• Is Compliance an Obstacle to Quality?

    15 September, 2016 Daniel Matlis, Founder and President, Axendi

    Can you distribute poor quality products while complying with regulatory requirements? Sure, after all, you can conduct a recall of poor quality products in compliance with all applicable regulations.

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  • Multipurpose Tool vs. Best-of-Breed Platform: How to Tell the Difference

    15 September, 2015 Paul Sanderson, Solutions Consultants Group Lead

    When we invest in tools, we naturally want the most bang for our buck. Who hasn’t tried to use a screwdriver as a pry bar or a pair of pliers for loosening a bolt when a properly sized wrench would be more appropriate?

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  • "Hacking" Quality

    13 September, 2016 Peter Holtmann, President & CEO, Exemplar Global Inc.

    Continuing my theme of the future of quality, the ability to see the future could come through some interesting lenses—hacking, for instance.

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  • Free E-Book Depicts a Decade of Change in Life Science Regulatory Compliance

    6 September, 2016 Cindy Fazzi, Staff Writer

    Which came first, the chicken or the egg? This dilemma applies to automation and regulatory compliance. Did the FDA issue 21 CFR Part 11 to encourage technology use? Or did life science companies use technology first—prompting the FDA to develop corresponding regulations?

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  • Labor Day by the Numbers: Life Sciences & STEM Edition

    1 September, 2016 David Butcher, Staff Writer

    Did you know that science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) job opportunities in the United States are expected to grow 17 percent by 2018? Or that 39 percent of hiring managers believe science and clinical workers are in short supply?

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  • UDI: When the Rule is Not Enough

    30 August, 2016 MasterControl

    With less than two months to go before the UDI compliance date for Class II devices, on July 26, 2016, FDA issued a draft guidance related to what would seem to be the most basic of concepts: the form and content of the UDI. More specifically, the draft guidance states that its intent is to “clarify” for industry and FDA-accredited issuing agencies the form and content of the UDI, and to “better ensure the UDIs developed under systems for the issuance of UDIs are in compliance with” the UDI rule.

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  • 10 Things I Wish I’d Known Before Writing my FDA Response Letter

    25 August, 2016 Lisa Weeks

    If you’ve ever received a 483 or warning letter, as I have, you know the chaos that can ensue. The clock is ticking; the FDA requires a response to most compliance notices within 15 business days!

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  • If Taylor Swift Were Your FDA Auditor or How to Present Yourself and Your Company During an FDA Audit

    23 August, 2016 by Marci Crane, Localization Manager, MasterControl, Inc.

    The current data show that an adult is likely to change employment at least a few times during his or her lifetime. Taylor Swift, on the contrary, is one of the rare individuals who most likely will never have to remake her career. However, surprises do happen, and would it be so far-fetched to imagine that at some point in the near future Taylor might take up auditing? And not just any auditing, but auditing for the FDA?

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  • Mayday! Mayday! These "Unknown Unknowns" Can Torpedo Your QMS

    19 August, 2016 by Walt Murray; CLA, CSSMBB ARC Experts

    In psychology, people talk about knowledge and learning in terms of four levels: what we know, what we think we know, what we know we don’t know, and what we don’t know we don’t know. In the life sciences, the fourth level, what we don’t know we don’t know (or unknown unknowns, for short), carries the most risk in quality and compliance. If you are in a leadership position, the risks are even higher. After all, how can you provide the appropriate resources or strategic direction while operating in a knowledge void?

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  • Why Russia Is an Attractive Market for Clinical Trials

    16 August, 2016 MasterControl

    When you think of countries as candidates for clinical trials, which ones come to mind? North America, Great Britain, France?

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  • QA is Like Pro Soccer and 4 Other Things You Might Not Know About QA

    11 August, 2016 Beth Pedersen

    1979 was a pretty momentous year. The Sony Walkman made its debut, Michael Jackson released his breakthrough solo album, “Off the Wall,” and Margaret Thatcher became the first woman in history to be elected as the British prime minister (more on Thatcher in a minute). But anyone who works in quality will remember 1979 for another reason altogether: the introduction of the term “quality assurance” (QA) in FDA’s 21 CFR Part 58 (1), also recognized as the first Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) regulation.

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  • Leverage the Power of SOPs

    4 August, 2016 Cindy Fazzi, Staff Writer

    Most companies establish standard operating procedures for compliance purposes, but that’s just the start and it doesn’t leverage the power of SOPs, according to Lillian Erickson, MasterControl’s global quality manager, in a recently published article in Fleet Maintenance magazine.

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  • The Most Treacherous Evil Villains and the Software They Won’t Let You Buy!

    2 August, 2016 MasterControl

    Villains, like their heroic counterparts, have interesting and complex pasts. Their complexity can be strange at times and is often hard to comprehend. After all, they generally want to kill pretty much every living creature and that can be somewhat uncomfortable for “normal” humans to process. However, taking a look at a villain’s back story and his recurring behavior can help average human beings understand why villains are constantly trying to destroy love, joy, beauty and oh yes, that professional software you’re about to purchase.

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  • 3 Areas of Focus When Responding to FDA Inspection Findings

    28 July, 2016 David Butcher, Staff Writer

    When an FDA investigator issues a Form 483 after inspecting your facility, the cited observations should be addressed in writing to the FDA within 15 days, even if the initial response will be preliminary. To prepare an appropriate response to the audit findings and get on the necessary path to mitigate and resolve the identified issues, you’ll want to focus on at least three key areas, according to ARC Experts President and CEO Walt Murray.

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  • A Warehouse Love Song

    26 July, 2016 Laurie Meehan, Social Media Manager, Polaris Compliance Consultants, Inc.

    Storing stuff doesn’t sound like it should be difficult, but complying with FDA’s detailed regulations for warehousing pharmaceuticals can be. To start, your warehouse has to be clean and pest-free. Dirt, insects, lubricants, or other agents could compromise the packaging or prevent labels from adhering. Your facility also needs proper drainage, ventilation, adequate space, and work lighting. (Is your warehouse susceptible to flooding? Do cramped or dark conditions increase the likelihood of dangerous product mix-ups?) You also have to make sure your product is not exposed to more heat, cold, humidity, or light than stability testing recommends. (Do you have moisture and temperature sensors throughout? Is the heat tunnel you use for sealing shrink wrap too hot? Do you have backup refrigeration? Have all of these devices been cleaned, serviced, inspected, and calibrated?) And what are your procedures if you find any safety threshold has been exceeded? Are your people adequately trained?

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  • The Proper Role of the FDA in the 21st Century

    21 July, 2016 Dr. Joseph Gulfo, Executive Director, Rothman Institute of Innovation & Entrepreneurship

    The current medical marketplace is vastly different from the marketplace that existed when the basic elements of Food and Drug Administration law were passed. Despite rapidly advancing technology and patients’ increasing desire to try new drugs and devices, the FDA has strayed significantly from the statutorily defined safety and effectiveness standards for drug approvals. The FDA now very often demands proof of clinical utility, including survival and disease outcomes, as a requirement for premarket approval. But hard proof of clinical utility is elusive, even for drugs that are clearly shown to be safe and effective as labeled. Rather than blocking safe and effective drugs on such grounds, we should allow physicians and patients to make outcome-oriented decisions, and rely on the medical marketplace to drive physician adoption of safe and effective drugs that prove to have great clinical utility in real-world settings.

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  • Failure of Management with Executive Responsibility

    19 July, 2016 Dr. Christopher Joseph Devine, President, Devine Guidance International Inc

    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). However, every Chief Jailable Officer (CJO) clearly understands the ramifications associated with not complying with the FDA’s sacred text, the quality system regulation (QSR). In fact, not being able to share at least documented evidence that a management review has occurred (agenda and sign-in sheet) is just not excusable. Heck, the agency even gives a ton of wiggle room with the “planned intervals” requirement, so holding at least one review annually should be a piece of cake. Right? Well, based on the performance of the device establishment targeted in this week’s guidance, the answer is a big “evidently not!” As many of the doctor’s friends and readers know, Dr. D is somewhat of a wisenheimer (look-it-up). However, when it comes entertaining the FDA during one of their friendly visits for a cup of coffee and an inspection, it is always Game On! Enjoy.

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  • Your Suppliers’ Risk Is Your Risk

    14 July, 2016 By Carrie Mantey

    In today’s day and age, in which outsourcing can be the norm, and not only major global corporations stretch across the globe, but also potentially mid-market and mom-and-pop suppliers, supply chains are no longer insulated from external or environmental risk events. These risks can range from a natural disaster, such as the Japan earthquake and tsunami, to lax safety policies, in the case of the Bangladesh garment factory collapse, to the regular ebb and flow of business, including when a supplier is acquired or goes out of business. These risks are not new to the supply chain, but as the supply chain grows more complex, so do the risks to supply, especially when visibility is blurred, suppliers are far-flung and there is no backup plan in sight.

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  • Aligning ISO 13485:2016 With Additional Standards and Regulations

    13 July, 2016 Marci Crane, Localization Manager, MasterControl

    MedTech Intelligence, a content hub for the medical device industry, provides a continuous stream of new business analysis, technological news, trend summaries, regulations, expert opinions and networking opportunities to medical device professionals. MedTech Intelligence will host the upcoming 13485:2016 conference on July 28-29, 2016 at Dentons, 1900 K Street NW, Washington D.C.

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  • What Will Quality Look Like in 20 Years?

    12 July, 2016 Peter J. Holtmann, President and CEO, Exemplar Global

    To look to the future, the quality profession is revisiting its roots. The question is, “Where is the next generation to help the profession look ahead?” Or, as I like to think of it, “What’s the emoticon for quality?”

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