• Grid Analysis for Simplified Supplier Selection

    12 November, 2013 Jennifer Stepniowski, Communications Director, Pro QC International

    The selection of a new supplier can be an arduous process, and the importance of the decision is inarguable.  Changing suppliers when continuous improvement recommendations fail to succeed most surely will result in high switching costs.  Ultimately, the decision is worth careful evaluation, which makes a grid analysis a useful and easy tool to use.

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  • Avoiding the Silo Effect: The Importance of Communication in Clinical Trials

    12 November, 2013 Rebecca York, Senior Clinical Research Associate, PPD

    As clinical research professionals, we rely on the adage, “If it wasn’t documented, it wasn’t done.” This simple concept guides our every effort in creating solid, reproducible scientific progress. However, without effective communication between stakeholders in clinical trials, research sites are doomed to repeat the same (well-documented) mistakes, and study progress can be hindered, shrouded in a fog of confusion and misunderstanding. With that in mind, perhaps the time has come for an addendum: “If it wasn’t documented, it wasn’t done – but if it wasn’t communicated, it can’t be corrected!” The flow of communication, from investigative sites through monitors to clients (study sponsors) and to regulatory authorities, must be clearly defined and maintained in order to assure the success of a trial.

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  • MasterControl Electronic Quality Management Software Solutions Benefit a Wide Range of Industries

    4 November, 2013 James Jardine

    For more than two decades MasterControl software has made it possible for hundreds of companies in an extensive array of industries across the globe to improve quality processes and get products to market more quickly. Companies doing business in regulatory environments in particular use MasterControl solutions to ensure sustained compliance and stay ahead of competitors.

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  • Three Common Issues Involving Clinical Trials

    24 October, 2013 Cindy Fazzi, Marketing Communications Specialist, MasterControl Inc.

    In clinical research, there are two major regulatory concerns: patient safety and data integrity. While there are many possible reasons for regulators to conduct an inspection during a clinical trial, most of the time, it’s to verify these two things and to ensure that the research is being conducted according to the study protocol and GCP regulations.

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  • Developing a Winning FDA Strategy for Clinical Drug Development

    8 October, 2013 Robert L. Kunka, Ph.D., The Kunka Group, Inc.

    The idea of interacting with the FDA is sometimes mysterious and unsettling for a pharmaceutical company. The average person finds it difficult to work with a large organization that they don’t understand. For example, large banks understand this and advertise themselves as the friendly bank that works to help “their neighbors” with buying a house. The FDA’s clients are pharmaceutical companies. Unlike banks, the FDA has significant leverage over the company because it is responsible for reviewing a company’s drug with the hope that FDA will approve it. While many companies are also large, there is no real leverage that the company has over the FDA. Thus, the company is at a distinct unsettling disadvantage. However, both parties have the common desire to market safe and effective drug products. Where the rubber hits the road is that the two parties need to agree on what is needed to demonstrate that the drug is safe and effective.

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  • Innovation and the Quality Process

    8 October, 2013 Ken Peterson, Director of Quality and Consultation Services, MasterControl Inc.

    Thinking of new ideas and putting those ideas to practical economic use can be more of an art than a science. At times innovation sends a signal that is in opposition to quality. If we are constantly trying to solve problems and find solutions through effective investigation of failures, do we ever consider that the best solution is to ignore the past and invent the future? Those of us who have a wider view of what innovation should deliver seek entirely new approaches verses conventional problem-solving for cause. It’s not that analytical thinking is unnecessary but on occasion, a new solution unrelated to cause removal is warranted.

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  • SOP Training is Now “On-Line” But Are We Any More Compliant?

    17 September, 2013 Vivian Bringslimark, President, HPIS Consulting, Inc.

    Well, I’m told we are now more compliant with ensuring that only the most current SOP version is used for training. And yes, our Learning Management System provides us with curricula updates and “percent complete” and “percent overdue” notifications. LMSes and eDoc systems have given us efficient mechanisms to document that employees have completed their training curricula. But do they understand their procedures enough to perform them correctly back on the job? Just look at our human error deviations and training-related CAPAs. Are the numbers declining? According to an excerpt from the PDA’s Pharmaceutical Sci-Tech Discussion Group, there is “almost a 100% correlation between the percentage of read and understood SOPs and the number of compliance issues the company has.” (1) Has efficiency become the new metric for training and compliance? Using technology to read SOPs doesn’t guarantee learning transfer.

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  • Ten Points for Successful Use of TPLC Reports

    8 October, 2013 Maria Fagan, President, Regulatory & Quality Solutions LLC

    A Total Product Life Cycle (TPLC) Program ensures that quality is proactively designed into medical devices from concept to market, and during post market surveillance until device obsolescence.

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  • MasterControl.Cloud

    5 September, 2013 Victor Gill, MasterControl Inc., Senior Product Manager of Cloud Solutions

    What exactly is Cloud? Or is it, The Cloud? Is it just me, or do no two people describe it the same way? As the product manager over the Cloud initiative at MasterControl, I hear these kinds of questions all of the time. With all of the advertising, mixed messaging, technical jargon, and promises of grandeur, it’s easy to see why so many consumers are confused. At its heart, the term Cloud has been a powerful marketing turn-of-phrase that has consolidated a large mix of technologies.

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  • Review of FDA Guidance "Codevelopment of Two or More New Investigational Drugs for Use in Combination"

    14 August, 2013 Seth A. Mailhot, Special Counsel, Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP

    On June 14, 2013, FDA issued the Guidance “Codevelopment of Two or More New Investigational Drugs for Use in Combination.” The guidance discusses FDA’s recommendations for developing an entirely new combination therapy where none of the drugs to be used in combination have been previously developed. FDA notes in the guidance that the recommendations do not apply to combination therapies involving previously developed drugs, or the combination of a new drug with a previously developed drug. While codevelopment has generally been centered in oncology and infectious disease, FDA’s guidance is intended to address codevelopment from a high-level, making it applicable to other diseases.

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  • Elements of Effective Quality Agreements

    14 August, 2013 Steven Sharf, President and Principal Consultant, GMP Concepts

    Many GxP professionals are already familiar with the expectation of FDA and the requirement in the EU to have quality agreements with third parties and suppliers. Throughout this article, I will define what a quality agreement is, when one is needed, the 24 basics that factor into this critical document, and some things to avoid when drafting one. Finally, I will discuss alternate means of communicating quality expectations when a supplier will not agree to enter into a full quality agreement.

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  • Building a Quality Plan for Implementing EN ISO 14971:2012

    14 August, 2013 Robert Packard, Regulatory Consultant, MedicalDeviceAcademy.com

    On May 16 of 2012, the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) approved a revised European National Standard for medical device risk management: EN ISO 14971:2012. There were no changes to the main body of the Standard (i.e. – Clauses 1 through 9). Instead, the revised European National (EN) version identifies seven deviations in Annex ZA, ZB, and ZC with respect to the intent of the MDD, the AIMD, and IVDD respectively. Those seven deviations are:

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  • Effective Nonconformance Management Key to FDA and ISO Compliance

    13 April, 2017 Jason Clegg, Marketing Director, MasterControl, Inc.

    Note: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of his/her employer, GxP Lifeline, its editor or MasterControl, Inc.

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  • Quality Audit - A Tool for Continuous Improvement and Compliance

    18 April, 2017 Jason Clegg, Marketing Director, MasterControl, Inc.

    The word "audit," in the broadest sense, refers to a variety of activities. It may refer to an accounting firm examining the financial statements of a public corporation, or a consultant checking the process of lid sealant dispensing in a semiconductor package assembly line. It may even refer to a mystery shopper testing the patience of sales clerks in an upscale department store.

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  • How Auditing Supports Supply Chain Management

    6 October, 2010 Dennis R. Arter, FASQ, CQA

    There are four parts of supply-chain management:

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  • Process Validation for Medical Devices

    17 April, 2017 Dan O'Leary, President, Ombu Enterprises, LLC

    Process validation is an essential part of medical device manufacturing but doesn't always receive the attention it deserves (and requires). The regulations provide the requirements (FDA QSR 820.75 and ISO 13485 7.5.2), but often manufacturers don't completely understand them and don't fully implement them. The consequences can be audit findings from a Notified Body or Inspectional Observations on an FDA 483.

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  • Change Control - Continuous Quality Improvement in FDA and ISO Environments

    15 November, 2010 Jason Clegg, Marketing Director, MasterControl, Inc.

    Globalization of the marketplace has greatly intensified competition and has increased the pressure on manufacturers to develop innovative, high-quality products faster and at a lower cost. To stay competitive, manufacturers must be quick to meet customer demands and even quicker in adapting to changing market conditions.

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  • Good Clinical Practices and the Top Five GCP Violations in a Clinical Study

    18 April, 2017 Michelle Sceppa, Principal at MSceppa Consulting

    Clinical trials are conducted to allow safety and efficacy data to be collected for health interventions (e.g., drugs, biologics, devices, therapy protocols). These trials can only take place once satisfactory information has been gathered on the quality of the non-clinical safety. The regulations that provide a platform for the quality of the data are Good Clinical Practices or GCPs.

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  • Stay Ahead of the FDA: Process Mapping, Gap Analysis and SOP Review

    18 April, 2017 Kerry Potter, Founder and President of Summit Consulting, Inc.

    What happens when the FDA arrives at your manufacturing facility? Your first reaction may be panic or perhaps regret for not having solved any wayward problems the inspection team will surely now find. But it does not have to be that way. In fact, by preparing in advance and using the right tools, a firm should be able to greet the FDA by saying, "Excellent. Everyone knows what to do. Let's get right to it." That is the exact attitude companies need to have to successfully pass any inspection.

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  • The 5 'W's of Quality Agreements

    18 April, 2017 Arvilla Trag, ASQ Certified Quality Auditor, Midwest Consulting Services, Inc.

    What is a Quality Agreement, and what should be included?

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