The evolution and challenges for the international harmonization of the regulation of pharmaceutical excipients in Taiwan

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Excipients, once considered an inert component, have been shown to greatly influence the characteristics of the drug product, such as quality and safety. Functionality-related characteristics of excipients could affect the performance of the drug product. Moreover, the impact of globalization has complicated the issue and made the supervision of supply chain highly important. Taiwan, a member of the Pharmaceutical Inspection Convention and Pharmaceutical Inspection Co-operation Scheme, makes efforts to harmonize with international regulations and to strengthen the protection of patients through regulatory controls. In order to improve the harmonization and the transparency of regulatory requirements, the aim of the present study was to investigate the regulatory framework and considerations of stringent regulatory authorities and to propose the draft regulatory requirements to the Taiwan Food and Drug Administration for jurisdiction. The proposal which was extensively discussed in the expert committee includes the regulatory considerations to ensure the safety and quality of the excipients and may serve as a platform to facilitate the communication with industries about the current thinking on related issues. Moreover, through the review of the recent guidelines published by the stringent regulatory authorities, the trend of the regulatory considerations was revealed and discussed.

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