As shortages of glass vials have been reported in the past years, to address concerns about the supply of such packaging materials, the USP intends to revise the packaging and storage statements in several USP monographs for parenteral products which currently prescribe a specific type of glass.
Several official monographs in the USP-NF require the use of a specific glass type, for example “Type I glass” or “Type II glass.” Current General Chapter <660> Containers – Glass defines glass types by composition-based characteristics.
According to the general announcement, the revision of the monographs should provide some level of flexibility regarding the type of packaging by including a reference to a preferable type of glass for packaging, rather than prescribing a specific type of packaging material.
To address challenges, the proposed compendial revisions would include the following:
- Revisions to General Chapter <660> to remove glass classifications based on composition. Currently, <660> defines: Type I (borosilicate glass); Type II (treated soda-lime silica); and Type III (soda-lime silica). Under the proposal, General Chapter <660> would instead define glass Types I, II, and III by performance characteristics, allowing for additional compositions to be considered Type I, II, and III glass.
- Revisions to 14 monographs that currently prescribe a specific glass type by adding the word “preferably” in the packaging section of the monograph.” The addition of the word “preferably” to the monographs at issue means that the use of the glass specified is preferred, but not required. This proposed revision will give manufacturers additional flexibility in their choice of packaging and pave the way for new or different types of packaging to be approved.
To introduce more flexibility for manufacturers and regulators, the USP is therefore proposing the addition of the word “preferably” to the packaging and storage statements in the monographs that currently use prescriptive language. However, additional changes to many monographs may be needed to fully address the paradigm shift in defining suitable packaging materials for parenteral products.