Guidance on procedures and administrative requirements for master files: Definitions and abbreviations

The terminology used in this guidance document is the same as that used in the ICH guidelines. Please refer to these guidelines for terminology that is not defined here.

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Active pharmaceutical ingredient: Refer to the definition for 'drug substance'.

Applicant: The company submitting a drug submission, DIN application or CTA. This may or may not be the dosage form manufacturer (also referred to as the sponsor).

Applicant's part: The non-CBI contained in an MF, formerly called the open part (refer to the information in the "Health Canada master files" section).

Authorized MF agent: Any person appointed by the MF holder to file an MF or serve on behalf of the MF holder. The authorized MF agent may file MF-related transactions and/or sign documents on behalf of the MF holder. An MF agent or third party authorization letter signed by the MF holder is required with the initial MF registration transaction or any transaction where a new agent is appointed or the agent's role has changed.

Bovine/transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (BSE/TSE) declaration: A confirmation/attestation of whether the materials used during the manufacture of the product are susceptible to contamination with agents that may transmit BSE/TSE and that the risk of transmitting agents of animal spongiform encephalopathies has been minimized.

Confidential business information: In respect of a person to whose business or affairs the information relates, means (subject to the regulations) business information:

  1. that is not publicly available
  2. in respect of which the person has taken measures that are reasonable in the circumstances to ensure that it remains not publicly available and
  3. that has actual or potential economic value to the person or their competitors because it is not publicly available and its disclosure would result in a material financial loss to the person or a material financial gain to their competitors

(Food and Drugs Act)

Cover letter: A letter accompanying an MF transaction that explains the purpose and content of the transaction provided to Health Canada.

Dosage form: A pharmaceutical product type (for example, tablet, capsule, solution, cream) that contains a drug substance generally, but not necessarily, in association with excipients.

Dosage form manufacturer: The company that manufactures the finished dosage form.

Drug product: The dosage form in the final immediate packaging intended for marketing.

Drug substance (active pharmaceutical ingredient): Any substance or mixture of substances intended to be used to manufacture a drug product and that, when used in the production of a drug, becomes an active ingredient of the drug product.

Letter of access: A letter written and signed by the MF holder, authorized MF agent or authorized third party filing on behalf of the MF holder. The LoA indicates to Health Canada that the applicant and the MF holder have agreed that the MF can be referred to during the assessment of the applicant's drug submission or CTA.

Manufacturer: The company that manufactures the product covered by the MF. This may be a manufacturer of a drug substance, CCS or CCS component, an excipient or a finished dosage form.

MF holder: The company that submitted the MF. This may be the manufacturer of the product described in the MF and/or the originator of the CBI.

MF update: A revision or change to any information provided in an existing MF and/or replacement of an existing MF.

Regulatory activity: A collection of all regulatory transactions sent by the applicant throughout the process of a specific activity. These include, for example, an NDS, ANDS, DIN application, CTA and YBPR.

Regulatory transaction (sequence): Any information package sent by the MF holder or by the applicant as part of a regulatory activity. Examples include a new MF registration, LoA or response to clarification request.

Restricted part: The CBI contained in an MF, formerly called the closed part (refer to the information in the "Health Canada master files" section).

Statement of commitment: A declaration from the MF holder or authorized MF agent that the information provided in the MF is true and accurate.

Third party filing on behalf of the MF holder: Any person acting and/or signing documents and/or managing regulatory transactions on behalf of the MF holder must be appointed to do so. This is usually done through an MF agent or third party authorization letter signed by the MF holder. This letter is required for the initial MF registration transaction and any transaction where a new agent is appointed or the agent's role has changed.

Glossary of Abbreviations

Abbreviated Extraordinary Use New Drug Submission
Abbreviated New Drug Submission
Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient
Biologic and Radiopharmaceutical Drugs Directorate
Bureau of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Bovine/Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy
Confidential Business Information
Certificates of Suitability to the Monographs of the European Pharmacopeia
Common Electronic Submissions Gateway
Certified Product Information Document
Clinical Trial Application
Clinical Trial Application Amendment
Clinical Trial Application Notification
Drug Identification Number
Drug Identification Number Application
Drug Identification Number Application for Biologics
Electronic Common Technical Document
European Directorate for the Quality of Medicines & HealthCare
Experimental Studies Certificate
Extraordinary Use New Drug Submission
Extraordinary Use Supplemental Abbreviated New Drug Submission
Extraordinary Use Supplemental New Drug Submission
Good Manufacturing Practices
International Council for Harmonisation
International Generic Drug Regulators Programme
Investigational New Drug
International Non-proprietary Name
Letter of Access
Master File
Notifiable Change
New Drug Submission
New Drug Submission with flexibilities for designated COVID-19 drugs
Natural Health Product
Natural and Non-prescription Health Products Directorate
Notice of Compliance
No Objection Letter
Notice of Non-compliance
Not Satisfactory Notice
Post-authorization Division 1 Change
Post-authorization Division 1 Change for Biologics
Pharmaceutical Drugs Directorate
Portable Document Format
Quality Overall Summary
Supplemental Abbreviated New Drug Submission
Supplemental New Drug Submission
Extensible Markup Language
Yearly Biologic Product Report

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