USFDA Uncovers Manufacturing Lapses at Eli Lilly Plant

Manufacturing lapses included inadequate protection of electronic records, insufficient staff training etc.

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USFDA Inspection audit
USFDA Inspection

Manufacturing Lapses

In a recent turn of events, U.S. inspectors brought to light new manufacturing lapses at an Eli Lilly plant, raising concerns and drawing attention from federal investigators.

This article delves into the details of the USFDA inspection, uncovering deficiencies, company responses, and the potential impact on Lilly’s reputation.

The USFDA Inspection Report

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) conducted an inspection at Lilly’s Branchburg, New Jersey, plant in July.

The inspection revealed eight separate deficiencies, ranging from problems in tracking manufacturing processes to lapses in calibration and maintenance of facilities and equipment.

The inspection report, obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request, shed light on crucial details, albeit with some redactions.

Lilly’s Response

Lilly, in response to the inspection findings, issued a statement expressing their proactive approach.

The company sought additional flexibility from the USFDA to manufacture the migraine treatment Emgality on a different production line if needed in the future.

The USFDA visit followed this request, resulting in observations that Lilly claims were either addressed during the inspection or were already in progress as part of program improvements.

Impact on Products and Market

Lilly reassured the public that the situation does not affect the quality, safety, or supply of any current or planned products in the marketplace.

However, the inspection report raised questions about the widely used diabetes medicine Trulicity and cancer treatments Erbitux and Cyramza, all produced at the Branchburg plant.

Lilly’s Troubled History

Despite being the world’s most valuable healthcare company by market capitalization, Lilly has faced manufacturing problems at its U.S. plants over recent years.

The Branchburg facility, in particular, has been under scrutiny by the U.S. Department of Justice since a news agency story in 2021 detailed allegations of poor manufacturing practices and data falsification.

Serious Concerns Raised

Regulatory experts who reviewed the latest inspection report expressed serious concerns.

Manufacturing lapses included inadequate protection of electronic records, insufficient staff training, and examples of missing samples crucial for assessing medicine stability.

The report also pointed out neglect of equipment and overall facility maintenance, with potential implications for drug contamination.

Expert Opinions

Steven Lynn, a former head of the USFDA’s Office of Manufacturing and Product Quality, likened the situation to “whack-a-mole” at the Branchburg plant.

He emphasized the recurring nature of problems, where addressing one set seems to lead to the emergence of other serious concerns.

The electronic tracking system’s vulnerability was particularly highlighted, posing risks of potential data manipulation.

Severity and Potential USFDA Response

Three regulatory experts interviewed indicated that the USFDA could categorize these lapses as “Official Action Indicated,” the most serious classification, in response to the inspection findings.

The USFDA, however, declined to comment on the timing of any response.

The severity of the inspection’s ultimate rating could be mitigated if Lilly is actively implementing “robust corrective and preventive actions” to ensure drug quality.

Legal Battles and Settlements

Late last year, Lilly settled a lawsuit with a former employee who claimed termination after exposing poor manufacturing practices and data falsification.

Although Lilly denied the allegations, the lawsuit underscored challenges in the company’s internal practices.

Disclaimer: This article contains information derived from the source mentioned below. Our team utilized an AI language model to rewrite and present the news or article in a unique format.

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