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The purpose of the use of analytical instruments is to generate reliable data. Instrument qualification helps fulfill this purpose. No authoritative guide exists that considers the risk of instrument failure and combines that risk with users' scientific knowledge and ability to use the instrument to deliver reliable and consistent data. In the absence of such a guide, the qualification of analytical instruments has become a subjective and often fruitless document-generating exercise.
Taking its cue from the new FDA initiative, “Pharmaceutical GMP's for the 21st Century,” an efficient, science- and risk-based process for AIQ was discussed at a workshop on analytical instrument qualification. This report represents the distillate of deliberations on the complicated issues associated with the various stages of analytical instrument qualification. It emphasizes AIQ's place in the overall process of obtaining quality reliable data from analytical instruments and offers an efficient process for its performance, one that focuses on scientific value rather than on producing documents. Implementing such a process should remove ambiguous interpretations by various groups.