Pharma Cleanrooms: Ensuring compliance with GMP

Medicine Pharma Factory Industry
Picture: Pixabay

Last Updated on July 15, 2023 by The Health Master

Good Manufacturing Practices

Pharma cleanrooms play a critical role in meeting the stringent requirements of Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) within the pharmaceutical industry.

These specialized environments are designed to adhere to specific codes and standards, ensuring the production of high-quality sterile medicinal products.

In this article, we will delve into the essential aspects of pharma GMP cleanrooms, exploring their design, operational controls, and compliance measures.

Engineering Design and Control Strategy:

To transform a standard room into a pharma GMP cleanroom, a combination of engineering design, fabrication, finishes, and operational controls is necessary.

These factors collectively form the control strategy, ensuring a controlled and sterile environment for pharmaceutical manufacturing.

Defining Cleanroom Standards:

It is emphasized the importance of manufacturers defining their own pharma cleanroom standards.

This involves aligning with both national and international standards. Manufacturers typically establish standards for airborne particulate concentration, often referring to ISO 14644-1 ISO 8.

Additionally, guidelines for gowning and implementing a pressure cascade regime, which involves designing a “clean corridor” or “dirty corridor,” are outlined.

Pressure Cascades and Contamination Risk:

When considering pressure cascades, pharmaceutical engineers must carefully evaluate the design philosophy of the cleanroom.

For instance, in facilities where low moisture medicinal products such as tablets or capsules are produced, a “clean corridor” design is preferred.

This design prevents the escape of dry and dusty particles into the corridor, minimizing the risk of cross-contamination.

Tablets and powders, while not prone to microbial growth, are manufactured within “clean corridor” facilities to ensure optimal conditions for production.

Facilities for Aseptic and Sterile Products:

Aseptic, sterile, or low bio-burden and liquid medicinal products require facilities that prioritize contamination control.

These facilities typically adopt a “dirty corridor” design to minimize the entry of opportunistic microorganisms. As these products are vulnerable to contamination, preventing the presence of potential organisms in the cleanroom is crucial.

Controlling Contamination:

It is essential to note that pharma cleanrooms do not completely eliminate contamination. Rather, they aim to control contamination levels to an acceptable degree.

Microbial contamination is of primary concern in these environments.

Traditionally, measuring microbial contamination in real-time was challenging, leading to the use of limits for airborne particulates as a proxy for microbial contamination risk.

GMP regulations focus on defining and controlling sources of particulates to mitigate the potential for microbial contamination.

Managing Personnel and Cleanroom Operations:

Personnel present in cleanrooms represent the highest source of airborne particulates and microbial contamination risk.

Therefore, strict gowning procedures and limitations on the number of staff entering the cleanroom are crucial to maintaining the integrity of the controlled environment.

Compliance with cleanroom design specifications is essential for upholding the desired standards.


Pharma cleanrooms and clean areas, as defined by GMP regulations, encompass several critical characteristics.

These include the quality and cleanliness of internal surfaces and equipment within the cleanroom, the control and maintenance of air quality, and the effective operation of the cleanroom, considering the number of staff involved.

By adhering to these principles, pharmaceutical manufacturers can ensure the production of safe and high-quality medicinal products within a controlled and sterile environment.

For informative videos by The Health Master, click on the below YouTube icon:

YouTube Icon

For informative videos on Medical Store / Pharmacy, click on the below YouTube icon:

YouTube Icon

For informative videos on the news regarding Pharma / Medical Devices / Cosmetics / Homoeopathy etc., click on the below YouTube icon:

YouTube Icon

For informative videos on consumer awareness, click on the below YouTube icon:

YouTube Icon
YouTube Icon