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A quality system addresses the public and private sectors’ mutual goal of providing a high-quality drug product to patients and prescribers. A well-built quality system should reduce the number of (or prevent) recalls, returned or salvaged products, and defective products entering the marketplace.

It is important that the CGMP regulations are harmonized to the extent possible with other widely used quality management systems, including ISO 9000, non-U.S. pharmaceutical quality management requirements, and FDA’s own medical device quality system regulations.

A quality system adopted by a manufacturer can be tailored to fit the specific environment, taking into account factors such as scope of operations, complexity of processes, and appropriate use of finite resources.

Every pharmaceutical product has established identity, strength, purity, and other quality characteristics designed to ensure the required levels of safety and effectiveness. The phrase achieving quality means achieving these characteristics for a product.

This guidance represents the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA's) current thinking on this topic. It does not create or confer any rights for or on any person and does not operate to bind FDA or the public. You can use an alternative approach if the approach satisfies the requirements of the applicable statutes and regulations. If you want to discuss an alternative approach, contact the FDA staff responsible for implementing this guidance. If you cannot identify the appropriate FDA staff, call the appropriate number listed on the title page of this guidance.

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