmacopoeia (Ph. Eur.)
  • relevant pharmacopoeial monographs for your specific products

3. Responsibilities

  • Quality Assurance (QA) Department: Oversees the development and review of the APQR.
  • Product Manager: Responsible for compiling product-specific data and providing input.
  • Production, Quality Control (QC), and other relevant departments: Provide necessary data and information.
  • Regulatory Affairs: Provides guidance on regulatory requirements and updates.

4. Content and Structure of the APQR

4.1 Product Information

  • Product name, active pharmaceutical ingredient(s) (APIs), dosage form, strength, and route of administration.
  • Marketing authorization numbers and dates in all relevant EU member states.
  • Manufacturing sites and marketing territories in the EU.
  • Reference to relevant Ph. Eur. monographs and any pharmacopoeial deviations.

4.2 Pharmaceutical Quality System Performance

  • Summary of relevant GMP inspections and audits conducted by regulatory authorities in the EU.
  • Significant deviations and CAPAs implemented, with focus on those related to oral solid dosage forms.
  • Trends in quality-related complaints, recalls, and field alerts in the EU market.
  • Product quality risk management activities and their effectiveness, specifically addressing oral solid dosage form risks (e.g., excipient compatibility, blending uniformity, tableting process control).

4.3 Manufacturing

  • Overview of the manufacturing process for each dosage form, highlighting any changes implemented.
  • Summary of critical process parameters (CPPs) and critical quality attributes (CQAs) monitoring for oral solid dosage forms as per relevant Ph. Eur. chapters (e.g., uniformity of dosage units, disintegration time, dissolution).
  • Significant deviations and investigations related to manufacturing of oral solid dosage forms, including their impact on product quality and potential regulatory ramifications.

4.4 Quality Control

  • Overview of QC testing procedures for oral solid dosage forms as per Ph. Eur. requirements, and any changes implemented.
  • Summary of any OOS results for tests relevant to oral solid dosage forms, their investigations, and impact on product quality.
  • Trending of QC data for critical quality attributes of oral solid dosage forms and potential impact on product quality.

4.5 Stability

  • Overview of the stability program for each dosage form, including any changes implemented.
  • Summary of stability studies conducted according to Ph. Eur. guidelines and their results.
  • Evaluation of the impact of stability data on product shelf life and potential need for re-evaluation.
  • Assessment of any stability data trends that might indicate potential quality issues.

4.6 Pharmacovigilance

  • Summary of reported ADRs and safety concerns pertaining to the EU market, specifically focusing on events.
  • Evaluation of the potential impact of ADRs on product safety in the EU context.
  • Signal detection and risk management activities specific to oral solid dosage form safety concerns.

4.7 Product Lifecycle Management

  • Summary of any product lifecycle changes implemented in the EU market, such as new presentations, line extensions, or discontinuations.
  • Impact of lifecycle changes on product quality and regulatory compliance in the EU.
  • Assessment of the need for additional stability studies or regulatory submissions due to lifecycle changes.

4.8 Conclusion

  • Overall assessment of product quality for the EU market based on the reviewed data, considering GMP compliance, risk management effectiveness, and potential concerns specific to oral solid dosage forms.
  • Identification of any potential risks or areas for improvement related to product quality in the EU market.
  • Proposed actions to address identified issues, enhance product quality, and ensure EU regulatory compliance.

5. Review and Approval

  • The draft APQR undergoes a comprehensive review by the Product Manager, relevant functional departments (Production, QC, Regulatory Affairs), and the QA Department.
  • The final APQR receives approval from the Head of Quality Assurance and is submitted to regulatory authorities in the EU as required.

6. Recordkeeping

  • Maintain complete records of all data used in the APQR preparation and review process

APQR Record Template (Oral Solid Dosage Forms – EU)

Product Information:

  • Product Name:
  • Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient(s) (API):
  • Dosage Form:
  • Strength:
  • Route of Administration:
  • Marketing Authorization Numbers (EU):
  • Marketing Authorization Dates (EU):
  • Manufacturing Sites (EU):
  • Reference to Ph. Eur. Monographs:
  • Pharmacopoeial Deviations (if applicable):

Pharmaceutical Quality System Performance:

  • Summary of relevant EU GMP inspections and audits:
  • Significant Deviations and CAPAs (focus on oral solid dosage forms):
  • Quality-related Complaints, Recalls, and Field Alerts (EU):
  • Product Quality Risk Management Activities and Effectiveness:


  • Manufacturing Process Overview for each Dosage Form:
  • Critical Process Parameters (CPPs) and Critical Quality Attributes (CQAs) Monitoring:
  • Significant Deviations and Investigations (oral solid dosage forms):

Quality Control:

  • QC Testing Procedures Overview (Ph. Eur. compliance):
  • Out-of-Specification (OOS) Results (oral solid dosage forms):
  • Trending of QC Data (CQAs for oral solid dosage forms):


  • Stability Program Overview for each Dosage Form:
  • Stability Studies Conducted and Results:
  • Shelf Life Evaluation and Re-evaluation Needs:
  • Stability Data Trends:


  • Reported ADRs and Safety Concerns (EU focus):
  • ADR Impact on Product Safety (EU):
  • Signal Detection and Risk Management Activities (oral solid dosage forms):

Product Lifecycle Management:

  • Product Lifecycle Changes in EU Market:
  • Impact on Product Quality and Regulatory Compliance (EU):
  • Additional Regulatory Submissions or Stability Studies Needs:


  • Overall Product Quality Assessment (EU):
  • Potential Risks and Areas for Improvement:
  • Proposed Actions:

Review and Approval:

  • Reviewers: (Names and Departments)
  • Approval Date:


  • Data Retention Period:


  • This template is a starting point and should be adapted to your specific product and company needs.
  • Always refer to relevant EU regulations and guidelines for accurate and up-to-date information.
  • This template focuses on oral solid dosage forms and regulatory requirements specific to the EU.

Potential Non-Compliances and Cross-References:

Quality System Performance

  • Non-compliance: Significant deviations and CAPAs not adequately addressed or resolved.
  • Cross-reference: Warning Letters mentioning inadequate corrective actions,failure to prevent recurrence of deviations, or lack of CAPA effectiveness evaluation.


  • Non-compliance: Deviations from established manufacturing procedures without proper justifications or investigations.
  • Cross-reference: Warning Letters citing deviations from cGMP regulations, lack of process controls, or inadequate documentation of manufacturing activities.

Quality Control

  • Non-compliance: OOS results not investigated thoroughly or appropriately resolved.
  • Cross-reference: Warning Letters addressing inadequate OOS investigations,failure to identify root causes, or lack of data integrity measures.


  • Non-compliance: Stability data gaps or inconsistencies questioning product quality and shelf life.
  • Cross-reference: Warning Letters mentioning deviations from stability testing guidelines, inadequate data integrity, or failure to update shelf life based on new data.


  • Non-compliance: Delays in reporting or investigating adverse events, or inadequate safety signal detection.
  • Cross-reference: Warning Letters citing inadequate pharmacovigilance systems,failure to report ADRs promptly, or lack of risk management plans.

Additional Tips:

  • Regularly review FDA Warning Letters issued for similar products or dosage forms to identify potential risks and areas for improvement.
  • Consult with FDA guidance documents like ICH Q9 Quality Risk Management and relevant cGMP regulations for best practices and compliance expectations.
  • Conduct internal audits and risk assessments to proactively identify potential non-compliances before they appear in your APQR.
  • Seek expert advice from regulatory consultants or legal professionals for complex compliance issues or interpretation of FDA Warning Letters

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