Mathematical models can be used as an integral part of the quality by design (QbD) concept throughout the product lifecycle for variety of purposes, including appointment of the design space and control strategy, continual improvement and risk assessment. Examples of different mathematical modeling techniques (mechanistic, empirical and hybrid) in the pharmaceutical development and process monitoring or control are provided in the presented review. In the QbD context, mathematical models are predominantly used to support design space and/or control strategies. Considering their impact to the final product quality, models can be divided into the following categories: high, medium and low impact models. Although there are regulatory guidelines on the topic of modeling applications, review of QbD-based submission containing modeling elements revealed concerns regarding the scale-dependency of design spaces and verification of models predictions at commercial scale of manufacturing, especially regarding real-time release (RTR) models. Authors provide critical overview on the good modeling practices and introduce concepts of multiple-unit, adaptive and dynamic design space, multivariate specifications and methods for process uncertainty analysis. RTR specification with mathematical model and different approaches to multivariate statistical process control supporting process analytical technologies are also presented.