Sop on handling-of-product-complaints

  • Sop on handling-of-product-complaints
  • Objective :To lay down a procedure to investigate, document and respond to the product complaints.
  • Scope :This Standard Operating Procedure shall be applicable to all pharmaceutical drug products manufactured or marketed by (Pharmaceutical Company Name).
  • Responsibility
    • Head, Marketing shall be responsible for forwarding the complaints received from sales representatives, customers etc. to Quality Assurance Department.
    • All other Department Heads, if receive any product complaint, shall be responsible for forwarding the same to Quality Assurance Department.
    • Head, Quality Assurance shall be responsible for coordinating and processing all product complaints except product complaints related to or from regulatory agencies and product complaints related to Adverse Drug Reactions / Adverse Drug Events; however, Head, Quality Assurance shall be responsible for sending the final reply of the complaint to complainant and final disposition of all product complaints.
    • Head, Regulatory Affairs department shall be responsible for coordinating, processing and responding to all product complaints related to or from regulatory agencies.
  • Accountability:Head – QA and RA shall be accountable for the compliance of the SOP.


NOTE: – Every person who deals with the product complaint shall be responsible and accountable for taking prompt action at his level giving top priority to the matter.

  • Abbreviations and Definitions

SOP :Standard Operating Procedure

QA :Quality Assurance

RA :Regulatory Affairs

CAPA :Corrective and preventive action

  • Procedure
    • Product complaint shall be defined as any product related complaint received from customer regarding efficacy/quality/purity of the product which may/may not affects the health of the customer. Product complaints can be broadly classified as:   1.Critical  2.Major  3.Minor
  • Critical complaints: include those where efficacy of product is in question e.g. label mix ups, overdosing or some critical side effect or adverse drug reactions which may cause death of the patient.
  • Major complaints: include those which may put patient at some risk but are not life threatening and are quality related e.g. assay is low, broken/half tablets found, lamination problem, layer separation in case of bilayer tablets, mottling or colour defading problem in case of coated tablets, molten tablets, broken capsules, microbial growth, insect or insect residue found, deformed capsules, less volume, suspended impurities in solution, breaking of suspension, leakage of tubes, carton / foils without proper overprinting details, missed overprinting etc.
  • Minor complaints: include those which are not life threatening e.g. shortage or excess quantity received by stockiest, empty pockets, improper sealing etc.
  • Any product complaint received by any department shall be forwarded to the QA Department for log in and assign number to the complaint as per Annexure-I.
  • The complaint in original shall be attached with the complaint format and its copy shall be retained by the Department who forwarded the complaint.
  • The Marketing personnel or whosoever receiving the complaint shall forward the same with details and original to QA through mail/phone/hardcopy.
  • Complaints where Regulatory bodies are concerned, the receiving department shall forward the complaint directly to RA. In this case, RA shall get the complaint logged and product complaint number assigned from QA. Then RA shall initiate the investigations or evaluation of the complaint and shall reply to the concerned regulatory body. Thereafter, the copy of the reply along with Product Complaint Form shall be given to QA for closing of the complaint.
  • For all other complaints except the mentioned above, the final reply to the complainant shall be send by QA.
  • The complaint shall be forwarded to the QA for registration. QA shall fill the complaint information form and forward the complaint information form to appropriate department(s) for further investigation. The type of complaint shall be identified and investigated accordingly. Investigation of the market complaint shall include, as relevant but shall not be restricted to investigation of batch manufacturing records, control samples, analysis reports and deviation reports, if any.
  • Product complaint shall be referred to the concerned departments as appropriate. However, based on the exact nature of the complaint, QA shall decide the relevant department for investigation.
  • Each complaint shall be assigned a unique number consisting of 9 alphanumeric characters by QA as PC/XXX/YY where:

PC : stands for Product Complaint

/ : ‘slash’

XXX : serial number of compliant e.g. 001, 002, 003 etc.

/ : ‘slash’

YY: stands for the calendar year i.e. 16 for 2016.

e.g. the first complaint received in 2016 shall have the complaint number as PC/001/16.A new series of the complaint number shall be started at the beginning of a new year.

  • QA shall fill the information in ‘Product Complaint Form’ (Annexure-I).
  • QA shall decide if any additional information is required regarding the complaint, if so, QA shall obtain the same.
  • QA shall record the product complaints in Product Complaint Logbook as per Annexure-II.
  • The complaint receiver (i.e. Marketing/Export/QA/any other department Head) shall send the complaint acknowledgment to the complainant. Based on the nature of the complaint, if the complaint receiver in co-ordination with QA, feels that the investigation can be completed within seven working days, then the initial acknowledgment can be avoided and a final reply of the investigation shall be sent to the complainant.
  • The concerned department(s), investigating the complaint shall document their findings in the Product Complaint Form as per Annexure-I. If additional space is required, additional pages may be used.
  • If required, CAPA shall be filed as per SOP on Corrective and Preventive Action (CAPA).
  • The investigation report and necessary CAPA shall be submitted back to QA, complete in all respects within 7 working days.
  • Based on the findings of investigations by the concerned department or report sent by Regulatory Affairs department to regulatory body / complainant, Head QA shall give final reply to complainant and shall finally give the disposition in the Product Complaint Form (Annexure-I). If the receipt of acknowledgement of reply is available same shall be addressed in disposition in the Product Complaint Form.
  • During the course of investigation and final disposition, if it emerges that there is a need of product recall then the SOP titled “Product Recall” shall be followed.
  • Once the investigation is complete, Head QA shall send reply to complainant and to the Department head receiving the complaint or his/ her designee.
  • All forms, documents and correspondences associated with the complaint shall be filed in the Product Complaint File.
  • Each written complaint shall be maintained for three years after the expiry date of the drug product.
  • Any market complaint received shall be closed in a period of not more than 45 days. However, for any particular case, if the investigation takes more than this period, QA shall inform the concerned department Head (i.e. the department who has received the complaint), who in turn shall inform the complainant.
  • There shall be an annual compilation and review of all the market complaints product wise.
  • Forms and Records (Annexures)

7.1   Production Complaint Form :Annexure-I

7.2   Product Complaint Log Book :Annexure-II

7.3   Flow Chart (Product Complaint Investigation) : Annexure-III

  • Distribution
    • Master copy – Quality Assurance
    • Controlled copies – Quality Assurance, Production, Quality Control, Stores, Purchase,Sales, Regulatory Affairs.
  • History
Date Revision Number Reason for Revision
00 New SOP


Dextromethorphan (


A 9 -

A 7 -

A 8 -



     Annexure – I

                                        Product Complaint Form

I. Product Complaint No.:……………………………………………….. 

Part A (Preliminary Investigation Form)

1.Complainant Information

Name :
Address :
Phone/ fax/email :
Complaint received via :
Complaint received on :

2.Product Information

Product : Pack Size :
Generic Name : Batch No. :
Mfg. Date : Exp. Date :

3. Brief Description of Complaint 

4.Complaint Received By




Complaint forwarded to QA / RA Department on:

 II.Part B (Investigation Report)

 Complaint Received in QA by:                                  Complaint received in QA on:

 Complaint received by QA via:

 Complaint No.  :

1. Sample Information

If samples are available : Yes/ No
If yes, then mention Quantity :
Condition of samples :
Date samples received :
Detail of any other enclosure with sample like packer’s slip :

2. Description of Complaint

3.Investigation by relevant department





4.Proposed Corrective and Preventive Action





Is recall of product needed :- Yes / No (if yes then follow the SOP on Product Recall)

5.Disposition by Quality Assurance


                                                                                                  Head of QA

                                                                                                  (Sign/ Date)


                                                            Annexure – II

                                                 Product Complaint Log Book

S. No. Date of Receipt of Complaint Source of Complaint Type of Complaint Product,

B. No.

Details of Complaint Details of Investigation CAPA


Reply Letter No. & Date Investigation Completed on



Pharma More Jobs and post Please click here

error: Content is protected !!