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    Process Validation: Life Cycle Approach Beats Crossing Your Fingers

    f you do something right three times, you should be able to do it that way always. If this is your approach to process validation, Hal Baseman, chief operations officer at ValSource LLC, begs to differ. Baseman shared some insights about improving process validation at the PDA/FDA Joint Regulatory Conference in Washington D.C., Sept. 12-14.

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  • Failure of Management with Executive Responsibility

    For the second time in three weeks, Dr. D was able to quickly locate another rarely cited Form 483 observation: The failure of management with executive responsibility to actually review the quality management system they have been entrusted with managing. Now granted, from time-to-time it becomes a challenging task for the management representative to circle the wagons and corral all of the management-types into the executive conference room for a meeting focused on the performance of the quality management system (QMS).

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  • SOP Revision SWAT-Style

    SOP revision. It falls somewhere between income tax prep and colonoscopy prep on the likability scale. So why would you want to read about it? Maybe you’re hoping someone’s figured out a way to make the process more efficient and less painful. Maybe we have.

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    Don’t Trip over These 9 Document Control Pitfalls

    Document control issues are among the most commonly cited observations in FDA Form 483s and warning letters. In the medical device sector alone, document control-related issues represented 10 percent of Form 483 observations and 8 percent of warning letters in 2014(1).

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    Coming Soon to a Pharma Inspection Near You: The Program Alignment Group (PAG) Plan

    There have been at least four FDA initiatives, in the works for some time that, in the coming years, will change the way pharmaceutical (and indeed all FDA) inspections are conducted. We think you should know about these initiatives, and how they are likely to affect the way companies prepare for, and deal with, FDA inspections. Today, we are going to discuss the Program Alignment Group (PAG) plan, arguably the least controversial of the four. Over the next few weeks we will discuss the other three programs that are likely to dramatically affect the inspection landscape.

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  • The Case for Quality: Working with Stakeholders to Improve the Safety of Medical Devices for Patients

    Across FDA, we are devoting tremendous effort, in collaboration with a variety of stakeholders, toward activities that drive–and increase–product and manufacturing quality. We believe quality can be quantified through close attention to data and consistent review and analysis of that data, which in turn can promote the practice and culture of quality within firms.

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  • CLIA vs QSR (What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You)

    Many industries including automotive manufacturers, NASA, information technology systems, and countless others suggest or even require implementation of a Quality Management System (QMS) in order to ensure products are manufactured to a high quality standard. For products like medical devices, QM systems ensure that products are not only of a high quality, or deemed “effective” to perform as they are intended, but are also safe for their intended use.

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  • Big Changes for ICH GCP & EU Regulations

    The most substantial change to international guidelines in 20 years occurred earlier this year when the ICH* issued a draft addendum to its GCP guidelines, ICH E6(R2).

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    5 Lessons I Learned from a Successful ISO 9001:2015 Certification Audit

    The publication of ISO 9001:2015 in September generated much anxiety among companies fearing a bumpy transition to the new and significantly changed international standard. Admittedly, we at MasterControl were not immune to those worries.

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    Training Effectiveness – A Quality by Design Approach

    In the role of a consultant, you have the benefit of seeing what works well across your client base and their shared common pain points. Because of this perspective, I’m often invited onto a project to provide guidance on best practices and practical advice on how to avoid the common pain points.

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  • How Donald Trump and/or Hillary Clinton Would “CAPA the USA” if Elected in 2016

    Although a long list of candidates make up the list of “eligibles” for the 2016 Presidential election, it’s fairly apparent that the two most conspicuous candidates are, respectively, Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump. These two candidates, though liked and disliked by various population pockets across the United States, have certainly managed to make names for themselves within their various areas of expertise.

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  • 6 Steps to Simplify Software Validation

    Validation is one of the most time-consuming and resource-intensive activities when implementing eQMS software in a regulated environment, often delaying implementation and an organization’s ability to go live with new software.

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  • Basics: Documenting a Real QMS

    Using ISO  parlance, a management system is designed to achieve objectives.   In the case of a quality management system (QMS), the most basic objective is to succeed by satisfying customers.  A QMS is a system designed to satisfy customers by providing them with timely, quality products and services.

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  • How to Address the Top 3 Supplier Management Issues

    Medical device manufacturers rely on suppliers for many things. Choosing the right vendors and managing them effectively can increase a manufacturer’s efficiency—in terms of time, cost, and quality. Unfortunately, suppliers can also sometimes put their clients in hot water when their quality standards are below par.

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  • Medical Device Development: Thinking Globally, Acting Locally

    The global healthcare and healthcare service market will maintain steady growth due in large part to an aging population that is living longer and to improved healthcare services in emerging markets that include China, Brazil, India, Japan, Israel, and South Korea, among others. It is interesting to note that countertrends seem to be developing in the medical device space; for example, hospital utilization of medical devices has slowed significantly, reimbursements continue to tighten, and there was a first-time global decrease (5%) in US premarket approvals (PMAs) in 2012, a trend that continued into 2013. There were also fluctuations in investor healthcare spending across 2012, drops in mergers & acquisitions deal value and deal counts, and a device tax that is adding to the squeeze.

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  • Partnering with Quality Professionals Worldwide

    MasterControl has grown our reach significantly over the last 10 years—from a small provider of a narrowly focused document control product to one of the largest organizations in the world focused on helping quality and compliance professionals achieve their purpose. I have met with many of the world’s top quality professionals over the past 10 years and I have been amazed by their devotion and commitment. I have recently found myself asking the question: What drives these dedicated people? Why are they so passionate about their jobs? I believe I have found the answer and it has had a strong effect on how I view MasterControl’s mission.

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  • How Can You Measure the Return on Your QMS Investment?

    Every provider of electronic quality management systems claims its product will give you a significant return on your investment. But how can this ROI be truly measured? To find out, MasterControl recently surveyed customers to learn more about their levels of waste and efficiency before and after implementation of MasterControl's quality management system (QMS). Some of the results of the survey are compiled here in an informative infographic.

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  • Changing Supplier Controls Requirements

    Companies that choose to produce medical products come under the regulatory laws of the countries in which they market their products. For the U.S., this falls under the purview of the U.S. FDA, with its CGMPs, “Current [best practices] Good Manufacturing Practices”, as codified in 21 CFR 4, Combination Products, 21 CFR 111, Dietary Supplements, 21 CFR 211, Pharmaceuticals, and 21 CFR 820, Medical Devices, and others.

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    Collaboration is More Than Just a Buzzword in Regulated Environments

    Each year, there seems to be a buzzword that pervades the business community. This year, I recall hearing the word “collaboration” more than ever. For most organizations, the word is synonymous with “participate.”

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    10 Guidelines for Writing Superior SOPs

    Will you be prepared when tasked to write a standard operating procedure (SOP)? Writing SOPs--- shorthand for a written document that helps ensure accuracy and repeatability when executing a task---is an integral part of assembling a successful quality system. When poorly written, they are of limited value.  Using the following 10 guidelines, you can create a successful SOP document.

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