GMP (good manufacturing practice)

A good manufacturing practice (GMP) is one that conforms to the guidelines set by the regulatory agencies that control authorization and licensing for the production and sale of food, beverages and active pharmaceutical products.

A product that conforms to GMP guidelines is considered to be of high quality and will pose no risk to consumers or the general public. The GMP guidelines do not lay out specific instructions for how to manufacturer a product; rather, they list general principles that must be observed during the manufacturing process. It is up to the individual manufacturer to decide how to set up its manufacturing system in order to best conform to the guidelines.

There are some basic manufacturing principles that every country's GMP guidelines include. One example is hygiene -- manufacturers must maintain a clean manufacturing area, and pharmaceutical manufacturers must avoid cross-contamination between drugs to ensure the safety and effectiveness of their products. Manufacturing processes must be clearly defined, controlled and documented. GMP also extends to the logistics end, as the distribution of products must minimize any safety risks and clear procedures must be in place to field product complaints and handle recalls.

See also: Fast Guide to acronyms used in manufacturing

This was last updated in May 2014

Dig Deeper on Supply chain and manufacturing