• 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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  • Industry Expertise Sets MasterControl Apart from Competition

    19 August, 2014 by James Jardine, Marketing Communications, MasterControl

    Over the past two decades, MasterControl has flourished to become one of the world’s foremost providers of quality management software solutions and services. But innovative technology is not the only driver behind the QMS leader’s prosperity. In fact, it is the industry experience of MasterControl’s knowledgeable personnel that is the guiding force that propels the company’s continued growth worldwide.

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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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  • 6 Best Practices for Enterprise Solutions Implementation

    9 September, 2014 Kevin Ash, Senior Vice President of Services, MasterControl

    Investing in a powerful software solution can be extraordinarily valuable to your organization, yet the effort is wasted if it is not implemented effectively. To help ensure a smooth and successful implementation process, consider these six best practices.

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  • INFOGRAPHIC: Closed-Loop Quality Management and the Cost of Inaction

    11 September, 2014 David R. Butcher, Marketing Communications, MasterControl

    In today’s global manufacturing environment, continuing to rely on outdated, siloed quality management technology comes at a cost that many regulated companies simply cannot afford, new research indicates. That is why leading manufacturers are taking quality management further, leveraging EQMS to develop closed-loop quality processes that track quality throughout the value chain.

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  • Communicating Priorities to Your Employees

    16 September, 2014 Curt Porritt, SVP, Marketing, MasterControl Inc.

    Needless to say, if managers don’t understand corporate priorities, they can’t communicate them to employees. Entire departments may pursue the wrong priorities, causing stra­tegic corporate plans to become less effective. I’ve seen a lot of this. Likewise, if managers understand the priorities, but have not communicated them well to their departments, the results can be the same. And if employees are left to themselves to decide what the priorities are, not only are the efforts of your teams unlikely to match corporate goals, they probably won’t even match each other. You will likely have employees working in different directions, even within the same departments or even on the same projects.

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  • The Nine Elements of Lean Configuration

    18 September, 2014 José Ignacio Mora, Owner, Atzari Enterprises, L.L.C.

    The allure of finally terminating your paper quality management system (QMS) feels very liberating. You can see the excitement in everyone's eyes during the new QMS software presentation.  Gone will be the days of paper engineering change notice---everything will be circulated and approved electronically and finally everyone will have time to do their jobs. They can hardly wait to tell their cubicle buddies about the new world they will soon live in.

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  • Why Do Corrective Actions Fail?

    23 September, 2014 Ed Grounds, President Integrated Solution Providers Software, Inc.

    Each year, the most popular learning course we provide is targeted at developing the skills necessary for our customers’ associates to implement their corrective action programs effectively and efficiently. Throughout the years, we have been asked the same question hundreds of times, “What are the most common reasons corrective actions fail?” Usually this question is asked during the corrective action learning session by a management team member hoping that we will deliver the message to the other team members that they are failing. Normally, we turn the question back around to the group and ask them why they think their corrective action program fails. The most common answers we hear are: limited time, resources, training, or not knowing which tools to use.

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  • Understanding the Relationship between GMPs and Adulteration

    25 September, 2014 Marc C. Sanchez, Contract In-House Counsel & Consultants, LLC

    Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPS or cGMPS) are a bit of a misnomer. The name implies the practices only apply to manufacturers, but the limitation is in name only. It suggests a rigid system of procedures more suitable for multinational corporations than start-ups, mid-size companies, or importers. In truth GMPs are policy goals that do not specify how an activity is done, just the result it should achieve. The name also lacks any link back to the overarching purpose of the practices. GMPs are not a scoring or rating system. Instead GMPs are a crucial link to avoiding adulteration and ensuring quality. The practices set a floor or safety net of minimum facility sanitation practices to ensure cosmetics are not indirectly contaminated. It also establishes a consistency that secures quality. GMPs are oft cited by the FDA following facility inspections in Form 483s and Warning Letters because it provides a window into the culture and compliance mindset of a facility. That mindset suggests the likelihood of adulteration or larger compliance violations.

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  • 5 Tech Support Life Hacks for Better (and Fewer) Support Calls

    30 September, 2014 Eric Weeks, Technical Account Manager, MasterControl

    Life hacks, which are practical tips or shortcuts that help you get things done faster and more efficiently, are all the rage these days.  A quick Google search reveals hacks for overcoming many of life’s pesky obstacles or frustrations—from how to keep a pot of water from boiling over (place a wooden spoon across the top it) to how to light a candle wick without burning  your fingers (use a dried spaghetti noodle).

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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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  • INFOGRAPHIC: U.S. Manufacturing Facts and Figures

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

    Last Friday marked the third annual Manufacturing Day (MFG DAY), a growing grassroots movement of manufacturers dedicated to bringing attention to modern North American manufacturing and empowering the professionals who compose it. Here we highlight some of the contributions of U.S. manufacturers to the nation’s economy.

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  • FDA vs. EU Inspections: Similarities & Differences

    14 October, 2014 Marie E. Dorat, CQA, CAA IPRF, LLC – RA/QA Consulting & International Product Registration EU-FDA Joint Initiative

    The U S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and European Medicines Agency (EMA) Good Clinical Practice (GCP) initiative started a joint inspection program in September 2009.  This inspection program targets investigator sites, sponsors, and contract research organizations (CROs) in either the US or the European Union (EU).

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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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  • From Good to Great – The One Skill Great CRAs Possess

    23 October, 2014 Holly Deiaco-Smith, MS

    Don’t get me wrong, these skills are important and they are point of entry for a good CRA. These skills are expected as a minimum set of skills to be hired for the job of CRA but they are not the skills that differentiate a great CRA. 

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