Beneath the Surface - Pharmaceutical Technology

Latest Issue

Latest Issue
PharmTech Europe

Beneath the Surface
It can take a lot of work to make sure nothing happens.

Pharmaceutical Technology
Volume 33, Issue 6, pp. 16

Maribel Rios
Not long after the media blitz about swine flu had settled, I began to see some negative comments in response to blogs and Internet articles that complained that government agencies had once again scared the public with another potentially catastrophic pandemic. One post said, "SARS, bird flu, and now swine flu. Nothing's happened, enough already."

The situation is not unlike the days before Jan. 1, 2000. Fear that Y2K would shut down communications, utilities, and banks sent some people flocking to grocery and medical supply stores. It may seem ridiculous now, but the concerns were real. And the reason emergencies didn't occur was the tireless efforts of many people.

Now, 10 years later, I'm disappointed to see comments that the H1N1 threat was taken out of proportion. To minimize the spread of infection, FDA acquired Emergency Use Authorization, which was not a trivial matter. The action allowed the rapid distribution of Tamiflu and Relenza, diagnostic panel tests, and disposable respirators. FDA formed seven management teams to deal with the situation. (Coincidentally, Margaret Hamburg, new FDA commissioner, previously worked with HHS to develop pandemic flu responses.)

The efficiency of FDA and industry reminded me of a college lecture on the basics of waves. The professor stated a wave can be cancelled by simply generating another wave of the same amplitude and frequency, but traveling in the opposite direction. He concluded, "When you look upon the surface of a calm lake, you can't tell whether it is actually calm or whether there are strong waves beneath the surface that just happen to be cancelling each other out."

Maribel Rios is a senior editor of Pharmaceutical Technology. Read Maribel's blog posts at PharmTech Talk.


blog comments powered by Disqus
LCGC E-mail Newsletters

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

Which of the following business challenge poses the greatest threat to your company?
Building a sustainable pipeline of products
Attracting a skilled workforce
Obtaining/maintaining adequate financing
Regulatory compliance
Building a sustainable pipeline of products
Attracting a skilled workforce
Obtaining/maintaining adequate financing
Regulatory compliance
View Results
Eric Langer Outsourcing Outlook Eric LangerBiopharma Outsourcing Activities Update
Cynthia Challener, PhD Ingredients Insider Cynthia Challener, PhDAppropriate Process Design Critical for Commercial Manufacture of Highly Potent APIs
Jill Wechsler Regulatory Watch Jill Wechsler FDA and Manufacturers Seek a More Secure Drug Supply Chain
Sean Milmo European Regulatory WatchSean MilmoQuality by Design?Bridging the Gap between Concept and Implementation
Report: Pfizer Makes $101 Billion Offer to AstraZeneca
Medicare Payment Data Raises Questions About Drug Costs
FDA Wants You!
A New Strategy to Tackle Antibiotic Resistance
Drug-Diagnostic Development Stymied by Payer Concerns
Source: Pharmaceutical Technology,
Click here