Guest Columns

  1. FDA FY2019 Drug Inspection Observations And Trends
    12/6/2019

    A comprehensive GMP intelligence program includes monitoring of health authority enforcement actions, including FDA Form 483s, Establishment Inspection Reports, warning letters, recalls, import alerts, consent decree agreements, and EU reports of GMDP noncompliance. This article presents the most recent publication of GMP drug inspection data from CDER, which addresses drug inspections conducted in FY2019. The FDA published data from FY 2018 in September 2019 and we recently addressed that data; FY2019 data was published on Nov. 15, 2019. Here we examine data from FY2019, along with seven years’ worth of trends in drug GMP inspections.

  2. CMS Star Ratings: Will Biosimilars Benefit?
    12/5/2019

    The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) star ratings system was created in 2007 for insurance plans operating under both the Medicare Advantage and Part D. This 1 to 5 system (with 5 being the highest rating) is a way for CMS to measure the value of a plan and determine whether to continue to allow it to be part of the program. However, it’s more than just the plan, since the plan’s providers play a key role in how CMS evaluates each plan.

  3. An Immunologist’s Journey To Get An Ovarian Cancer T Cell Therapy Into Clinical Trials
    12/5/2019

    Ovarian cancer is a formidable foe, killing about 15,000 women a year in the United States alone. It’s especially hard to treat because there are no effective screening tests. That means that the disease is usually only diagnosed after it has significantly advanced, leaving women with a five-year survival rate of less than 25 percent.

  4. Biocompatibility For Drug Delivery Devices — An Intro To ISO 10993
    12/4/2019

    Biocompatibility is an essential element for any pharmaceutical combination product. ISO 10993 is the standard for biocompatibility, and it is broken into various normative sub-standards from ISO10993-1 to -22 that focus on various assessments, considerations, recommendations, and approaches. 

  5. What Does IMDRF’s New Cybersecurity Guidance Mean For You?
    12/2/2019

    Principles and Practices for Medical Device Cybersecurity is intended to help facilitate international regulatory convergence on medical device cybersecurity by explaining fundamental concepts, best practices, and recommendations for all stakeholders.

  6. Sampling And Testing Of ATMPs: Gaining Insights From PIC/S Annex 2A
    11/26/2019

    With minimal specific guidance on commercial manufacturing from the FDA and a lack of robust platform commercial processes, some of the finer details of cell and therapy manufacturing can make operating companies feel like they are walking on a precarious limb.

  7. Documentation Priority For Early Stage Medtechs — Part 1: User Specification
    11/25/2019

    This article lays out considerations and a process for developing user specifications when developing a new medical device. It is the first in a series that examines – and prioritizes -- necessary documentation when creating early an proof-of-concept prototype.

  8. Process Characterization: The Foundation For Validation
    11/22/2019

    Process characterization is the foundation for process validation activities. Too often, validation activities fail due to the lack of process characterization using sound statistical and scientific methods, including design of experiments (DOE).

  9. People: The Most Persistent Risk To Data Integrity
    11/15/2019

    HR changes continually impact overall data integrity—from a single new hire to a corporate-level change with a merger or acquisition. It's a commonly overlooked weak link in the data integrity chain.

  10. Pigeons In The Plant: 10 Real-Life Pharma Facility Blunders (And How To Avoid Them)
    11/13/2019

    There are situations we have come across where we really scratch our heads and say, “What did they just do, and what were they thinking?” This article describes a series of events and activities that we have seen that are at once amusing, baffling, and revealing of the flaws in our industry.