Swiss, Please! - Pharmaceutical Technology

Latest Issue

Latest Issue
PharmTech Europe

Swiss, Please!

Pharmaceutical Technology Europe

Rich Whitworth
One of the perks of my job is that I can travel to previously unvisited cities. This month, I was lucky enough to be in Switzerland (the focus of Industry Insider for our July issue "Swiss Pharma Strength"). Being surrounded by international delegates, as usual, made me feel particularly sensitive about my multilingual capabilities or rather, lack thereof. I often take it for granted that many of the world's workshops, conferences and summits are in English, my native tongue. What I do not take for granted though, is the outstanding English ability of most of the speakers and delegates. To learn English is one thing, but to deliver presentations, pose questions, discuss and debate is quite another. Switzerland itself had me in somewhat of a spin; travelling from Basel to Montreux, the language switched from German to French without pause. Nevertheless, at the meetings it was all English—a testament to how keen international scientists are to communicate with each other and discuss challenges and issues.

At the Next Generation Pharmaceutical (NGP) Manufacturing Summit in Montreux, a hot topic of discussion was counterfeiting, especially in light of the EU's Falsified Medicines Directive. In a keynote workshop, Protecting Brand Integrity: Innovations in Traceability & Anti-Counterfeiting, a concern shared by all was the lack of detail in the new legislation, but there were also many other questions to answer. One was whether current technology is good enough, and the general view was that it more than met the industry's needs. Perhaps the problem is that sophistication is only useful if it can be fully controlled. Although track and trace technology is fairly simple and gaining momentum, one of the panellists noted that it is a single tool and not the sole solution. Serialisation is clearly important though, with the Turkish Ministry of Health leading the charge. Trackinside's Adrian Simmons called for the pharma industry to look at lessons learned in other markets, stating that the excuse "we are different because we are pharma" does not apply to this issue; the automotive, food and beverage, and entertainment industries all have valuable experience.

The big question, however, was "who should be driving anti-counterfeiting?" In a quick show of hands, the split was about 75% pharma, 20% regulatory and 5% vendor. Perhaps lobbying by advocacy groups, as in other industries, would help get everyone on the same page; regulatory requirements certainly push pharma, so maybe pharma should push back. One thing that is certain though is that the counterfeiters will be hot on the heels of any decision.

Best wishes,
Rich Whitworth, Editor


blog comments powered by Disqus
LCGC E-mail Newsletters

Subscribe: Click to learn more about the newsletter
| Weekly
| Monthly
| Weekly

What impact do mega-mergers of biopharmaceutical companies have on the development of new drugs?
Improves the quality and number of innovative drugs available to patients.
Restricts innovation and the development of new drugs.
Has no impact on drug development.
Do not know.
Improves the quality and number of innovative drugs available to patients.
Restricts innovation and the development of new drugs.
Has no impact on drug development.
Do not know.
Eric Langer Outsourcing Outlook Eric LangerOutsourcing No Longer Just for Cost-Cutting
Cynthia Challener, PhD Ingredients Insider Cynthia ChallenerSeeking Alternative Catalyst Solutions
Jill Wechsler Regulatory Watch Jill Wechsler Global Expansion Shapes Drug Oversight
Chris Burgess Statistical Solutions Chris BurgessIs a Sample Size of n=6 a Magic Number?
Sean Milmo European Regulatory WatchSean MilmoRegulating the Environmental Impact of Pharmaceuticals
Clusters set to benefit from improved funding climate but IP rights are even more critical
Supplier Audit Program Marks Progress
FDA, Drug Companies Struggle with Compassionate Use Requests
USP Faces New Challenges
Report: Pfizer Makes $101 Billion Offer to AstraZeneca
Source: Pharmaceutical Technology Europe,
Click here