In the pharmaceutical and medical device industries, quality culture plays an essential role in profit generation, product safety and approval from regulatory bodies. As a result, organizations must prioritize maintaining product and process quality. One significant aspect of quality control is data integrity — a company’s data should be complete, consistent and accurate in both paper and electronic forms.
The adoption of electronic record keeping systems has led to a resurgence in data integrity citations. In response, many regulatory agencies — including the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), the Pharmaceutical Inspectorate Consortium (PICS) and the World Health Organization (WHO) — have released guidance on data integrity. Many of these reports discuss quality culture as a key part of maintaining data integrity in life sciences.
What Is a Quality Culture?
Within an organization, quality culture is a working environment in which the risk of noncompliant and erroneous data and records is minimized. Creating a quality culture requires that all members of an organization encourage the open reporting of errors, omissions and other threats to data integrity and product quality.
As the WHO and other regulatory agencies have noted, management must be involved with the creation of a quality culture. Quality control should not be limited to the quality management team, but rather flow across all levels of leadership. Managers and other business leaders must be just as accountable for data integrity as everyone else.
How Can Management Contribute?
As awareness about the importance of quality increases, pharmaceutical companies are likely to see more requests for documentation demonstrating a commitment to quality and data integrity. Quality is also likely to impact a company’s finances — organizations with highly developed quality cultures may spend around $350 million less fixing mistakes every year.
To remain competitive, every business must consider the role of management in quality culture. Here are four ways leaders can contribute to quality in pharmaceutical, medical device, biologics and other organizations:
- Lead by example: Quality culture must be encouraged from the top down. If managers and leaders demonstrate a commitment to quality, people throughout the company will follow.
- Update reporting procedures: Managers should review and update their companies’ reporting procedures to elevate and address issues with data systems when they arise.
- Review your audit schedule: While regulators don’t require internal audits, they are an important part of upholding data integrity. Review your audit schedule and ensure you are also auditing contract manufacturers and other outside parties.
- Act on audit results: When an audit reveals gaps in data integrity, act immediately to address the problem. This shows you take quality seriously. You can address issues independently or seek help from experts like those at Regulatory Compliance Associates.
Learn More About Data Integrity and Quality Culture
The management role in quality culture is a hot topic in the life sciences industry. To learn more about data integrity and quality, contact Regulatory Compliance Associates or listen to the RCA Radio podcast. In the latest episode, host and RCA’s own, Erika Porcelli and Susan Schniepp discuss the history of data integrity and how management can integrate quality into the product lifecycle.
About RCA’s Pharmaceutical Services
Regulatory Compliance Associates (RCA)® has helped thousands of pharmaceutical companies meet regulatory, compliance, quality assurance, and remediation challenges. With more than 20 years of experience with FDA, Health Canada, EU and global regulatory agencies worldwide, RCA offers leading pharmaceutical consultants that can help you navigate through the challenges associated with evolving industry regulations.
Our team of over 500 seasoned FDA, Health Canada and EU compliance consultants and regulatory affairs experts can understand the complexities surrounding the pharmaceutical industry and the unique inner workings of the regulatory process.
Whether you’re in the product planning, development or pharmaceutical lifecycle management stage or need a remediation strategy for a compliance crisis, RCA® Inc. will guide you through every step of the regulatory process and create a customized approach depending on your product and your pharma company’s individual needs. Our clients include:
- Companies new to FDA, Health Canada or EU regulations and the pharmaceutical industry
- Start-up organizations with novel submissions to 510(k) submissions from multi-national corporations
- Investment firms seeking private equity due diligence for pre-acquisition and post-deal research
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Regulatory affairs is Regulatory Compliance Associates® Inc.’s backbone and we fully understand the complexities of the pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical industries. Our expertise spans all facets and levels of Regulatory Affairs, from Regulatory Support for New Products to Life Cycle Management, to other services like Outsourced Regulatory Affairs, Submissions, Training, and more.
As your partner, we can negotiate the potential assessment minefield of pharmaceuticals with insight, hindsight, and the clear advantage of our breadth and depth of knowledge and experience. We offer the following four regulatory affairs services for pharmaceutical companies.
- New Product Support
- Product Lifecycle
- Other Regulatory Services
The regulations process surrounding pharmaceutical companies can be tricky for even the most experienced industry veteran to understand, and just one misstep could mean significant and lasting consequences for your business. At RCA® Inc., we offer the experience and resources necessary to guide you in quality compliance.
- Regulatory Agency Response
- Preparation and Training
- Inspection Readiness
Regulatory Compliance Associates® Inc.’s Quality Assurance services include assessments, strategy, implementations, staff augmentations, and identification of quality metrics to ensure continuous improvement, aligning with your business needs and goals. Our consultants are quality experts with experience spanning major corporations and start-ups. We know firsthand how to achieve, maintain, and improve quality, and we excel in transferring this knowledge to your organization.
- 21 CFR Part 11
- Data Integrity
- Manufacturing Support
- Facility Support
Regulatory Compliance Associates® Inc. has significant experience and a proven approach to managing FDA Warning Letters, Consent Decrees, Remediation and other serious regulatory situations. We know how to partner with executive, legal, and communication teams, and will assist management with a response that will be accepted by the regulatory agency and be realistic to execute.
We can develop a comprehensive proof book of documented objective evidence demonstrating the corrective actions taken to remediate non-compliant issues. In addition, RCA can help prepare a comprehensive strategy to assist in your remediation efforts, drive continuous improvement, and maintain compliance with the regulations.
- Regulatory Action
- Warning Letter
- 483 Observation
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Regulatory Compliance Associates® (RCA) provides healthcare consulting services to the following industries for resolution of compliance and regulatory challenges:
We understand the complexities of running a life science business and possess areas of expertise that include every facet of R&D, operations, regulatory affairs, quality, and manufacturing. We are used to working on the front lines and thriving in the scrutiny of FDA and globally-regulated companies.
As your partners, we can negotiate the potential minefield of regulatory compliance and regulatory due diligence with insight, hindsight, and the clear advantage of our unique expertise and experience.
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