Cleaning Validation

A cleaning validation demonstrates a pharmacy, hospital, or outsourcing facility's cleaning procedure is effective and consistent in cleaning equipment and compounding surface areas. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) expects firms to have written procedures (SOP's) detailing the cleaning processes used for various pieces of equipment. According to the FDA, 21 CFR Part 211, "Equipment and utensils shall be cleaned, maintained, and, as appropriate for the nature of the drug, sanitized and/or sterilized at appropriate intervals to prevent malfunctions or contamination that would alter the safety, identity, strength, quality, or purity of the drug product beyond the official or other established requirements." A cleaning validation is how one proves their cleaning SOPs are sufficient.

USP 800 Surface Wipe Sampling

According to Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 8 million US healthcare workers are exposed to hazardous drugs (HDs) every year. Drugs classified as hazardous include cancer therapy, antiviral drugs, hormones, and bioengineered drugs.  

More than 12 billion doses of HDs are handled by US providers each year. Anyone handling HDs is at risk of exposure to acute and long-term effects including hair loss, cardiac toxicity, kidney damage, hearing loss, nausea, rashes, cancer, and infertility. 

CBD Testing

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a naturally occurring compound within the cannabis plant.  It is often sold as an oil, consisting of CBD and a carrier oil such as grape seed or hemp seed oil.  The dosage of CBD within these manufactured products can vary greatly in potency depending on dosage forms including oral administration (oil) or topical use (cream).  CBD, as sourced from hemp plants, should typically contains less than 0.3% Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) by weight.  Conversely, CBD as sourced from Marijuana plants may contain up to 40% of THC by weight.  To bolster consumer confidence in these products, it is critical for accurate quantification of CBD in formulated products, with corresponding demonstration of low THC content per state requirements.

ARL Bio Pharma employs High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) as our standard testing methodology for CBD quantification.  We routinely test CBD oils and creams for CBD potency.  We also offer a THC limit assay to demonstrate that THC is not present in the product formulation down to a concentration of 0.3%.  

Contact ARL at or 800-393-1595 to discuss your CBD testing requirements.

Data Integrity

According to the FDA, ensuring data integrity is an important component of industry's responsibility to ensure the safety, efficacy, and quality of drugs. ARL Bio Pharma has GMP software that controls our laboratory's instruments and generated data. This software complies with 21CFR Part 11 as it relates to electronic records. All data is locked down and backed up so ARL can retrieve information in its native format with tracked changes and modifications. Our validated software meets FDA's expectation for GMP Compliance to provide our clients with data integrity critical to the GMP data lifecycles.

To learn more about Data Integrity and Compliance with Drug cGMP, click here

Endotoxin Limits

How are endotoxin limits calculated? How do my endotoxin test results relate to those limits?
Endotoxin limits for drug products specify the amount of endotoxin that can safely be present. Limits are based on human tolerance and generally specified in the USP monograph or if no monograph exists, calculated via USP <85> Bacterial Endotoxin Test. The testing limit calculation considers:
Route of administration
Dose of the product per kilogram of body weight (which should include the maximum bolus dose and the minimum patient weight)
Duration (time) of administration
Once a limit is determined, USP <85> allows a testing facility flexibility to determine the appropriate test dilution to reduce drug sample properties that interfere with the test. Using the endotoxin limit and the assay's sensitivity, a maximum valid dilution (MVD) is calculated. The MVD provides the maximum dilution possible to obtain a result and maintain the sensitivity necessary to determine a pass or fail. For example, if a sample is submitted with an endotoxin test limit of NMT 14 EU/mL and the MVD is determined to be 1400, then the product concentration can be diluted no further than 1:1400 and still generate a result with the appropriate sensitivity.
The test result is calculated by the assay software using the test dilution and assay sensitivity. In a case where no endotoxins are present, for example, a 1:1000 dilution was used and no presence of endotoxin was detected, a result of <10 EU/mL is reported. A result which includes a "less than" value does not indicate that the actual endotoxin value is near the number reported, only that the dilution factor used allowed for that level of sensitivity in results calculation. This means that results of <10 EU/mL and <4 EU/mL both show no presence of endotoxin at the dilution with which they were tested; and neither result offers any indication of the exact level of endotoxin present below the values reported.
If you would like to always receive the same result when endotoxins are not detected, a validation of the endotoxin test method is required.
Contact ARL at or 800-393-1595 to schedule your endotoxin test method validation.

Hand Sanitizer Guidance...

Hand sanitizers are regulated as over the counter (non-prescription) drugs by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The FDA has issued warnings to consumers about hand sanitizer products containing methanol. According to the CDC, Alcohol-based hand sanitizers should only contain ethanol or isopropanol, but some products have been found to contain methanol. Ethanol is a valid active ingredient, but methanol, even in small amounts, can lead to patient adverse events.

USP Hand Sanitizer Tool Kit

Have you downloaded USP's Hand Sanitizer Tool Kit? September 1, 2020, is the official date for USP Alcohol and Dehydrated Alcohol monographs. These monographs are revised to include the Limit of Methanol test in the Identification (ID) section.


 USP Hand Sanitizer Tool Kit

Register for the Rapid Sterility Strategies Webinar

Register today for the Rapid Sterility Strategies Webinar! Discover real-world applications for rapid sterility testing for compounded sterile preparations in the hospital pharmacy. Moses H. Cone Memorial Hospital will provide a case study on applying rapid sterility testing in sterile compounding.

What Factors Influence Stability?


Stability measures the extent to which a product retains, within specified limits, and throughout its period of storage and use, the same properties and characteristics it possessed at the time of compounding. According to USP <1191>, pharmacists should establish and maintain compounding conditions that ensure drug stability to help prevent therapeutic failure and adverse responses.

FDA Includes Methanol Testing...

Today, FDA issued updated guidances to provide additional clarification on testing of alcohol used in hand sanitizers manufactured under FDA’s temporary policies to help ensure that harmful levels of methanol are not present in these products. This will help ensure widespread access to alcohol-based hand sanitizers that are free of contamination.

FDA has updated their guidances to provide clarification that companies test each lot of the active ingredient (ethanol or isopropyl alcohol (IPA)) for methanol if the ethanol or IPA is obtained from another source. FDA recommends using the test methods described in the USP monograph for alcohol (ethanol) and conducting the testing in a laboratory that has been previously inspected by FDA and is compliant with current good manufacturing practice (CGMP).

Additionally, any alcohol (ethanol) or IPA found to contain more than 630 ppm methanol does not fall within the policies described in the temporary guidances and may be considered evidence of substitution and/or contamination. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers that are contaminated with methanol are subject to adulteration charges under the FD&C Act. The alcohol (ethanol) or IPA should be destroyed following guidelines for hazardous waste and the manufacturer or compounder should contact FDA regarding the test results and the alcohol’s source.