In Course of implementation or validation of the computer system/ software with the legal landscape of the Life Science industry, we have observed lot of misconception with respect to Computer System Validation. Let us understand the misconception and potential reasons:
Most of the manufacturers misinterpret the criticality of application based on the direct or indirect impact (Risk) of software on the quality of product and patient safety.
Newness #1 The current concept for software validation comes from 2002 and focuses on software which is embedded in device. However, nowadays, there is much software available supporting the quality system of the manufacturer, however, they are not part of the device itself. The FDA has released a new draft guidance basis true risk-based approach, which should be considered when deploying indirect impacting non-product, manufacturing, operations, and quality systems software solutions such as DMS, LMS, and QMS applications i.e. indirect impact on Quality.
The players in the ecosystem have been observed to emphasize producing various software documents like specification, test plans and test results along with evidence. The focus here lacks Software assurance.
Newness #2 Nowadays most of the manufacturers are applying 21 CFR 820.70(i) irrespective of utility, operations or functions that directly or indirectly affect product safety or quality. However, the FDA’s focus is to review the validation of software that directly affects software assurance.
Traditionally GAMP5 has become a simple checklist for a Risk-based approach to validate computer systems in many companies (Trend captures the last 10 years). Due to these guidelines, the manufacturers are more focusing on typical documentation i.e. as per the “V” shape validation document required for all types of GxP software.
Newness #3 New draft guidance will replace the term “Computer System Validation” with “Computer Software Assurance”. This will guide the manufacturers to achieve true risk-based methodologies and will aid the manufacturer to achieve the software assurance to the best of it, during the SDLC process.
In order to provide better clarity, FDA CDRH has released a draft guideline, making a shift from CSV to CSA for Manufacturing, Operations, and Quality System Softwares. In this draft guideline FDA has proposed the following to adopt the elementary approach of software assurance:
Drug Manufacturers do not need to wait for this guidance to shift their mindset towards Software Quality Assurance. They must be throttling up the implementation of GXP software by adapting to (Computer Software Assurance)CSA.