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GAMP5 as a Suitable

Framework for Validation

of Electronic Document
Management Systems
On Premise and 'In the

Keith Williams


The views and opinions expressed in the following PowerPoint slides

are those of the individual presenter and should not be attributed to
Drug Information Association, Inc. (DIA), its directors, officers,
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These PowerPoint slides are the intellectual property of the individual
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History and evolution of GAMP

Group founded in 1991 in the UK from life sciences manufacturing
(not called GAMP)
First GAMP (Good Automated Manufacturing Practice) guide
published in 1994
Partnered with ISPE (International Society for Pharmaceutical
Engineering) in 1994
GAMP 4 (2001) included a lot of detail in terms of checklists,
templates, proposed V model etc.
Replaced by a Quality Risk Management approach in GAMP 5
(2008) plus IT related best practice guides (2005-2012)
Its a guideline, not a Regulation, but still widely followed
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Context Trend of EDMS over the last 15-20 YearsMatching the Evolution of GAMP
Mostly In-house
developed EDMS or
bespoke by supplier


Configured EDMS
on platforms- still
some development


Validation approaches have had to adapt
to this change as more of the activities
transfer to Outsourcing companies
(OP= On-Premise; Hosted may = Cloud)

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COTS or Preconfigured (OP

and Hosted

Can you Use GAMP 5 for Validation of an EDMS for

On Premise and Hosted in the Cloud deployment?

In short, Yes it is suitable (otherwise this would be a short talk).

It is a framework designed to ensure that computerised systems are
fit for purpose and compliant with current regulatory requirements

It should be employed as part of, and alongside your Validation Master Plan (VMP)
A specific Validation Plan (VP) should be produced for each GxP regulated system
VP should focus on aspects related to patient safety, product quality and data
You need to have a deep understanding of the underlying technologies that are being
employed in the Hosting of the Infrastructure, Platforms and Software applications
You should leverage as much of the Suppliers expertise, testing and documentation
as possible (see examples later)

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Why is GAMP 5 useful now?

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How can a risk based approach cut costs?

High Level Risk Assessment do you need to

validate at all?
Functional Risk Assessment where should you
focus your efforts in terms of documentation and

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Assessment- do you have a GxP Critical system?

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GAMP 5 Risk based approach at a functional level

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What does GAMP 5 suggest?

Clear separation of Regulated Company and Supplier
Advice on managing the interface with suppliers, including
assessments / audits
Full proposed set of documents, including templates
Acknowledges differences between Information Systems and
computer-controlled equipment.
Application of a Risk-based approach
Categorisation of Software or Components
Emphasis on the Validation Plan and Validation Report
The end-result should be not just be an auditable set of documents,
but hopefully a computer system that does what it is meant to do!

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GAMP 5 Compliance by adopting a life cycle

approach to Computerised Systems

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The Main Components of an EDMS that need to be


Platform Hardware (Servers and clients)

Server Software (Platform and Application)
Client Software
EDMS Processes (Process Owner)
EDMS Community (People, SME, System
Owner- may also be Process Owner)

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Some definitions of Cloud and Hosting (outsourcing)

Cloud Computing -SaaS, Paas, Iaas,

Cloud computing is a model for enabling ubiquitous, convenient, ondemand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing
resources (e.g. networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that
can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or
service provider interaction.
Software as a Service (SaaS). The capability provided to the consumer is
to use the providers applications running on a cloud infrastructure
Platform as a Service (PaaS). The capability provided to the consumer is
to deploy onto the cloud infrastructure consumer-created or acquired
applications created using programming languages, libraries, services, and
tools supported by the provider.
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). The capability provided to the
consumer is to provision processing, storage, networks, and other
fundamental computing resources where the consumer is able to deploy
and run arbitrary software, which can include operating systems and

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Some further definitions of Cloud and Hosting


Cloud-, Private, Public, Community, and Hybrid

Private cloud: The cloud infrastructure is provisioned for exclusive use by a single
organization comprising multiple consumers (e.g., business units). It may be owned,
managed, and operated by the organization, a third party, or some combination of
them, and it may exist on or off premises.
Public cloud: The cloud infrastructure is provisioned for open use by the general
public. It may be owned, managed, and operated by a business, academic, or
government organization, or some combination of them. It exists on the premises of
the cloud provider.
Community cloud: The cloud infrastructure is provisioned for exclusive use by a
specific community of consumers from organizations that have shared concerns (e.g.,
mission, security requirements, policy, and compliance considerations). It may be
owned, managed, and operated by one or more of the organizations in the
community, a third party, or some combination of them, and it may exist on or off
Hybrid cloud: The cloud infrastructure is a composition of two or more distinct cloud
infrastructures (private, community, or public) that remain unique entities, but are
bound together by standardized or proprietary technology that enables data and
application portability (e.g., cloud bursting for load balancing between clouds).

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GAMP 5 Categories and what to do

Infrastructure and OS are treated as GAMP Category 1

whether On Premise or Hosted
The EDMS will be 3 if it is Pre-configured and deployed
without any major changes (not likely)
The EDMS will be 4 if it is configured
Category 5 we wont cover here but your Software
Application provider should have validated their core
product to this

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Service and Deployment models for On Premise and

Hosted and who controls and manages them
Hybrid Clouds can be combinations of On-premise, Private or Public

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Example Component Categorisation for EDMS Cloud



What to do?



Hardware, Internet
Connectivity, Power,
Servers, Storage and
RAM, VMWare, Hyper-V

Qualify and manage

Audit procedures.

Infrastructure Vendor
Application Vendor(AV)
or Sponsor.


O/S, Windows Server,

SharePoint and SQL

Qualify the stack.

Manage / control
ongoing changes.
Audit procedures.

Platform Vendor (PV)


Validate the
hosted application.



e.g. Hosted EDMS

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AV or Sponsor



All the areas below will have difference between OnPremise and Hosted implementation
For EDMS Projects, the supplier involvement varies
with On-Premise or Hosted Variations in these areas

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On Premise qualification and validation management

Regulated Company handles everything in-house

Owns and manages corporate IT infrastructure,
relying on in-house IT department
Sets up and qualifies separate machines / platforms /
environments for informal development, formal testing
and for live use
Audits the software supplier
Validates the application / system

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Hosted Cloud qualification and validation


Regulated company uses private/public cloud-based

Software as a Service for submissible or inspectable
Allows IaaS provider to manage infrastructure flexibly,
adjusting capacity and even location, as needed
Relies on SaaS providers validation documentation
and testing of functionality
Carries out minimal validation of software
configuration to meet basic user requirements
Carries out audits of service providers

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Area examined for a CAT4 EDMS example

EDMS Projects, the supplier involvement varies with
On-Premise or Hosted Variations


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Category 4- Configuration of the EDMS

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EDMS Cat 4: Project Activities, Deliverables and

Responsibilities Regulated Company and Supplier

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How could this breakdown into activities for a multisupplier Cloud delivery?


Organisations: Regulated Software SaaS

Company Developer Provider

Validation Plan & Report

User Requirements & Acceptance Testing


Functional & Design Documentation

Installation Qualification
Incident Management

Infrastructure Qualification
Operational Change Control

Periodic Review

Note: Can use separate matrices for Project activities and Ongoing Service
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Summary of Compliance Risk Management in the

You cant mitigate risks unless:
You know what you are managing
You know what the risks are

Biggest problems with Cloud are:

Lack of understanding of what the Cloud is (and is not!) and to what the
consistent terms are that apply to your company by Quality AND IT staff
Lack of understanding of the enabling technologies, how they work and
interactions between them and other applications

Suppliers Sell Cloud services:

Without understanding what the regulated company needs and where the risk is
Without defining responsibilities
Without appreciating and the cost of compliance the Life Science company
*this is not unique to Cloud suppliers, this is general outsourcing and Supplier management
misunderstanding, usually after the contracts have been signed by procurement and variations
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Example 1

Small Pharma Company (500 users) using on-premise

EDMS software for document management.
Company keen to minimise IT costs so they set up their
server farm as virtual machines.
Software supplier contractually responsible for software
Change Management, including regression testing.
Software supplier using IaaS provider to host virtual test
environments, as part of the support provided.

Example 1: Lessons Learned

Traditional On-premise model project went to plan on

time and budget
BUT; the capability to rapidly set-up an identical
qualified test environment greatly speeded up the
testing of an unrepeatable fault, the fix and then release
of controlled changes
Good support from a specialised IaaS provider, keen to
explore ways of supporting Pharma clients
Qualification of new virtual environments can also be
greatly speeded up, via use of executable scripts to
install the relevant files and to confirm that the
installation meets specifications

Example 2

New virtual Pharma company using hosted SaaS for

electronic document management.
The Software Product is highly configurable (as distinct
from customisable) to meet client business requirements
Specialised software application / SaaS provider with
auditable development documentation ready for Pharma
Extensive auditing carried out by Pharma Companyleveraged the document set and experince of the
Separate IaaS provider used for actual hosting, audited
by the SaaS provider

Example 2 : Lessons Learned

Niche service providers do understand needs of Pharma

Clients, and expect to be audited hard as part of
supplier selection
SaaS provider can take on responsibility to audit and
manage the IaaS provider, including Infrastructure and
Installation Qualification and that can be audited by
Pharma Company.
Suppliers need to be pragmatic when faced with multiple
opinions on compliance details from different clientsmake sure that they have a robust but cost effective
Configuration of the application needs to be managed
carefully by the SaaS provider, with maximum input from
actual users

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What are regulators interested in

when they discover IT is in the Cloud?

That the Integrity of the Data is assured

Risks have been clearly identified & mitigated
Client/Provider Contracts cover off key elements
Supplier Quality Systems are adequate
QMS, validation, change control, training
Cybersecurity has been tested (ethical hacking?)
Data Backup/Recovery processes are robust and fit
for requirements
Evidence of Audits of Providers by FDA/ other Clients

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GAMP 5 is widely used and referenced in our

It can help both Suppliers and Users of EDMS
It can be applied to both on-premise and hosted

I would advocate closer ties with DIA and ISPE so

experiences and guidance can be shared and
knowledge built
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Thanks for material and thoughts contributing to this

presentation go to:

Phil Harrison of GXPi

Thana Subramanian of GE
Randy Perez of Novartis (and Chair of ISPE)
David Stokes of Business Decision
ISPE for use of GAMP material

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Thanks for listening!!

Keith Williams ( )

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Other Resources- Best Practice Guides

Operation of GxP Computerized Systems (2010)

Regulators usually focus on the integrity, consistency, and completeness of controls required
to maintain compliance.
Highlights the importance of the operation phase of the system lifecycle
When the return on investment for the significant time and resource expended in
implementing new computerized systems can be achieved.

IT Infrastructure Control & Compliance Guide

The validated status of EDMS applications that are dependent upon an underlying IT
Being updated for Cloud elements
ID and assessment of components
Maintenance of the Qualified State

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Other Resources- Best Practice Guides

Testing of GxP Systems (2012)

Very Process and prescriptive Driven (around 200 pages)

Helps maximize testing efficiency without compromising the quality of GxP Systems
focusing testing on areas that have the greatest impact
has been recently expanded and updated and reflects ICH Q8, Q9, and Q10
contains new information on Cloud computing

Global Information Systems Control & Compliance (2005)

Project Management on multiple geographic site Computer system projects

Validation and Implementation approaches
Global System management of Change Control
Record retention

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Useful References


Annex 11:
21CFR Part11:

GAMP Community of Practice:

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How Risk Management ICH maps to GAMP 5

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The Advantages of using GAMP 5

Has had a lot of thought gone into it in a pragmatic way
Is process driven and risk based so you can use the framework to
do as much or as little as you see fit
Gives you the latitude to do what is necessary for your business and
allocate appropriate resource
Establishes a common language and terminology (BUT see Cloud
terms for further confusion)
Has been harmonised where possible with other standards such as
ICH Q8, Q9 and Q10 and various ISO standards
Is designed to be compatible with other computer and software
models and methods like ITIL, RUP etc.
The validation of a computerised system to achieve and maintain
GxP compliance throughout the lifecycle of that system
It clarifies scalability of and central role of Quality Risk Management
in a sensible justifiable approach to what you do (but document it!!)
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The Disadvantages of using GAMP 5

May not fit well to your existing Quality process

Comes from a Manufacturing/Production bias
So there may be a feeling of it doesnt apply to me
Terminology and nomenclature may be different
Less prescriptive than previous GAMP iterations
The risk based approach requires complete product, process and
technology understanding
This in turn means you have to understand deeply the technologies
being employed and their quality impact, and/or employ or pay for
Subject Matter Experts (SMEs)
For Hosting situations, you will require (and may have to educate)
your Supplier to manage their QMS and activities in a way
commensurate with GAMP (see next slide)
Cost- perceived and otherwise, but mostly getting everyone on the
same page and with agreed nomenclature
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Just a reflection on why we bother to validate?

Minimise the risk that something goes wrong with the end
customers health and safety
Keep the regulators confident in your business and prevent them
issuing restrictions and actions against you (note: they require to
see documented evidence in Human Readable format)

Cost of compliance adds to cost of doing things and ultimately cost
of goods (which we want to reduce)
Computer System Validation (and GAMP) was traditionally
associated with extra workload and greatly increased costs of
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Challenges of imposing GAMP 5 on Suppliers of

Hosted Services for the Life Sciences sector

Change control: Sometimes even minor software tweaks or patching,

whether necessary or not, can cause major breakdown. The rigour of
change management, impact assessment and testing adds to the work
burden and short term cost (and is one that the supplier may not be used to)

QMS: Infrastructure suppliers may prefer not to work within the confines of
specifications and procedures developed by others (Pharma Sector). If you
are going to rely on suppliers, they may not want to bear the cost of
implementing a formal QMS that will tick all of your requirements, especially
the cloud providers who have many other customers

Documentation: Effective documentation management is fundamental to

demonstrate compliance, again suppliers may not be able to manage this,
or their training records, auditing of their suppliers etc.

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Some things to look for in a Supplier to ease the

implementation of a Cloud EDMS
Documents and schematics that are understandable by the non-expert
They manage change in an acceptable manner
They have clear contracts and allocation of responsibilities
They have been audited by other regulated companies
They audit their suppliers
Suitable test scripts for their environment to prove security and data integrity
They have detailed experience of the compliance needs of the Life Sciences industry
and tools to aid and ensure that compliance is achieved efficiently
They have validation documents of a suitable quality that allows you to leverage,
using risk-based approach to reduce your validation effort
They can clearly communicate and educate complex technology environments to
your team so they can understand the operation and design elements
They have been audited by other Life Sciences companies
They have a robust and suitable QMS that matches Life Sciences industry
They have adequate Subject Matter Experts that span IT technical and compliance
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