What is Good Distribution Practices?

In the Pharmaceutical industry good distribution is a case of ensuring that the entire supply chain and distribution network is focused on supplying a quality product that complies at every point with regulatory requirements and is fit for use when it reaches the patient. Any failings within the pharmaceutical supply chain can seriously compromise the quality of the product and hence patient safety. Good Distribution Practices mean:

  • Compliant and consistent Supply Chain of Pharmaceutical products
  • Reduced counterfeit risks
  • Reduced transport and storage risks
  • More safety for the final consumer

In this context, the supply chain extends well beyond the vehicles used to take bulk pharmaceutical (API’s) and medical components to the manufacturing facility and finished products from manufacturing facility to distributors/wholesalers. It must also ensure compliant delivery to hospitals, pharmacies and even supermarkets where patients receive their medicines. We all as patients would like to know that the excellent quality under which medicines are made in the manufacturing facility extends all along the legitimate supply chain and we and our families are always safe.

Good Distribution Practice (GDP) is about much more than just the distribution of products. The MHRA (the UK Authority) recently defined GDP as ‘the sum of all of the processes and activities designed and implemented to ensure that the quality of medicines is maintained throughout the distribution chain from manufacturer to patient, ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements at all relevant stages. It includes the storage and transportation of APIs, other ingredients and packaging components used in the production of the medicines.’

In effect, GDP extends to sourcing materials from approved suppliers and continues through manufacturing (under GMP) and on to delivery of the product to the final customer or patient.

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