• 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?

    Full story
  • 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.

    Full story
  • 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.

    Full story
  • 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.

    Full story
  • 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.

    Full story
  • 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?”

    Full story
  • From Spectacular to Sensible: How Cost Control is Driving Innovation in the Medical Device Industry

    7 July, 2016 Mickey Garcia, Segment Manager, Medical Devices, MasterControl

    In the old world, small incremental improvements to medical products could mean big profits if you could get them to market first. In other words, the business drivers in the medical device industry typically included evolutionary innovations in product performance and speed to market. Cost savings rarely, if ever, came into play. However, in today’s brave new health care world, payers are increasingly scrutinizing the precise gains in the outcomes from an improved product.

    Full story
  • Clinical Trial Recruitment Planning: FDA and Others Provide Tips and Tools

    5 July, 2016 Mukesh Kumar, Adjunct Assistant Professor, Clinical Research and Leadership at George Washington University

    Challenges in recruiting patients are the most common reason for delays and increasing costs of clinical trials. This week (1) the Clinical Trial Transformation Initiative (CTTI), a joint program between FDA, Duke University and industry representatives, announced recommendations for creating robust recruitment plans for clinical trials taking into consideration the most common challenges and potential solutions. CTTI also released a set of four tools to help with the recruitment planning. These recommendations are based on a survey of the most common reasons trials fail to recruit adequate number of participants and suggest actionable solutions.

    Full story
  • MasterControl's Murray Defines Risk---and What It Isn't

    29 June, 2016 Marci Crane, Localization Manager, MasterControl

    For medical manufacturing professionals, the MD&M conferences and exhibits are some of the most valuable professional networking tools available. At MD&M East, medical manufacturing professionals, from the eastern United States and from areas spread across the world, meet together with regulatory, quality, compliance, and manufacturing experts to glean and share knowledge. Tracks covered over the course of the most recent conference, held June 13.-15, 2016, focused on “Market Value and Consumer Health, New Technologies, Big Data, and Mobile Product Risk.”

    Full story
  • Thermo Fisher Unit Thrives Thanks to Streamlined Document Management

    28 June, 2016 James Jardine, Marketing Communications, MasterControl Inc.

    Call it the curse of success: as Unity Lab Services—a business unit of Thermo Fisher—flourished, the already massive amount of vital documentation that required tracking, continual updating and maintenance became exponentially larger and more difficult to manage. For a company that has obtained its leading edge by providing customers with a single source for integrated lab services, support and supply management, the very notion of out-of-control documents and outdated, rogue work instructions spelled potential disaster.

    Full story
  • MasterControl’s Walt Murray Emphasizes “Establishing Design Parameters” at INTERPHEX 2016

    24 June, 2016 Marci Crane, Localization Manager, MasterControl

    INTERPHEX, one of the largest trade shows and combined fairs and exhibitions for the pharmaceutical, biosciences, biotechnology, medical device, and biomedical engineering industries was held last March at the Javits Center in New York, New York. There are 10,000 participants expected every year for INTERPHEX and 2016 was no exception.

    Full story
  • What, No Internal Audits?

    21 June, 2016 Dr. Christopher Joseph Devine, President Devine Guidance International

    For the aerospace, defense, automotive, pharmaceutical or medical device industries, it really makes no difference when it comes to auditing the effectiveness of the quality management system (QMS): An established auditing program is a fundamental requirement. ISO 9001, ISO 13485, AS 9100, and the primary topic of most of Dr. D’s rants 21 CFR, Part 820 compliance, all have elements mandating that quality audits be performed. So the doctor always finds it quite disturbing when a device establishment fails to comprehend the importance of creating an audit schedule and actually performing the audits.

    Full story
  • Six Steps to Qualifying Suppliers

    16 June, 2016 by Robert Packard, Packard Consulting

    Imagine that you are a QA consultant. Last night you wrote a blog about the three tools needed to qualify suppliers. Today you are auditing a supplier, and have just complimented the purchasing manager on his quality program. During lunch, Kim, the general manager, says, “Michael was just showing me the blog you wrote about how to qualify suppliers. I was confused—your blog seemed to say that we are doing everything wrong, but you just told us that our supplier quality program looks great.”

    Full story
  • The Dude Abides! 5 Quotes from “The Big Lebowski” that Apply to Quality

    14 June, 2016 Cindy Fazzi, Staff Writer

    “The Big Lebowski” never fails to make me laugh. The 1998 cult classic, starring the indefatigable Jeff Bridges, features some of the most quotable lines in film. Saying them is enough to break the ice among strangers at a party. In my family, the quotes are inside jokes that never grow old.

    Full story
  • Revision is Ongoing for ISO 22000 on Food Safety Management

    9 June, 2016 Sandrine Tranchard, Communication Officer for the International Organization for Standardization

    The consequences of unsafe food can be devastating, both for consumers and businesses worldwide. With many of today’s food products repeatedly travelling across national boundaries, ISO 22000 is more essential than ever to the safety of the global food supply chain. Now the standard is being substantially revised to ensure it stays relevant to modern needs.

    Full story
  • 2016 Masters Conference in Amsterdam Sheds Inspiring Light on Quality

    7 June, 2016 Beth Pedersen, Marketing Communications, MasterControl

    Quality, regulatory, IT and management professionals across pharmaceutical, medical device, biotech and manufacturing came together for two days of learning and networking last month in the friendly host city of Amsterdam. Now in its sixth year, MasterControl’s annual Masters Conference, held 11-12 May, offered the user community in Europe a chance to rub shoulders with industry experts, exchange knowledge and experiences with others in the same profession, and receive one-on-one consulting from the MasterControl team. From humorous to emotional and everything in between, the wide variety of presentation topics showed just how diverse and impactful the field of quality can be.

    Full story
  • Kaizen Means You Care

    2 June, 2016 Dan Markovitz, Markovitz Consulting

    I’m shepherding this company along its lean journey, and we’ve started by asking people to simply fix what bugs them. We’re not making people sit through lots of classes, we’re not doing 5S, we’re not trying to “move the needle” on the business—we’re just trying to get people to see that the way things were yesterday isn’t the way they have to be today. We want people to know that they have the power to make things better and easier for themselves. We often forget that’s the real first step in establishing a culture of kaizen—just knowing that you’re allowed to improve things.

    Full story
  • How to Tell if Your Supplier’s Quality System Is Failing

    31 May, 2016 by David R. Butcher, Marketing Communications, MasterControl

    A complex global supply chain combined with strict quality and compliance requirements on upstream activities is compounding manufacturers’ efforts to ensure they are sourcing quality materials for their products. For life sciences companies, where precision is critical, the slightest variation in materials sourced, equipment used or processes followed can leave a path of disaster in its wake – from nonconforming materials and out-of-specification products to production downtime and product recalls.

    Full story
  • Top 5 Medical Device Trends of 2016

    26 May, 2016 Lisa Weeks, Marketing Communications, MasterControl

    Ben Franklin said, “When you’re finished changing, you’re finished.” That’s advice medical device makers can take to heart because 2016 really is shaping up to be a year of unprecedented industry change. Non-traditional medical device companies, such as Google and Apple, are entering the space, disrupting the business models of major industry players.

    Full story
  • Accelerate Time-to-Market by Improving Process Validation

    24 May, 2016 James Jardine, Marketing Communications, MasterControl

    Process validation, a general term for critical disciplines such as risk mitigation/management, quality assurance and change management, is something that far too many life science manufacturers only worry about when a product is just about to go to market. That late in the game, though, it can be hard to produce the required and relevant information that has accumulated during years of product development. In a recent article in PharmTech titled “Reducing the Documentation Burden in Process Validation,” Patricia Santos-Serrao, RAC, of MasterControl explains how regulatory agencies define process validation as it pertains to the collection and evaluation of data from the process design stage all the way through to commercial production.

    Full story