(Tampa, Florida, USA, 27 August, 2014) - ISPE, the International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering, announced today that it has released a preview of its Drug Shortages Prevention Plan aimed at helping the pharmaceutical industry avoid drug shortages and maintain a robust and reliable supply of medications to patients world-wide.
The Plan, a first for the industry, was developed by ISPE and its expert pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical industry members and describes how industry can best prevent drug shortages from occurring by discovering root causes and through creating and sustaining organizational cultures supported by leadership, business processes and quality systems that will ensure a robust, resilient and reliable supply of medications – many lifesaving – to patients worldwide. The Introductory Summary ( 806 KB) to the Plan released today provides a first look at what is covered in the complete plan.
ISPE’s Drug Shortages Prevention Plan has been reviewed by regulators from the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), with further regulatory review anticipated.
“Our goal is that the pharmaceutical industry will use the Plan to not only help them look holistically across the supply chain, but also as a roadmap to use in challenging their current processes, systems and practices and to identify potential gaps and risks,” said ISPE CEO and President, Nancy Berg. “Having the input of regulatory authorities has been invaluable to the effort because it helps to clarify what expectations regulators have regarding necessary steps toward drug shortage prevention and mitigation.”
The Plan was developed by the ISPE Drug Shortages Task Team which built upon the results of ISPE’s landmark 2013 study on drug shortages and organized its effort around a “six dimension” framework comprised of: Corporate Quality Culture; Robust Quality Systems; Metrics; Business Continuity Planning; Communication with Authorities; and Building Capability. In each chapter, the Plan provides answers to questions posed within each of the six dimensions, and also offers “real world” case studies that illustrate how best practices can be established.
To ensure a comprehensive approach, the Task Team engaged with leaders from more than 30 major pharmaceutical companies and for more than a year gathered stakeholder input from hundreds of industry professionals at ISPE conferences and workshops. Industry senior management, which has considerable influence on organizational culture and alignment, was engaged in the process.
One thing the Task Team learned from their interviews with members of industry was that quality systems can only be effective where there is a strong emphasis on a ‘corporate quality culture’ throughout the organization,” said Francois Sallans, Vice President and Chief Quality Officer, Johnson & Johnson, and chair of the ISPE Drug Shortages Task Team. “This became clear when data from the 2013 Survey was analyzed, but it became even more apparent when the Team linked a quality culture to the other elements, such as metrics and capacity building. We hope companies can use the Plan as a “toolbox” from which they can select the drug shortage prevention tools most appropriate for them.”
According to Berg, ISPE’s 2013 study on drug shortages provided clear evidence that mitigating shortages requires a holistic approach that includes careful alignment of organizational aspects – people – as well as technical aspects of process and production in understanding risks and the signals that indicate a drug shortage may be possible. The Plan builds on this data and incorporates significant follow-up input from stakeholders on how drug shortages can be prevented.
ISPE will release the complete Drug Shortages Prevention Plan during the 2014 ISPE Annual Meeting which will be held 12 – 15 October in Las Vegas, Nevada, US. The Plan’s recommendations will be presented publically for the first time at a session led by members of the ISPE Drug Shortages Task Team on 14 October.
Download the ISPE Drug Shortages Prevention Plan Introductory Summary: http://www.ispe.org/drug-shortages-initiative/plan-intro-summary.pdf ( 806 KB)
ISPE, the International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering, is the world’s largest not-for-profit association serving its Members through leading scientific, technical and regulatory advancement throughout the pharmaceutical lifecycle. The 20,000 Members of ISPE are building solutions in the development and manufacture of safe and effective pharmaceutical and biologic medicines and medical delivery devices in more than 90 countries around the world. Founded in 1980, ISPE has its worldwide headquarters in Tampa, Florida, USA and offices in Shanghai, China and Frankfurt, Germany. Visit www.ISPE.org for more information.