October 2010 Posts

Risk Management: An Opportunity or a Challenge?

All organizations at some point face issues in their operational activities related to product complexity, organizational inefficiencies, supply chain management and outsourcing, as well as internal and external risk. A series of highly publicized blunders, from BP’s oil disaster and Toyota’s massive recalls, to the egg recall, along with regulatory mandates and more active involvement among shareholders, are prompting organizations to focus their efforts more closely than ever on identifying areas of potential risk across their enterprise. (more…)

The Pharmaceutical Industry Still Struggling with CAPA as Part of Overall Quality Management System

One of the biggest challenges for pharmaceutical companies is to complete investigations and actions in a timely manner. In 2009, ICH Q10 adopted by the FDA as an industry guideline, names pharmaceutical Quality Management Systems as a necessity to detect and evaluate non-conformances and take respective corrective and preventative actions. Although it takes time, an efficient CAPA process is an effective tool that can significantly improve quality systems and processes. (more…)

The Increasing Need for Quality Medical Devices is Matched by the Need for Compliance with ISO 13485:2003

In October 2010, Medtronic agreed to pay $268 million to settle U.S. lawsuits and claims related to its Sprint Fidelis family of defibrillation leads recalled three years ago due to faulty wires. In 2009, the company estimated that at least 13 people may have died because of the problem. It’s situations such as this that emphasizes why standards have been put in place, such as ISO 13485: 2003, that help medical device companies maintain quality assurance and manage risk. (more…)

MHRA Looking for Quality Risk Management Systems — Sound Familiar?

The UK is on to something. British inspectors will be looking for a “risk register” and a defined document management control system including periodic reviews of risk management assessments when inspecting drug manufacturers. It seems both sides of the Atlantic are on board with quality risk management, and for good reason. (more…)

Get Lean! Using Six Sigma and Lean Strategies to Improve Quality

The goal of lean is to eliminate waste and non-value-added steps at all points in the manufacturing process. To accomplish this, lean implements continuous improvement practices and eliminating waste across the enterprise. Technology has been successful as key to achieving this end. While saving money might be an initial consideration with lean strategies, customer satisfaction is of utmost importance to any organization. By concentrating on customer satisfaction and value while eliminating waste, a company can build profits as well. (more…)

Moving Into the New Generation of 21 CFR Part II

In 1997, it wasn’t uncommon to hear “You’ve got mail!” when you used your telephone to log onto the Internet. This is the same year that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued 21 CFR Part 11, electronic records. Six years later, in 2003, you were probably using broadband and going directly to the Internet. In this year, the FDA issued a Guidance for Industry of Part 11, Electronic Records; Electronic Signatures. It shouldn’t be any surprise that seven years later, the FDA is piping up about Part 11 again. This time, it is in the form of revised enforcement discretion of Part 11.  (more…)