• 3 Common Cybersecurity Mistakes in Pharma (and How to Avoid Them)

    17 June, 2014 by Jim King, Senior VP of Technical Support & Infrastructure, MasterControl Inc.

    Due to the ever-rising position of information as a valuable commodity, organizations must take steps to protect their data. For pharma and life sciences companies, the question is not if their digital data will be compromised, but when. Here are three common security mistakes made by enterprises and ways to avoid those mistakes by focusing on employee behavior.

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  • Creating a Global Regulatory Plan

    24 June, 2014 by Cheryl Wagoner, Wagoner Consulting LLC

    Having and maintaining strong global regulatory strategy and plans can help your business not only stay in compliance but can be an integral part of corporate market growth strategies. How many of us have jumped into a new market before fully understanding the regulatory requirements and the potential impact of those requirements? If you have, you are not alone. Mapping the requirements as part of your strategic planning may help you identify a great new market or help you avoid a costly mistake.

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  • Changes to China’s Medical Device Law Take Effect This Month; Here’s What You Need to Know.

    26 June, 2014 by Lisa Weeks, Marketing Communications, MasterControl

    On March 31, 2014, the Chinese State Council unveiled its amended “Regulations for the Supervisions and Administration of Medical Devices,” aka State Council Decree No. 650. The amended decree, which went into effect on June 1, 2014, will be enforced by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s counterpart in China, the China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA), formerly known as the State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA). While many industry observers have characterized the CFDA as being unnecessarily complicated and intentionally ambiguous, the modernization of its fourteen-year-old medical device law suggests that Chinese regulators are finally making strides to facilitate the device approval process, while simultaneously cracking down on overpricing and corporate malpractice. In this post, we’ll compare the updated decree to the original and discuss how the new regulations will impact manufacturers hoping to break into China’s lucrative medical device market.

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  • Listening and Being Heard are Important to Regulated Companies

    3 July, 2014 by Brian Curran, Senior Vice President, Product Management and Strategy, MasterControl Inc.

    If you’re wondering why your company should listen to your customers, or why as a customer you should be heard, just think of Twitter. Twitter and hashtags seem synonymous. But hashtags didn’t exist until a user suggested it in 2007. It took two years before Twitter, which was founded in 2006, started hyperlinking hashtags.

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  • How to Conduct Better Effectiveness Checks and Management Reviews within Your CAPA Process

    24 July, 2014 by Lisa Weeks, Marketing Communications, MasterControl

    In the final segment of a three-part QEM/CAPA webinar series, quality expert Ken Peterson discusses the importance of effectiveness checks within the CAPA process. He also explains the difference between process verification and process validation, and why knowing which process to use (and when to use it) is paramount to a successful CAPA methodology. Peterson closes the webinar by summarizing the current models and best practices being used in management review, data collection, and charting to enhance CAPA decision making in all areas of your business. This is a summary of that discussion. If you wish to view the webinar in its entirety, please click on the link provided at the end of the post.

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  • Current Issues in Medical Device Risk Management

    29 July, 2014 by Edwin Bills, RAC Consultant

    Medical devices have been developed with some requirements for product safety since the implementation of the Medical Device Amendments of 1976 to the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.  Initially FDA required manufacturers to submit information related to safety as part of the 510(k) premarket notification process, providing comparative data on predicate devices versus the device under consideration.  In the more rigorous Premarket Approval (PMA) process, more detailed safety inform

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  • Questions All Auditors Should Ask: The Use and Misuse of Audit Checklists

    31 July, 2014 by Laurie Meehan, Polaris Compliance Consultants, Inc.

    There’s nothing wrong with using a good checklist, as long as you remember that there will always be something wrong with your checklist. It is simply not possible to develop a checklist that will get to the core of every problem, that will cover every scenario, or that will ever be any reasonable substitute for that all important question: “Why?” So how can you develop the best checklists possible and avoid relying on them too heavily?

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  • Certification: Is It Worth the Hassle?

    12 August, 2014 by Lisa Weeks, Marketing Communications, MasterControl

    In the life sciences and other regulated industries, obtaining certification in a range of international standards has become a necessity for companies hoping to access and compete in today’s global marketplace. Whether your organization is a laboratory, medical device manufacturer, or automobile maker, becoming certified by an impartial third-party accreditation body assures potential customers that you value quality and your products conform to the highest regulatory standards. This assurance can lead to tremendous marketing and business advantages. But certification can be a long and trying process.

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  • Medical Device Development: Thinking Globally, Acting Locally

    14 August, 2014 by Timothy Blair, Director, Global Business Development, NAMSA and Seth J. Goldenberg, PhD, Senior Principal Scientist, NAMSA

    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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  • Regulatory Records Primer Part 1: Decoding the Requirements for Medical Device Manufacturers

    21 August, 2014 Les Schnoll, Quality Docs, LLC

    The Quality System Regulation (QSR) is premised on the theory that the development, implementation, and maintenance of procedures designed to carry out the requirements of the regulation will assure the safety and effectiveness of medical devices. Therefore, it is easy to see the importance of the records required to document the implementation of those quality system procedures. One of the basic themes of the Quality System Inspection Technique (QSIT) (used during inspections of medical device manufacturers) is the “Establish Test.” The QSR requires many procedures to be “established” and defines “establish” as “define, document (in writing or electronically), and implement.”

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  • Regulatory Records Primer Part 2: Decoding the Requirements for Pharmaceutical Manufacturers

    26 August, 2014 Les Schnoll, Quality Docs, LLC

    In Part 1 of the Regulatory Records Primer (Decoding the Requirements for Medical Device Manufacturers), I discussed the general requirements and thought processes undertaken by the FDA with respect to regulatory records.  While the drug side has not yet “evolved” to using a quality systems approach to the regulatory requirements, the same basic process holds true.  Following is a discussion on the regulatory records required to be maintained by manufacturers of finished drug products.

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  • What You Don't Know About the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) Implementation Plan

    28 August, 2014 Peter Knauer, Senior QCC Consultant, MasterControl Inc. and Moj Eram, Regulatory Consultant

    This article discusses the implementation aspects of the new Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA), which was signed into law (Title II of Public Law 113-54) by President Obama on November, 27, 2013. The Act intends to build a comprehensive, standard electronic and interoperable system to identify and trace prescription drugs in the US.

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  • FDA Issues New Q&A On Data Integrity

    2 September, 2014 Jamie Colgin, Colgin Consulting, Inc.

    Recently FDA published a new set of seven questions and answers. Three questions cover data integrity and e-signatures. While the Q&A target GMP, there are lessons to be learned for all of us:

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  • Choosing the Right Drug Name: How to Increase Your Chances for Approval

    4 September, 2014 Susan M. Proulx, President, Med-ERRS

    The pharmaceutical industry is all too familiar with how exceedingly challenging it can be to achieve a viable trademark that is accepted by the health authorities, especially if obtaining a global mark is the end goal. Over the past few years, health authorities in several countries have been developing their proprietary name guidances. In the last six months alone, both Health Canada and the FDA released guidances pertaining to proprietary name development – Health Canada’s proprietary name guidance was finalized and FDA released its first-ever initial draft guidance on the topic of name selection and development. Industry is now curious to learn how these guidances will affect their current trademark development and selection process and their trademark’s chance of approval.

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  • The 3 Biggest Project Management Problems in the Regulated Environment

    2 October, 2014 Paul Sanderson Lead, Solutions Consultants Group, MasterControl Inc.

    Effective project management helps your company save time and money by keeping projects on time and on budget. It optimizes your resources by assigning the right people with the right skills for every project. In a regulated environment, you need all of these, plus one more crucial consideration: compliance.

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  • Why Food Makers Are Investing In Food-Safety Software

    16 October, 2014 Sam Lewis, Associate Editor, Food Online

    Throughout 2014, food makers have put forth significant efforts in pursuit of food-safety and quality-management software solutions. But why is there so much interest and effort in these systems now?

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  • Evaluating the Effectiveness of a Corporate Compliance Program: A Holistic Approach

    21 October, 2014 Brian A. Dahl Dahl, Compliance Consulting

    Now more than ever, pharmaceutical companies must not only have an effective corporate compliance program in place, but senior management and boards of directors at these companies must ensure that they evaluate the effectiveness of those programs. The best reason to evaluate the effectiveness of your compliance program is so that you know whether or not the program is managing the particular risks facing your company. If you are responsible for protecting your company from risk, shouldn’t you want to know that your compliance program is working?

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  • What Is Driving More Organizations to Plan an EQMS Adoption?

    28 October, 2014 David R. Butcher, Marketing Communications, MasterControl

    In response to increased pressure to simultaneously meet compliance, mitigate risks and improve cost savings, a growing number of organizations are taking steps to transform their quality management by adopting enterprise quality management software (EQMS). Research indicates that approximately 40 percent of companies are currently planning to implement an EQMS solution. What are the key drivers behind the rising number of companies moving toward EQMS adoption?

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  • How to Design for Compliance: Tips for Getting (and Keeping) Your New Product on the Market

    30 October, 2014 Lisa Weeks, Communications Specialist, MasterControl

    Having a great product does not guarantee success. The road from concept initiation to commercial release is a long and arduous one. Success depends upon not only understanding the new product development process, but also the FDA submission process, and the complex interplay between the two. Many companies underestimate the value of a carefully thought-out submission strategy. They focus solely on product development and treat the approval process as an afterthought. Others are so eager to get their product to market, they rush the design and testing processes and end up with a product that’s dogged by costly delays or, worse, unmarketable.

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  • Surviving ISO 9001: 2015

    4 November, 2014 Christopher Paris, VP Operations, Oxebridge Quality Resources

    The next revision of ISO 9001 is due in 2015, and the standard is being anticipated with more controversy than any previous edition. The document, now in its Draft International Standard (DIS) stage, is nearly a done deal, with very few changes likely before it progresses to its final release.

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