IPEC Quality Agreement Guide and Template 2009

By Carol Wood,2014-08-10 08:27
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The IPEC Quality Agreement Guide and Template 2009, This document offers best practice and guidance in the establishment of a quality agreement between a buyer and a supplier of an excipient. The excipient supplier may be a manufacturer or a distributor (or both). The Guide highlights the factors to consider when planning and executing a such agreement between the parties.

    The IPEC


    Agreement Guide

    and Template


    Copyright ? 2009 The International Pharmaceutical Excipients Council

    This document represents voluntary guidance for the pharmaceutical excipient industry and the contents should not be interpreted as regulatory requirements. Alternative approaches to

    those described in this guide may be implemented.


    IPEC is an international industry association formed in 1991 by manufacturers and end-users of excipients. It is an association comprising four regional and country pharmaceutical excipient industry associations covering the United States, Europe, China and Japan (which are known respectively as IPEC-Americas, IPEC Europe, IPEC-China and Japan PEC). IPEC’s objective is to contribute to the development and harmonization of international excipient standards, the introduction of useful new excipients to the marketplace and the development of best practice and guidance concerning excipients.

IPEC has three major stakeholder groups;

    1. Excipient manufacturers and distributors, who are considered suppliers in this


    2. Pharmaceutical manufacturers, who are called users, and

    3. Regulatory authorities who regulate medicines.





    This document offers best practice and guidance in the establishment of a quality agreement between a buyer and a supplier of an excipient. The excipient supplier may be a manufacturer or a distributor (or both). The Guide highlights the factors to consider when planning and executing a such agreement between the parties.

    Copyright ? 2009 The International Pharmaceutical Excipients Council


    This guideline is the result of the hard work and substantial resources, of IPEC member companies. IPEC greatly appreciates the many hours the following individuals devoted to develop this guide and the generous support of their employers for providing the necessary

    time and resources.


    ; Alexa Smith, Colorcon

    ; Priscilla Zawislak, Hercules Incorporated

    ; Craig Scott, JRS Pharma LP

    ; Laura Horne, Mutchler, Inc.

    ; David B. Klug, sanofi-aventis

    ; Maria Guazzaroni Jacobs, Pfizer

    ; Londa Ritchey, Wyeth

    ; Chris Armstrong, Evonik

    ; Judy Emmert, Abbott

    ; Ann Van Meter, Dow

    ; Cindy Libonati, Purdue Pharma L.P.


    ; Johanna Eisele, Evonik Röhm GmbH

    ; Karen M. Hudson,, Lilly UK

    ; Iain Moore, Ph.D., Croda Europe Ltd,

    Copyright ? 2009 The International Pharmaceutical Excipients Council


    In the current regulatory environment surrounding excipients, pharmaceutical manufacturers are under increasing pressure to develop better knowledge of their excipient supply chain. As part of solidifying supplier relationships, quality agreements have been introduced because they are considered to be beneficial in a supply relationship and are required in some jurisdictions for manufacturing under contract. They enable excipient users and suppliers to create a quality partnership between the two companies. Quality agreements are legally binding agreements that are mutually negotiated between users and suppliers of excipients. They are intended to be an agreement between quality departments. The purpose of the quality agreement is to define who is responsible for quality activities and how quality issues will be resolved that will allow excipient suppliers to provide safe products that are suitable for the users intended application. By clearly delineating GMP (good manufacturing practice) responsibilities, costly product quality issues resulting from miscommunication can be reduced or eliminated.

    Due to the increasing desire to have quality agreements in place with key suppliers, there has been a trend to use templates to get a large number of agreements in place quickly. Many companies, both users and suppliers, have developed their own templates to address quality agreements. Unfortunately, these individual templates have often been designed to cover multiple types of products (excipients, active pharmaceutical ingredients and/or packaging) and been presented in an inflexible manner. The result of this has been extensive negotiations between companies, significant time and resources spent, and fewer agreements completed.

    IPEC is committed to improving communications between excipient users and suppliers. As part of that on-going effort, IPEC has developed the IPEC Quality Agreement Template. The IPEC Quality Agreement Template is designed to provide excipient users and suppliers a common starting point to create quality agreements that address fundamental quality issues specific to the manufacture and use of excipients. By utilizing the IPEC Quality Agreement Template, users and suppliers will be able to reduce the time and effort needed to complete successful quality agreements. Having appropriate quality agreements in place can significantly improve communications, limit product quality issues that result from misunderstandings, and improve supply chain relationships.


    The IPEC Quality Agreement Template is designed to be a flexible model for crafting quality agreements where an agreement is desired. It is intended to define the appropriate topics that should be addressed in a quality agreement related to excipients. The template is designed to be global in scope thus being suitable for use in many regions. There is both a manufacturer template and a distributor template. The information below is provided to assist in determining which template is appropriate for the individual situation.

    Manufacturer Template: Designed for use between the original manufacturer and either the end user or a distributor. The original manufacturer is the company manufacturing a material to the stage at which it is designated as a pharmaceutical starting material.

    Distributor Template: Designed for use between the distributor and the end user. Distributors are those parties handling the excipient after the point at which the excipient is

    Copyright ? 2009 The International Pharmaceutical Excipients Council

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    transferred outside the control of the original manufacturer’s material management system. Distributors include those parties involved in trade and distribution, reprocessors, repackagers, transport and warehousing companies, forwarding agents, brokers, traders and suppliers other than the original manufacturer.

    A quality agreement is intended to be a formalized, joint agreement on quality responsibilities and activities defining both the user’s and supplier’s respective obligations as they relate to

    quality. They are intended to address quality commitments between the parties and are based on the quality procedures in place. However, quality agreements cannot take the place of an audit.

    Quality agreements are not designed to replace commercial supply agreements but rather complement them. Other agreements may contain references to quality responsibilities and activities. During periodic reviews of these other agreements, excipient users and suppliers may wish to consider replacing specific quality information in the agreement with reference to a quality agreement.


    The IPEC Quality Agreement Template format is a combination of a legal-style format and a tabular format. The Introduction/Purpose section of the template is presented in a legal-style format and the Quality Responsibilities section is presented in a tabular format. The legal style format addresses the terms and conditions and scope of the agreement. The tabular format allows for quick and easy identification of quality responsibilities which are the central point of the agreement. The template addresses the main quality points and responsibilities that should be included in a quality agreement appropriate for excipients; however, it does not list every element of the quality system used. It is not necessary to reiterate agreement on every point of the quality system when general agreement on the applicable quality criteria has been stated. However, included in the template are quality responsibilities that may require action by one or both parties.

    The format is intended to be flexible with the template offering the elements needed for most excipient quality agreements. Modifying the template should be done with care and only as necessary to avoid lengthy negotiations. It is suggested that excipient suppliers prepare in advance a quality agreement based on the template to be used to begin the negotiation process with their customers when a quality agreement is requested.

    As with any binding agreement, it is advisable to seek the review of legal counsel of all companies that are party to the agreement.


    Effective implementation of any quality agreement is dependent on both excipient supplier and user ensuring that the obligations of the agreement are consistent with the quality systems at the respective sites. Use of a template allows a supplier to conduct this review once, prior to initiating any quality agreements with users. Any obligations or commitments added during the negotiation phase of an agreement should require additional review of the affected quality systems to assure compliance prior to signature. When a supply agreement exists, or is being generated at the same time as the quality agreement, reviewers should assure that any quality provisions captured in the supply agreement are also reflected and/or not contradicted in the quality agreement.

    Copyright ? 2009 The International Pharmaceutical Excipients Council

    Page 5 of 24

    It is dependent upon both parties to assure the quality agreement is maintained as a current, accurate document during the entire effective period. Amendment(s) and/or addendum(s) may be needed to assure the current requirements and/or responsibilities are reflected in the quality agreement. Both parties are responsible for reviewing requests for amendments/addendums to assure the quality systems support such changes.

    All quality agreements and amendments/addendums require legally binding signatures. It is the responsibility of each party to assure the signatures in the quality agreement reflect the legally binding signatures representing each party.

    Copyright ? 2009 The International Pharmaceutical Excipients Council

    Page 6 of 24

    Manufacturer’s Quality Agreement Template

    1. Introduction/Purpose


Parties to the agreement

    Example wording:

    This Quality Agreement is by and between

    with office at

, hereafter referred to as and

     with office at

, hereafter referred

    to as . Whereas, supplies excipients

    suitable for pharmaceutical use to .

    Note: Company name can be expanded to include further

    descriptive information about the company such as Company X,

    a manufacturer of pharmaceutical excipients duly organized and

    existing under the laws of .

Specify excipients covered by agreement

    Example wording:

    This agreement pertains to the following excipient(s) (or

    excipient processes/types/locations, etc), hereafter referred to

    as : .

Definition of the quality criteria

    Example wording:

    Supplier will manufacture, test and release the in

    accordance with the following quality criteria:

    Examples of potential quality criteria:

    IPEC PQG GMP, current version (Primary Reference)

    Others as applicable:

    GMP as published in USP General Chapter <1078>,

    current version

    ISO-9001, current version

    WHO Guideline on GMP, current version

    United States FD&C Act Misbranding and Adulteration


    Documented HACCP Concept

    Other regional certification, as applicable

Responsibilities for quality activities

    Copyright ? 2009 The International Pharmaceutical Excipients Council

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Example wording:

    This Quality Agreement will outline the responsibilities of and with regard to the quality activities described in the quality criteria listed above.

    Site(s) involved

    Note: Sites supplying should be mutually agreed upon. The Supplier sites involved can be specified here if needed (may refer to an appendix). If the sites involved are not listed in this agreement, it should be indicated where the agreed sites are specified.

    Use of third parties

Example wording:

    If uses third parties to manufacture, package, label, test or release , such use is set forth specify attachment>. Changes in the use of third parties as set forth in this agreement will not be made without prior written notification to the . shall, however, retain all obligations under this Agreement whether or not a third party manufactures, packages, labels, inspects, tests, releases or handles .

    Note: If this information is considered confidential, specify how this information can be disclosed to the customer, for example under confidentiality agreement.

    Term of agreement

Example wording:

    This Agreement shall become effective and binding upon the date of the final signature and shall remain in effect until 2 years after the last delivery of by to unless specifically requests an extension of the Agreement. Either party may terminate this Agreement by giving 6 months written notice to the other party. After such termination, and if so requested by , will negotiate with in good faith a subsequent Quality Agreement.

    Copyright ? 2009 The International Pharmaceutical Excipients Council

    Page 8 of 24


    Example wording:

    Neither party shall have the right to assign any or all of its rights

    or obligations under this agreement without the other party’s

    prior written consent, which shall not unreasonably be withheld.

    The foregoing notwithstanding, prior written consent shall not be

    required in connection with a merger, consolidation, or a sale of

    all or substantially all of party’s assets to a third party, except if

    such merger, consolidation or sale is with a competitor of the

    other party.

    Confidentiality (optional)

    Note: May define here according to >’s policy or refer

    to other documents pertaining to confidentiality, e.g.

    confidentiality agreement (also referred to as a confidential

    disclosure agreement).

    Other agreements

    Example wording:

    If a supply agreement is in place between and

    , and there are any inconsistencies between the

    supply agreement and the Quality Agreement, the supply

    agreement will take precedence over the Quality Agreement.

    Choice of Law

    Note: If a choice of law is not specified in a supply agreement, a

    choice of law should be agreed to between the parties and

    designated here.

    2. Compliance

See attached QA Responsibility Table.

    3. Manufacturing, Packaging and Labeling

See attached QA Responsibility Table.

    4. Documentation and Records

See attached QA Responsibility Table.

    5. Storage and Distribution

See attached QA Responsibility Table.

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6. Change Control

    See attached QA Responsibility Table.

7. Non-Conformance

    See attached QA Responsibility Table.

8. Auditing

    See attached QA Responsibility Table.

9. Quality Contacts

    List the contact persons from each party that will be responsible for

    communications related to this agreement. This information can be provided

    in an attachment.

10. Signatories

11. References

12. List of Attachments

    Copyright ? 2009 The International Pharmaceutical Excipients Council

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