New – GxP Compliance Resource for AWS
Ever since we launched AWS, customers have been curious about how they can use it to build and run applications that must meet many different types of regulatory requirements. For example, potential AWS users in the pharmaceutical, biotech, and medical device industries are subject to a set of guidelines and practices that are commonly known as GxP. In those industries, the x can represent Laboratory (GLP), Clinical (GCP), or Manufacturing (GMP).
These practices are intended to ensure that a product is safe and that it works as intended. Many of the practices are focused on traceability (the ability to reconstruct the development history of a drug or medical device) and accountability (the ability to learn who has contributed what to the development, and when they did it). For IT pros in regulated industries, GxP is important because it has requirements on how electronic records are stored, as well as how the systems that store these records are tested and maintained.
Because the practices became prominent at a time when static, on-premises infrastructure was the norm, companies have developed practices that made sense in this environment but not in the cloud. For example, many organizations perform point-in-time testing of their on-premises infrastructure and are not taking advantage of the all that the cloud has to offer. With the cloud, practices such as dynamic verification of configuration changes, compliance-as-code, and the use of template-driven infrastructure are easy to implement and can have important compliance benefits.
Customers are already running GxP-workloads on AWS! In order to help speed the adoption for other pharma and medical device manufacturers, we are publishing our new GxP compliance resource today.
The GxP position paper (Considerations for Using AWS Products in GxP Systems) provides interested parties with a brief overview of AWS and of the principal services, and then focuses on a discussion of how they can be used in a GxP system. The recommendations within the paper fit in to three categories:
Quality Systems – This section addresses management, personnel, audits, purchasing controls, product assessment, supplier evaluation, supplier agreement, and records & logs.
System Development Life Cycle – This section addresses system development, validation, and operation. As I read this section of the document, it was interesting to learn how the software-defined infrastructure-as-code AWS model allows for better version control and is a great fit for GxP. The ability to use a common set of templates for development, test, and production environments that are all configured in the same way simplifies and streamlines several aspects of GxP compliance.
Regulatory Affairs – This section addresses regulatory submissions, inspections by health authorities, and personal data privacy controls.
We hired Lachman Consultants (an internationally renowned compliance consulting firm), and had them contribute to and review an earlier draft of the position paper. The version that we are publishing today reflects their feedback.
Join our Webinar
If you are interested in building cloud-based systems that must adhere to GxP, please join our upcoming GxP Webinar. Scheduled for February 23, this webinar will give you an overview of the new GxP compliance resource and will show you how AWS can facilitate GxP compliance within your organization. You’ll learn about rules-based consistency, compliance-as-code, repeatable software-based testing, and much more.
PS – The AWS Life Sciences page is another great resource!