A Drug Master File (DMF) is a submission to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that may be used to provide confidential detailed information about facilities, processes, or articles used in the manufacturing, processing, packaging, and storing of one or more human drugs. The submission of a DMF is not required by law or FDA regulation. A DMF is submitted solely at the discretion of the holder. The information contained in the DMF may be used to support an Investigational New Drug Application (IND), a New Drug Application (NDA), an Abbreviated New Drug Application (ANDA), another DMF, an Export Application, or amendments and supplements to any of these.
A DMF is NOT a substitute for an IND (Investigational New Drug), NDA (New Drug Application), ANDA (Abbreviated New Drug Application) or Export Application. It is not approved or disapproved. Technical contents of a DMF are reviewed only in connection with the review of an IND, NDA, ANDA, or an Export Application.
This guideline does not impose mandatory requirements (21 CFR 10.90(b)). It does, however, offer guidance on acceptable approaches to meeting regulatory requirements. Different approaches may be followed, but the applicant is encouraged to discuss significant variations in advance with FDA reviewers to preclude spending time and effort in preparing a submission that FDA may later determine to be unacceptable.
Drug Master Files are provided for in 21 CFR 314.420. This guideline is intended to provide DMF holders with procedures acceptable to the agency for preparing and submitting a DMF. The guideline discusses types of DMF’s, the information needed in each type, the format of submissions to a DMF, the administrative procedures governing review of DMF’s, and the obligations of the DMF holder.
DMF’s are generally created to allow a party other than the holder of the DMF to reference material without disclosing to that party the contents of the file. When an applicant references its own material, the applicant should reference the information contained in its own IND, NDA, or ANDA directly rather than establishing a new DMF.
DMF’s are submitted in an optional manner and the information can be used to support an Investigational New Drug Application (IND), a New Drug Application (NDA), an Abbreviated New Drug Application (ANDA), another DMF or an Export Application. There are five types of DMF according to the information contained, and each DMF should contain only one type of information.