The opening of Hospira's new plant in India that it is counting on to lower its manufacturing costs will be delayed again after it racked up another set of observations during a reinspection by the FDA last month. Unless quickly resolved, it will be an issue that Pfizer will inherit given its $15 billion buyout of Hospira announced last month.
FDA inspectors returned to a Wockhardt plant in Waluj that it banned in 2013 and weren't impressed by what they found during the weeklong inspection. New concerns were raised.
The FDA has issued a warning letter to a Chinese plant that makes active pharmaceutical ingredients for having suspect testing data after finding a failed test result in the trash and discovering the computer record of it had been overwritten. The letter comes as the agency is working to get more inspectors into the country, which has become the go-to producer of cheap APIs for the global market.
When India's Cadila Pharmaceuticals got complaints from customers about some of its APIs smelling bad, the drugmaker decided the odor stemmed from an impurity, so it tweaked the manufacturing process. The problem, according to the FDA, is that the plant never conducted an investigation to determine whether the impurity was in fact the cause, so the company never knew whether it had really resolved the cause of the stench.
Hikma recently acknowledged that it had received a warning letter from the FDA for a plant in Portugal. What the drugmaker did not disclose is that some of the warnings were repeats, noted in three previous inspections of the facility dating back a decade.
Hikma Pharmaceuticals got a closeout notice in March for a warning letter that had been hanging over its West-Ward plant in New Jersey. But at nearly the same time, inspectors were looking over a Hikma facility in Portugal, and the Jordan-based company says the FDA has now issued a warning letter for its sterile injectables plant there.
A Sanofi spokesperson told The Wall Street Journal that it has delayed some forms of its Fluzone because the flu strains used to produce the shot did not grow as fast as expected. A GSK spokesman said in an email Monday that it has cut its production targets to 26 million to 27 million doses for the U.S. from the 28 million to 33 million doses originally anticipated.
The FDA, which has been corralling human drug compounders, is also keeping track of some focused on animal drugs.
The FDA has taken steps against a Chinese heparin maker it says is using potentially tainted raw supplies and which refused to let inspectors get a good look at its plants or records so that it could find out for sure.
In March, Sun Pharmaceutical recalled more than 2,500 bottles of its diabetes treatment metformin HCl after a customer reported finding an epilepsy pill in one. The company said it was investigating the issue, but apparently not to the satisfaction of the FDA.