In order to explore the consistency of the outcome of a Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA) in the validation of analytical procedures, an FMEA was carried out by two different teams. The two teams applied two separate FMEAs to a High Performance Liquid Chromatography-Diode Array Detection-Mass Spectrometry (HPLC-DAD-MS) analytical procedure used in the quality control of medicines. Each team was free to define their own ranking scales for the probability of severity (S), occurrence (O), and detection (D) of failure modes. We calculated Risk Priority Numbers (RPNs) and we identified the failure modes above the 90th percentile of RPN values as failure modes needing urgent corrective action; failure modes falling between the 75th and 90th percentile of RPN values were identified as failure modes needing necessary corrective action, respectively. Team 1 and Team 2 identified five and six failure modes needing urgent corrective action respectively, with two being commonly identified. Of the failure modes needing necessary corrective actions, about a third were commonly identified by both teams. These results show inconsistency in the outcome of the FMEA. To improve consistency, we recommend that FMEA is always carried out under the supervision of an experienced FMEA-facilitator and that the FMEA team has at least two members with competence in the analytical method to be validated. However, the FMEAs of both teams contained valuable information that was not identified by the other team, indicating that this inconsistency is not always a drawback.
- Risk analysis
- Analytical validation