Evolving Pharmaceutical Standards: Embracing WHO-GMP Compliance in India

WHO GMP Certification Deadline


In the wake of recent concerns surrounding the quality of Indian medicines, a significant shift is underway in the pharmaceutical industry. The Indian government’s directive for pharma companies to align with the World Health Organisation’s Good Manufacturing Practices (WHO-GMP) has brought the spotlight back on quality assurance, both for domestic consumption and exports.

Why the Push for WHO-GMP Compliance Now?

Recent inspections have unveiled multiple areas of concern:

  • Absence of raw material testing, which has been linked to fatal outcomes in countries like Gambia, Uzbekistan, and Cameroon.
  • Inadequate documentation processes.
  • Gaps in internal product quality reviews.
  • Issues with cross-contamination prevention.
  • Design flaws in manufacturing units.
  • A concerning lack of qualified professionals.

With only 19% of the 10,500 pharmaceutical manufacturing units in India currently boasting WHO-GMP certification, the Health Ministry’s move aims to bridge this significant gap. The urgency is further emphasized by the tight deadlines: six months for small manufacturers and 12 months for larger units.

The Importance of WHO-GMP Certification:

WHO-GMP certification is more than just a stamp of quality. It’s an assurance that products are manufactured under stringent quality controls. Many countries, particularly low and middle-income nations, prioritize medicines produced by WHO-GMP-certified units. As India is a major exporter to these regions, securing this certification is paramount for sustained international business growth.

Schedule M and Its Implications:

Introduced in 1988 and last amended in 2005, Schedule M of the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules delineates the requirements for unit maintenance, personnel, manufacturing processes, safety testing, storage, material transport, and more. The revised Schedule M now encompasses the WHO-GMP standards, raising the bar for quality assurance in the pharmaceutical domain.

Key areas under the spotlight include:

  • Pharmaceutical Quality Systems (PQS)
  • Quality Risk Management (QRM)
  • Product Quality Review (PQR)
  • Equipment qualification and validation
  • Change control management
  • Self-inspection protocols
  • Stability studies as per recommended climate conditions

The Path Ahead with Pharmadocx Consultants:

With the clock ticking for pharmaceutical manufacturers, achieving WHO-GMP compliance might seem daunting. That’s where Pharmadocx Consultants step in.

Our Expertise: We bring a deep understanding of the WHO-GMP standards and the intricacies of the revised Schedule M. Our team is equipped to guide pharmaceutical units, both big and small, through the compliance process.

Customized Solutions: Whether you’re an MSME or a large-scale manufacturer, we tailor our solutions to address your unique challenges, ensuring a seamless transition to WHO-GMP compliance.

Proactive Approach: With major issues highlighted during inspections, such as poor documentation and design flaws, our proactive approach ensures that these pitfalls are addressed head-on, safeguarding your operations and reputation.


The pharmaceutical landscape is evolving, with quality assurance taking center stage. As the Health Ministry tightens its reins on compliance, companies must adapt swiftly. With the expertise and guidance of Pharmadocx Consultants, navigate this transition with confidence and set your pharmaceutical unit on a path of global excellence.

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