Competition is tougher than ever in today's pharmaceutical market, and manufacturers cannot afford to continue with inefficient operating procedures. While it was once feasible to compensate for waste with large inventories, regulatory changes and downward price pressures are forcing companies to adopt leaner methods in production and quality control.
One of these lean methods is automatic rapid microbial detection – a replacement of the age-old manual method for counting colonies and rooting out contamination. Rapid methods remove well-trained, highly paid microbiologists from tedious quality control processes, freeing up their labor for more innovative and impactful work. Given the right instruments, automation also enables higher throughputs and greater accuracy in results. Here are five competitive advantages pharmaceutical companies can expect to achieve by implementing rapid methods in their quality control workflows.
1. High Reliability:
Whether they're selling to distributors, private labelers or directly to consumers, manufacturers need to deliver their products on time, every time. Massive inventories can certainly guarantee a steady flow, but few companies can spare the space or manpower necessary to keep them.
Automatic microbial detection defeats the need for such large inventories by eliminating a myriad of human errors inherent in the manual method. Robotic cassette handling, incubation and imaging remove the risks of miscounts, mid-test contamination and incorrect data entry, leading to fewer false positives and out-of-specification investigations. Fewer investigations ultimately mean more uptime, less delay and fewer recalls.
2. Product Safety:
Rapid tests for bioburden and environmental monitoring can produce results within hours, and final products can be analyzed for sterility in half the time as traditional methods. Such quick results allow quality control personnel to respond immediately to contamination events, finding and eliminating bugs before they spread. When contaminants are contained, distributors and consumers can rest assured their products are safe for consumption.
3. Faster Times to Market:
Pharmaceutical companies invest millions of dollars in research and development, and every day of potential production is critical when the clock is ticking on a patent. Market share and price drop dramatically after expiration, so innovative companies need fast, reliable methods for quality assurance. By eliminating redundant tests and hastening shipments, automatic colony enumeration helps manufacturers achieve the highest possible ROIs on R & D.
4. Lower Prices:
Even when patents do expire, rapid methods help pharmaceutical companies compete on price. Consistent product delivery and modest inventories drastically reduce overhead costs, and manufacturers employing lean quality control processes can edge out competitors who still use the traditional method.
5. More Innovation:
Rapid detection ultimately allows for greater innovation and growth within an organization. With less time spent on repetitive and time-consuming tasks, microbiologists and other highly trained personnel can shift their attention toward new procedures, new customers and new products.
Still debating the benefits of automated rapid detection and enumeration? Download this free guide today to find out more about this updated process.