John Mandy participated in thousands of audits during his 26-year tenure as a Quality Leader at Pfizer. Early on, Pfizer had thousands of GMP suppliers and CMOs located all over the world. In any given year, Mandy’s audit teams were executing over a thousand internal and external audits and assessments. But even he was surprised when he was helping a site prepare for a significant re-inspection and had a local QA lead proudly show him a validation qualification for a new paper shredder. That was just one of many times that he observed teams not taking a risk-based approach to systems validation.
Amidst this turbulent moment in our lives, with a global pandemic threatening us and our loved ones directly, and the specter of the coming economic recession already making waves, it is important to acknowledge that the hard work of life sciences development and manufacturing continues. And while global regulatory requirements remain in place, many companies will be forced to stretch budgets further and possibly with fewer FTEs (due to cuts). And in a new complication-- teams will have to truly do more (or everything!) remotely-- manage policies and related training compliance, investigate deviations, manage change controls, host/conduct audits, sign/review documents, etc.