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Meet the 2019 Overall Facility of the Year Awards Winner – Kantonsapotheke Zürich

Marcy Sanford
Kantonsapotheke Zürich (KAZ)

Kantonsapotheke Zürich (KAZ) was honored as the 2019 Facility of the Year Awards (FOYA) Overall Winner during the member breakfast at the 2019 ISPE Annual Meeting & Expo in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Tuesday, 29 October. Recognizing the project for showing, “the highest level of innovation and established a new norm in patient therapy,” Antonio Crincoli, PE, Chair of the FOYA Judges Committee, presented the award to a very surprised Heinz Obertüfer, a pharmacist, economist, and pharmaceutical manufacturing leader in Zürich and one of the leads of the KAZ project. After receiving the award, Obertüfer said, “This is absolutely fantastic. I’m excited that KAZ is honored with this award. Thank you to the jury that honored us and thanks to all and everybody that supported us to make our vision come true.”

“The events of this week have been a highlight of my career,” said Helmut Steudel, PE, Vice President, Life Science for Exyte, about the ISPE Annual Conference and the FOYA presentations and celebrations. “I am exceptionally grateful for the opportunity the FOYA team has created for us to bring attention to superior projects, visionary leadership, synchronized teamwork, and creative energy. Heinz Obertüfer and his team really hit a home run by bringing these vital ingredients together. The whole FOYA program has become one of the most important parts of the ISPE experience. We see this as a Nobel Prize in our world.” Exyte, a global leader in the design, engineering and delivery of facilities for high-tech industries, was one of the key partners of the KAZ project.

KAZ replaced and integrated two outdated hospital pharmacies, logistics, warehouses, and QC/microbiological labs with facilities that are flexible, adaptable, and easily expandable to accommodate new functions. Now all products are manufactured under industrial cGMP conditions and the operators have achieved an astonishing 60-90-minute turnaround time from diagnostic test to patient delivery. Before KAZ, patients of Schlieren, Switzerland’s, two largest hospitals often had long wait periods before they could get the medicine they needed. “The old facilities were not reliable,” said Obertüfer. “They had many deviations with the medicines and it always took a long time to investigate and ensure that products were safe and reliable. Today patients are getting the medicine they need on time.”

KAZ was also recognized by the ISPE Drug Shortage Initiative for the positive contributions their innovative facility is expected to deliver toward alleviating drug shortages in the future.

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Established in 2004, ISPE’s FOYA Program is the premier global awards program recognizing innovation and creativity in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology manufacturing industries. The FOYA program showcases accomplishments in facility design, construction, and operation. It celebrates the shared commitment and dedication of individuals working for different companies worldwide to enhance patient health and safety through innovation and advancements in pharmaceutical manufacturing technology. Awards categories include Project Execution, Facility Integration, Equipment Innovation, Social Impact, Process Innovation, Operational Excellence, and Facility of the Future. Visit the FOYA website to learn more or to submit a project. Submission for the 2020 FOYA program are due 22 November 2019.

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