ISPE Member Connect Webinar: ISPE Present & Future
ISPE launched its new Member Connect Webinar series on 3 September with presentations by the ISPE International Board Chair 2019-2020, Fran Zipp, and ISPE’s President and CEO, Tom Hartman. They provided updates on ISPE this year and in the near future, and shared information about the benefits of ISPE membership.
“It has been an unprecedented year for all of us,” Zipp said in her presentation. “The changes have been amazing for our industry and for each one of us.” The year has brought challenges—but also opportunities, she said, especially in the unprecedented collaboration among regulators to work together so that the industry can continue to produce drugs and bring them to market.
Unprecedented collaboration among manufacturers has also been a trend this year. In 40 years in the business, Zipp said “I have never seen so many senior industry leaders coming together and talking about how they can help each other.” She noted the positivity of this trend, a “glass half full” approach. In addition, the industry has seen development of diagnostics, vaccine candidates, and potential therapeutics. The industry learned to adjust manufacturing processes to accelerate availability of key products, not just new therapeutic entities or vaccines, she added.
The changing times bring opportunities for ISPE to advise producers of items such as ventilators who were not previously working in the health care industry for information about GMP for facilities, qualification, and related issues, she said.
“ISPE regrouped this year,” Zipp said. “We learned that reaching out to our community was most important, learned to take care of each other by connecting” through technology instead of in person. This includes education through virtual conferences, webinars, and Guidance Documents. Zipp added that in addition to learning the tools for accessing remote communities and remote learning, “most important, we learned how to be part of our own community,” whether international, national, or city.
ISPE has also made contributions to local communities through the ISPE Foundation and individual chapters and affiliates. “I feel very proud to wear my ISPE hat when I hear about this!” Zipp said. The impact of living in uncertain times is a personal one, though Zipp noted that “everything about work is personal.” For Zipp, it was not the year she imagined when she began her term as Chair, “But it has been a year of change and opportunity. We are remaking our Society and can only do this with your help.”
Just as this year has been a unique one for Zipp as Chair, it has presented an equally unique set of circumstances to Tom Hartman as he took over the role of President and CEO in May. Hartman said, “I am very fortunate to have this role, and look forward to supporting the industry, the patients they serve, and the families of those patients, who are often overlooked when we just focus on the patient.”
Hartman recalled that ISPE filled the pharmaceutical knowledge gaps for me through their ‘gold standard’ documents and networking with industry experts” when he moved into pharma industry, and noted the value of ISPE in building his career at GlaxoSmithKline.
Hartman talked about ISPE’s future and shared some details about initiatives present and future, noting that ISPE will be working to provide solutions to complex pharmaceutical industry challenges through manufacturing innovation, member and workforce development, technical, regulatory, and compliance collaboration. The focus will be on these key areas:
- Member Value
- Communities of Practice (CoPs) and Knowledge Networks
- Content Priorities
- Affiliates and Chapters
- Expand Footprint and Impact
- ISPE Foundation
He noted that content is of great importance and will align with the industry needs. Evolving and modernizing the role of Communities of Practices—what Hartman called the “backbone of the Society--is also important given their contributions to a range of ISPE offerings including continuing education and Guidance Documents. The Society is already moving ahead with expanding internationally with the addition of the Eurasia and Mexico Affiliates. Hartman acknowledged the ISPE Foundation’s contributions in student travel grants, as well as recent grants to the Brazil Affiliate and World Health Organization for covid-19 efforts.
In addressing the challenge of the pandemic, Hartman said “ISPE staff met the challenge head on” in converting to virtual platforms, Partner Showcase being rolled out to improve the conference experience, live and on demand training, webinars, and a new mobile app. Staff are working remotely, he noted. “We have evolved our model, are responding, and are taking advantage of the opportunities this pandemic presents.”
Jessica Hardy, ISPE Senior Director, Membership, provided some tips and reminders about important ISPE benefits. She recommends that members opt in to be sure they do not miss important ISPE communications. Take advantage of ISPE exclusive member benefits, Hardy said, including:
- Community Connection: Connect with your Communities of Practice colleagues from around the globe - visit the Communities of Practice page to view available Communities of Practices and join.
- Pharmaceutical Engineering ® Magazine: The flagship publication for the pharmaceutical industry
- ISPE FREE Pharma Best Practices Webinar Series: Leading subject-matter experts covering critical, relevant topics in pharmaceutical manufacturing.
- Personal and Professional Development Opportunities: Paid Webinars, Online Learning, and Guidance Documents
The new Partner Showcase will be available to ISPE members through the end of 2020, Hardy said. This new feature offers opportunities to network with vendors, participate in live demonstrations and schedule one-on-one chats.
For members who are renewing, she shared that members who renew during September will receive a free ISPE mask (supplies are limited). Auto-renew has just been introduced to make it even easier and more convenient to renew your ISPE membership.