The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Union (EU) are announcing today their decision to expand the scope of the U.S.-EU Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) Sectoral Annex for Pharmaceutical Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) to include inspections of veterinary pharmaceuticals (also called “animal drugs”). This MRA entered into force on November 1, 2017, but initially included only pharmaceuticals intended for human use. Today’s action to include animal drugs in the MRA is an important step in ensuring the safety and quality of animal drug products and will enhance efficiencies for the U.S. and EU regulatory systems.
An MRA is an agreement between two or more countries to recognize a specific process or procedure of the other country, and this is the first step toward strengthening use of each other’s animal drug inspection expertise and resources. The overall goal of the MRA is to produce greater efficiencies for both regulatory systems and provide a more practical means for both the FDA and the EU to oversee the facilities that manufacture animal drugs. By utilizing each other’s inspection reports and related information, an MRA can ultimately enable the FDA and the EU to avoid duplication of some animal drug inspections and enable regulators to devote more resources to other areas where there may be greater risk. [FDA]