From smartphones to autonomous vehicles, digitization is revolutionizing the world we live in. This fact is no less true for quality assurance and quality control within the pharmaceutical industry. Technology is making pharmaceutical products safer, and is even helping professionals work better.
If you want to pursue a career in the pharmaceutical industry, it’s important to keep track of what the latest developments affecting the industry are. With that in mind, here’s a look at three ways digitization is impacting pharmaceutical quality assurance and quality control.
1. More Quality Control Testing Will Be Done Online Through the Pharma IoT
The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to the network of devices that are internet-enabled. What you may not realize is that there is a Pharma IoT, which refers to internet-enabled devices within the pharmaceutical industry. The Pharma IoT has the potential to significantly change pharmaceutical quality assurance and quality control.
This is because Pharma IoT devices can communicate with each other and share data, thus allowing them to automatically identify potential quality control issues. For example, using data automatically gathered from IoT lab instruments, analysts can quickly determine how changing the product mix, testing a new batch, or an employee going on leave could impact the final product.
2. Digitization Can Help Quality Assurance and Quality Control Professionals With Regulatory Compliance
Pharmaceutical products play a major role in the health of millions of people, so it is hardly surprising that pharmaceutical quality assurance and quality control are highly regulated. During your quality control courses you’ll learn about various issues related to regulatory affairs, including Canadian and international drug laws, regulations, and guidelines. Because the pharmaceutical industry is so highly regulated, professionals have traditionally been required to maintain large amounts of paperwork.
With digitization, however, much of that paperwork can now be done automatically. For example, IoT devices can keep a record of the data that regulatory agencies need to see to verify that the proper tests have been run on a product. This automation frees up professionals to take on other tasks and leaves much of the manual data entry to computers.
3. Cloud Applications Encourage Greater Collaboration Between the Lab and the Shop Floor
Quality assurance and quality control is important at all stages of a pharmaceutical product’s development, from the lab to the shop floor. In fact, in your quality assurance courses you’ll learn about pharma lab testing, good manufacturing practices, and post-approval activities, which collectively give you a sense of how essential quality assurance and quality control is throughout the pharmaceutical development process. However, one limitation that professionals have often had to contend with is a lack of communication between the lab and the manufacturing facility at some companies.
This is often a result of data being compiled on paper and stored in binders and folders, which are not easily shared between different departments. Digitization is overcoming this challenge by helping professionals keep all data within cloud applications. By utilizing the cloud, different departments can easily communicate with each other. For example, if a lab determines that new procedures are needed to ensure a product is manufactured safely, that information can instantly be shared with the team on the shop floor through the cloud.
Are you ready for a career in the pharmaceutical industry?
Contact the Academy of Applied Pharmaceutical Sciences to learn about our quality assurance and quality control courses.