Skip To The Main Content

PDA Glossary

PDA Glossary of Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology Terminology

PDA Technical Reports are highly valued membership benefits because they offer expert guidance and opinions on important scientific and regulatory topics and are used as essential references by industry and regulatory authorities around the world. These reports include terms which explain the material and enhance the reader’s understanding.

The database presented here includes the glossary terms from all current technical reports. The database is searchable by keyword, topic, or by technical report. Each definition provided includes a link to the source technical report within the PDA Technical Report Portal.

Browse Terms by Title


Browse Terms by TR #

  • Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA)

    A method of assessing and evaluating risk. (TR44)

    A systematic method for identifying, analyzing, prioritizing and documenting potential failure modes, their effects on system, product and process performance, and the possible causes of failure in order to prevent defects from occurring. (TR54) (TR54-2) (TR54-3) (TR54-4) (TR74) (TR54-5)

    A tool for analyzing processes or systems to evaluate all operating steps in order to identify and assess the risk associated with any potential failures. (TR65)

    An analytical technique that results in a rankordered list of concerns to take action on. (TR72)

  • Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS)

    Information provided with chemicals and other materials intended to provide workers and emergency personnel with procedures for handling or working with that substance in a safe manner. Includes information such as physical data (melting point, boiling point, flash point, etc.), toxicity, health effects, first aid, reactivity, storage, disposal, protective equipment, and spill-handling procedures. (TR65)

  • Planning Bill of Materials (BOM)

    A complete list of the raw material (chemicals, media, powders, resin, etc.) and consumables/components (filters, bags, tubing, containers, etc.) that are required to manufacture the product. (TR65)

  • Process Flow Diagram (PFD)

    A document, typically prepared by R&D, that describes the intended manufacturing process. The PFD includes all relevant information for the operation of the manufacturing process, organized by unit operation. The PFD serves as the source document for the initial development of the master production records and is locked down once development has determined that the process can be controlled. (TR65)

  • Receiving Unit (RU)

    Term for the internal or external recipient or site where the technology is being transferred to. (TR65)

  • Sending Unit (SU)

    Term for the internal or external source or originator site of the technology to be transferred. (TR65)

  • Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)

    A hierarchical and incremental decomposition of a project into phases, deliverables, and work packages; commonly a tree structure that shows a subdivision of effort required to achieve an objective. (TR65)