2k Clinical Consulting, Inc.

Mastering Inspection Readiness: A Strategic Approach

In the constantly shifting terrain of regulatory compliance, mastering inspection readiness is more crucial than ever. Central to this challenge is developing and implementing a robust Inspection Readiness Plan (IRP). This plan isn’t just a procedural necessity; it’s a strategic asset aligning resources, processes, and teams toward ensuring successful regulatory adherence.

Strategic Inspection Readiness Planning
• Blueprint for Success: An IRP serves as a comprehensive framework, not just a checklist. It outlines the inspection’s scope, identifies key focus areas, and sets clear objectives. The plan is a navigational tool guiding teams through compliance complexities, addressing potential challenges proactively.
• Resource Alignment: It strategically aligns an organization’s resources, ensuring that all elements work in harmony towards the common goal of compliance.

Collaborative Execution
• Unified Efforts: The effectiveness of an IRP hinges on collaboration across various departments. Each department contributes its expertise, ensuring comprehensive compliance coverage.
• Responsibility Sharing: This collaborative approach evenly distributes responsibilities and fosters a unified response strategy.

Data Management and Transparency
• Clear Data Insights: At the heart of the IRP is data management. Organized and accessible data is vital for setting accurate inspection criteria, identifying compliance gaps, and implementing corrective actions.
• Informed Decision Making: Effective data management provides a transparent view of the organization’s compliance status, enabling informed and timely decisions.

Digital Tools: Enhancing Efficiency
• Streamlining Processes: Integrating digital tools into the IRP enhances its efficiency. These tools aid in data collection, document management, and real-time compliance monitoring.
• Reducing Error: Digital tools simplify complex processes, minimize manual errors, and ensure that compliance information is readily accessible.

Constant State of Readiness
Dynamic Adaptability: A well-executed IRP maintains an organization in a constant state of readiness, prepared for both scheduled and unexpected inspections. The plan should be flexible, reflecting the latest regulatory requirements and industry best practices.

Continuous Improvement Cycle
• Learning and Adapting: The IRP is part of a continuous improvement cycle, learning from each inspection and adapting processes    accordingly.
• Staying Ahead: This approach ensures that the organization stays ahead of regulatory changes and incorporates lessons learned into future readiness strategies.

Cultivating a Culture of Compliance
• Excellence and Quality: An effective IRP fosters a culture where quality and compliance are integral to every process and decision.
• Community Engagement: How is your organization nurturing this culture of excellence and compliance?

Conclusion: Your Role in Shaping Compliance
As we navigate the future of regulatory compliance, the significance of a well-crafted IRP is undeniable. It symbolizes a commitment to excellence, quality, and adaptability. Your experiences and insights are pivotal in enriching this dialogue and fostering a culture of shared learning and continuous improvement.


Join the conversation on how to master the art of inspection readiness. Your perspectives are key in shaping effective compliance strategies and navigating the future of regulatory compliance. For further insights, explore our related article on “Why Quality is Everyone’s Business.”

Inspection Readiness Outlook 2024: Navigating FDA Expectations in the Clinical Industry

As the clinical industry ventures into 2024, the landscape is increasingly shaped by the FDA’s evolving expectations. This year, a greater emphasis is placed on data integrity, technological integration, and the adaptation to new inspection models. In this context, insights from previous blogs such as “Why Quality is Everyone’s Business“, “Steps To Establishing a Quality Culture in Clinical Research“, and “How Changes in E6 (R3) of ICH GCP are Changing the Future of Clinical Trials” become particularly relevant.

  1. Emphasizing Quality as a Universal Responsibility

Echoing the sentiments of “Why Quality is Everyone’s Business“, it’s imperative to recognize that quality in clinical trials is not just the responsibility of the quality assurance team but of every individual involved. This collective approach ensures thorough preparation for FDA inspections and enhances overall trial integrity.

  1. Establishing a Quality Culture in Clinical Research

Drawing from “Steps To Establishing a Quality Culture in Clinical Research”, it is crucial for organizations to cultivate a culture where quality is ingrained in every process. This involves regular training, proactive risk management, and an environment that encourages transparency and continuous improvement. Such a culture not only aids in inspection readiness but also ensures adherence to the highest standards of clinical research.

  1. Adapting to Changes in ICH GCP Guidelines

The blog “How Changes in E6 (R3) of ICH GCP are Changing the Future of Clinical Trials” highlights the significant updates in the ICH GCP guidelines, especially E6 (R3). These changes, focusing on risk-based approaches and enhanced data integrity, have direct implications on inspection readiness. Organizations need to adapt their strategies and processes to align with these updated guidelines, ensuring compliance and readiness for FDA inspections.

  1. Integrating Technology and Data Management

With the FDA’s technology-driven approach, organizations must integrate advanced data management systems and adopt technologies like AI and blockchain for better traceability and security. This also includes ensuring that electronic health records (EHRs) and electronic data capture (EDC) systems are leveraged effectively for streamlined data collection and analysis.

  1. Remote and Hybrid Inspection Readiness

Adapting to remote and hybrid inspection models is essential. Organizations must ensure their digital infrastructure is secure, compliant, and capable of providing necessary documentation and data remotely.

  1. Global Regulatory Compliance

For organizations involved in international trials, understanding and adhering to global regulatory standards, including those set by the FDA, is crucial.

Conclusion

As the clinical industry progresses through 2024, a multifaceted approach to inspection readiness is key. Emphasizing quality as a collective responsibility, establishing a strong quality culture, adapting to changing guidelines, and leveraging technology are integral components of this strategy.

We Value Your Input:

How have the changes in ICH GCP guidelines impacted your organization’s approach to inspection readiness? Share your experiences and insights, and let’s discuss how these evolving standards are shaping the future of clinical trials.

Clinical Trial Trends in 2024: Innovations and Evolutions in Inspection-Readiness

The year 2024 has brought significant innovations to the clinical trial sector, especially in terms of inspection-readiness. This article provides an overview of how these trends are influencing preparedness for regulatory inspections. For a deeper understanding of the importance of quality in this evolving landscape, read “Why Quality is Everyone’s Business“.

Technological Advancements in Inspection-Readiness

Technological integration is at the forefront of enhancing inspection-readiness. Digital documentation systems and AI-driven compliance tools are now vital in streamlining the inspection process. These technologies ensure continuous compliance and readiness, significantly reducing the risk of non-compliance during inspections. For practical insights into establishing an effective training program in this area, consider “Tips on Establishing an Inspection Readiness Training Program“.

Real-Time Data Monitoring

A notable trend is the adoption of real-time data monitoring systems. These systems provide ongoing oversight, immediately identifying and addressing areas of concern. This proactive approach ensures that trials maintain high standards of data integrity and regulatory compliance.

Decentralized Trials: Challenges and Solutions

The rise of Decentralized Clinical Trials (DCTs) poses unique inspection-readiness challenges. The article discusses strategies to ensure DCTs maintain the same level of regulatory compliance as traditional trials, focusing on remote monitoring and digital data validation methods.

Evolving Regulatory Expectations

Regulatory bodies are continuously evolving their expectations in response to these technological advancements re-shaping the future of clinical trial inspections.

Adapting to New Standards

Pharmaceutical companies and CROs are adapting their strategies to meet these new standards. Emphasis is placed on training, technology integration, and developing robust internal audit systems to ensure continuous inspection readiness. Explore the importance of establishing a quality culture in this context through “The Benefits of Establishing a Quality Culture In Clinical Operations“.

In conclusion, 2024 has marked a pivotal year in reshaping how clinical trials prepare for inspections. The trends discussed here highlight the industry’s move towards more efficient, technology-driven approaches to meet evolving regulatory standards.

Your Opinion Matters

What do you think will be the next big innovation in clinical trial inspection-readiness?

 

 

 

Clinical Trial Trends in 2024: Innovations and Evolutions in Inspection-Readiness

 

As we navigate through the new year of 2024, the clinical trial landscape is experiencing transformative changes, particularly in the aspect of inspection-readiness. This abbreviated article provides a focused look into how these changes are influencing trial preparedness for regulatory inspections.

  1. Advancements in Inspection-Readiness The integration of new technologies and methodologies has brought about a significant shift in how clinical trials prepare for inspections. Innovations such as digital documentation systems and AI-driven compliance tools are streamlining the process, ensuring trials are always inspection-ready.
  2. Real-Time Data Monitoring The adoption of real-time data monitoring systems is a game-changer. These systems provide continuous oversight of trial data, flagging inconsistencies and areas of concern well before an inspection, thus reducing the risk of non-compliance.
  3. Decentralized Trials and Inspection Challenges Decentralized clinical trials (DCTs), while offering numerous benefits, also present unique challenges in maintaining inspection-readiness. Our article discusses strategies to overcome these challenges, ensuring DCTs adhere to regulatory standards effectively.

Conclusion The full article, accessible to our subscribers, delves deeper into how these trends are reshaping inspection-readiness in clinical trials and explores the evolving regulatory expectations and how companies are adapting to meet these new standards.  🔗 Subscribe now for full access to in-depth insights.

Your Insight Counts How do you think technology will further impact inspection-readiness in clinical trials beyond 2024?  Let us know in the comments section.  We look forward to hearing from you!

Tips on Establishing an Inspection Readiness Training Program

The task of documenting and maintaining records can prove to be a daunting one in the world of clinical research.  Effective resource allocation constitutes a delicate equilibrium. Striking the right balance between dedicating resources to training and compliance initiatives while judiciously managing costs becomes an intricate endeavor for organizations. It is critical to be attentive to resource needs in addition to ensuring that employees receive comprehensive inspection-readiness training in preparation for health authority inspections.  The do’s and don’ts of inspection readiness training that contributes to readiness success includes the following:

Do:

  1. Consistent Training Plan – Establish a regular schedule for training sessions, ensuring that all team members acquire a comprehensive understanding of health authority regulations and adherence to documented standard operation procedures.
  2. Exemplary documentation standards – Stress the importance of meticulous and comprehensive documentation. Implement and practice the most effective methods for maintaining impeccable records.
  3. Comprehensive cross-training – Promote cross-functional training initiatives aimed at nurturing a corporate culture deeply ingrained in compliance across various departments within your organization’s structure.
  4. Realistic scenario simulations – Create mock inspection scenarios that closely resemble real-world situations. This valuable exercise will help identify weaknesses and areas in need of improvement.
  5. Proactive regulatory awareness – Continuously monitor and stay informed about regulatory updates, adjusting your training programs to align with these evolving regulations.

Don’t:

  1. Discount the gravity of compliance – Never underestimate the gravity of aligning with regulations. Forgoing due diligence or shortcutting compliance requirements can result in grievous regulatory issues.
  2. Neglect training documentation – Never depreciate the importance of documenting training, both in terms of accuracy and completeness. Neglecting to properly oversee and document training can furnish a breeding ground for critical compliance and data discrepancies.
  3. Neglect post-training reinforcement – The failure to revisit training and scrutinize employee compliance can vitiate the efficacy of the training initiative. Assure that senior leadership exudes unwavering commitment to the training program.
  4. Defer compliance or cultivate a culture of blame – Do not defer the serious consideration of compliance until impending regulatory inspections materialize. Shun the cultivation of a culture that lays blame upon employees who are may not be main contributors to the errors or data discrepancies.
  5. Underestimate resource allocation – Do not underestimate the resource allocation requirements for the efficacious execution of training and compliance endeavors. Insufficient resource allotment can enervate the quality of training and impede compliance endeavors.

In conclusion, maintaining inspection readiness is a continuous process that demands diligence, commitment, and a robust training program. The challenges posed by evolving regulations and complex documentation can be overcome by following the dos and don’ts outlined above. By investing in comprehensive inspection readiness training program, organizations can safeguard their reputation, product quality, and, most importantly, patient safety in an ever-evolving regulatory landscape.

If you need to develop an inspection-readiness training program and need assistance, Contact us for a free consultation! We would love to hear from you to discuss strategies!

5Cs to Inspection Readiness Success (for Clinical Sites)

By the 2K Blog /team

Q: When is the best time to start preparing for an inspection?   

    1. After database lock 
    2. After the inspection announcement 
    3. After IND/IDE Submission 

‎A: If you answered C, you are correct. ‎‎ ‎‎ ‎‎Inspection Readiness is an ongoing process that starts at the beginning of the trial. ‎

We all know that inspections can be quite stressful; however, a stressful environment can be minimized with proper preparation and inspection readiness techniques.  This article will discuss the 5C IRS (Inspection Readiness Success) Model as one of the strategies that can be utilized as an inspection readiness technique for clinical research sites.

The 5Cs are: 

  1. Collect Information – In collecting information, it’s important to consider researching from both internal sources (e.g., prior audits, inspections and monitor visit reports) to determine existing gaps in your processes in addition to external sources (e.g., websites of regulatory authorities such as USFDA, EMA, Health Canada, etc.) to review guidance materials, requirements and expectations.

  2. Collaborate with the sponsor – Be proactive in utilizing inspection readiness tools and collaborating with the monitor & sponsor’s inspection team for additional support in preparing for inspections and implementing effective inspection readiness strategies.

  3. ‎Communicate with stakeholders‎‎ – ‎‎Communicate with internal stakeholders (colleagues, PI, monitor) to address gaps in study-related documentation to ensure that they‎‎ ‎‎are present, ‎‎complete‎‎ and accurate.‎‎ ‎‎ ‎‎ I‎‎t’s equally important to ensure that staff are properly prepared to communicate with external stakeholders (e.g., regulatory authorities) and able to interact ‎‎effectively ‎‎with the Inspector/FDA Investigator prior to, during and after the inspection.‎‎ ‎‎ ‎‎ ‎

  4. Correct via CAPA (Corrective and Preventive Action) Plans – Part of having an effective Corrective and Preventive Action plan for each finding is to include all of the elements such as:

    • Root Cause – Why did this happen? Was it a systemic or isolated event? 
    • Correction – What correction was done to immediately resolve this finding?
    • Corrective Action – What will be your corrective action and how will you implement to ensure this finding does not recur?  For example, you may need to create, improve, revise SOPs and checklists/templates and retrain staff on the revised processes.
    • Preventive Action – What are you checks and balances?  Incorporate preventive measures within a timeframe (e.g., 3- 6 months) to ensure similar finding(s) never happens again.

       

  5. Conduct Compliance Checks – Compliance checks involve the evaluation of the implemented processes from your CAPA.   Utilize checklists at frequent intervals to reveal gaps and determine what’s working vs. what’s not.  In addition, review findings from monitoring visits as gauge for compliance checks especially if time and resources are limited at your clinical research site.

Remember, inspection readiness is an ongoing process.  Incorporating an Inspection Readiness strategy, such as the 5C IRS (Inspection Readiness Success) Model, in your daily operations not only creates a culture of compliance, but also allows your site to proactively prepares for and contributes to the success of future inspections.  

Need a checklist for your site? Become a subscriber to download our free Inspection Readiness Checklist!

 

 

Inspection Readiness Checklists: 

The Benefits & How to Utilize Them

Checklists are invaluable tools in Inspection Readiness programs within regulated industry of pharmaceutical, medical device and biotech companies. They provide a structured approach to ensure that all necessary preparations are made for inspections, audits, and regulatory assessments. The importance of checklists in Inspection Readiness cannot be overstated, as they help organizations mitigate risks, and ensure the quality and safety of their products or services.  They also help with:

  1. Standardization: They create a consistent framework for preparing for different types of inspections, promoting a structured approach to compliance.
  2. Accountability: Checklists assign tasks and responsibilities to individuals or teams, reducing the likelihood of oversights or delays.
  3. Training and Awareness: They educate employees about regulatory requirements and steps for inspection readiness, fostering a culture of compliance.
  4. Documentation Management: They ensure that all required documents are up to date, organized, and readily accessible, simplifying document retrieval during inspections.
  5. Continuous Improvement: Regularly updating checklists based on previous inspection experiences and changing regulations promotes a culture of continuous improvement.

What to Include in an Inspection Readiness Checklist

The following areas should be part of checklists that encompass your Inspection Readiness program:

  1. Regulatory Requirements: List and be aware of specific regulations, guidelines, or standards applicable to your industry or organization (ie. FDA, EMA, Health Canada, etc).
  2. Document Review: Verify the accuracy and completeness of essential documents, such as SOPs and regulatory records.
  3. Training and Competency: Document employee training and certifications to ensure competence and qualification.
  4. Facility and Equipment maintenance (if applicable): Regularly inspect and maintain infrastructure and equipment to meet regulatory standards.
  5. Quality Control and Assurance: Evaluate quality control and assurance processes to prevent deviations and non-conformances.
  6. Risk Assessment: Identify potential risks within processes and develop strategies to mitigate them.
  7. Corrective and Preventive Actions (CAPA): Track and address open CAPAs to demonstrate a commitment to improvement.
  8. Internal/Mock Inspections:  This will include internal and mock inspection schedules, simulations and documentation to help identify gaps and improve readiness.
  9. Communication Plan: This helps to outline how your organization will communicate with regulatory agencies and inspectors during the inspection.
  10. Emergency Response Plan: Prepare for unexpected situations with an emergency response plan.

In conclusion, checklists are indispensable. An effective checklist should encompass all relevant aspects of the organization’s operations, from regulatory compliance to documentation management, to guarantee a successful Inspection Readiness program. 

If you are seeking alignment within your team but are struggling with where to start in regard to creating an Inspection Readiness checklist for your company, Contact us! We’d love to hear from you to discuss strategies!

 

Preparing For Pharmacovigilance FDA Inspections

The concept of pharmacovigilance—derived from the Greek and Latin ‘Pharmakon’ (medicinal substance) and Vigilia (to keep watch)—emerged in earnest among physicians and other health experts almost 200 years ago. Initially, the practice amounted primarily to letters and reports written by physicians on the safety and effectiveness of various drugs given to their patients.

Pharmacovigilance inspections (Good Pharmacovigilance Practices, GVP) are designed to assess compliance with the legally prescribed mandatory reporting of adverse drug reactions in clinical trials as well as spontaneous reports. 

The three (3) most common findings noted from FDA’s Post-marketing Adverse Drug Experience (PADE) inspections according to the Bioresearch Monitoring (BIMO) Fiscal Year 2021 Metrics  are:

  • Failure to develop written procedures for the surveillance, receipt, evaluation, and reporting of post-marketing adverse drug experiences
  • Late submission of 15-day Alert reports
  • Late submission of the annual safety report

This article will list ten (10) key areas or documentation to have ready for FDA in an upcoming GVP inspection.

What To Have Ready for an Inspection

  1. Written Procedures
    You must develop, maintain, and follow written procedures for the surveillance, receipt, evaluation, and reporting of post-marketing safety information. This includes procedures for managing safety information with contractors and business partners, as applicable.
  2. Individual Case Safety Reports (ICSRs)
    ICSRs describe one or more adverse experiences related to an individual patient or subject. A valid ICSR contains a suspect drug, an adverse experience, an identifiable patient, and an identifiable reporter.
  3. Scientific Literature Reports
    Regarding scientific literature reports, ensure that there is documented evidence of:
     Scientific literature reviews and the frequency of each review.
     Submission of expedited ICSRs for adverse experiences obtained from the published scientific and medical literature that are both serious and unexpected
    • Foreign Post-marketing Adverse Experience Reporting
      For participating affiliates, subsidiaries, contractors, and business partners outside the United States, ensure the following:
       There are written procedures that address the surveillance, receipt, evaluation, and reporting of adverse experiences.
       There is documented submission of serious and unlabeled (i.e., unexpected) adverse experiences to the FDA within 15 calendar days.
    • Solicited Safety Data
      Solicited safety data arises from organized data collection systems, which may include patient assistance programs, patient support programs, physician engagement programs, or any active solicitation of information from patients or providers, when contact between the sponsor company and the patient or provider is predictable in the context of a specific program.
    • Aggregate Safety Reports
      For each approved application or biologics license, FDA requires the submission of Periodic Reports, which describe safety information obtained during the reporting interval. The reporting interval is quarterly for the first three years following the approval of the application or license, and annually thereafter, unless FDA instructs the sponsor otherwise.
    • Contractor Oversight
      Oversight of outsourced services may include a broad range of activities to ensure that all outsourced services and activities associated with post-marketing safety are performed according to applicable FDA regulations.
    • Electronic Submissions
      Determine if safety report submissions are in an electronic format that FDA can process, review, and archive, as required.
    • Waivers
      Any post-marketing safety waivers from the regulatory requirements must follow applicable procedures and terms of the waiver.
    • Recordkeeping
      For approved drugs or biologics, ensure that all records containing information relating post-marketing safety reports (whether submitted to FDA) have been maintained for a period of 10 years, or for combination products, the longest retention period applicable.

    Conclusion

    Post-marketing safety data collection and adverse event reporting is a critical element of the Food and Drug Administration’s post-marketing safety surveillance program for FDA-regulated drug and therapeutic biologic products.  Incorporating the FDA requirements and guidance into your inspection readiness program contributes to the success of your GVP inspection.

    The Benefits of Storyboarding in Clinical Research Trials

    As part of a sponsor’s inspection readiness activities, storyboarding is a crucial step that provides a solid framework for addressing challenging or important areas of noncompliance via corrective and preventive actions. With the aid of organizational and risk assessments, sponsor companies should be able to pinpoint issues and utilize storyboards to systematically discuss the implementation of action plans with inspectors as requested during an inspection.

    Storyboard Benefits

    Utilizing storyboards has various benefits.  The top five benefits include the following:

    1. They offer a structure for formulating concise content that the inspection team can convey reliably.
    2. They are particularly beneficial in circumstances where an organization has gone through a transition or considerable change, for closing gaps that have already existed, and in other exceptional cases of self-identified compliance.
    3. They point out the corrective measures taken to guarantee patient safety and maintain data integrity.
    4. They assist in removing ambiguity, potential disagreement, and pressured decision-making while responding to inspection questions about challenging and perplexing clinical trial components.
    5. They lessen the possibility of issues occurring during an inspection as a result of several facilitators or SMEs accidentally giving conflicting accounts of what happened, and the steps taken to address associated problems or gaps.

    Storyboard Tips

    Being proactive and starting development when a problem or situation emerges can save a ton of time and work later on when attempting to put together a summary later. Therefore, it is a recommended practice to generate storyboards as early as possible.

    The following are useful tips regarding a storyboard:

    • A storyboard should be utilized as a tool to assist the facilitators in making sure that important information is accurately and succinctly communicated, and that those informing inspectors are on the same page.
    • The location of pertinent supporting paperwork should be listed on a storyboard so that facilitators can respond to inspection demand swiftly.
    • Storyboards should not be lengthy things of the past with background or unnecessary material, but rather brief and to the point. They are designed to contain minimum amount of information necessary to properly respond to an inspection request.
    • A storyboard’s content can be discussed verbally with an inspector but storyboards themselves should not be shared or mentioned because they are not meant to be discussed in full during an inspection.
    • Storyboards shouldn’t include statements that unintentionally encourage facilitators to disclose information that an inspector might not have otherwise asked, as this could raise further questions and create confusion or ambiguity.

    Conclusion

    In conclusion, storyboards can offer the foundation required to communicate important information in a clear and simple manner with assurance and in synchronization across all departments of the organization, making the inspection readiness process considerably simpler for all parties involved.

    References

    Gwizdak , S., & Marshall, M. (2020, December 10). 4 ways to Adapt Your Inspection Readiness Framework in a post Covid-19 World. Halloran Consulting Group. Retrieved August 1, 2022, from https://www.hallorancg.com/2020/06/19/4-ways-to-adapt-your-inspection-readiness-framework-in-a-post-covid-19-world/#:~:text=Storyboarding%20is%20an%20important%20activity,critical%20aspects%20of%20a%20study.

    HealthResearchBC. (2020, October 27). Regulatory update: Clinical trial storyboards. Clinical Trials BC. Retrieved August 1, 2022, from https://www.clinicaltrialsbc.ca/regulatory-update-clinical-trial-storyboards/

    LifeScienceLeader. (2020). 09.28.20 — bringing clarity to Regulatory Inspection Readiness & Facilitation. 09.28.20 — Bringing Clarity To Regulatory Inspection Readiness & Facilitation. Retrieved August 1, 2022, from https://www.lifescienceleader.com/doc/bringing-clarity-to-regulatory-inspection-readiness-facilitation-0001

    5 Reasons Why QA Is Essential in Clinical Trials

    The coordinated and impartial review of all clinical trial-related activities and records is known as quality assurance. In the case of a clinical study, the quality assurance department has a wide range of responsibilities. Quality Assurance (QA) departments frequently aid in inspection readiness by establishing investigator site selection guidelines and identifying service providers to be audited, such as laboratories, packaging and supply chain vendors.

    The Ongoing Challenge

    The continuous monitoring of data collection processes and data management policies at every level of the study is an ongoing challenge in managing the quality of clinical data and maintaining compliance. This includes the following:

    • verifying that the data collected during the trial is consistent with the procedure (case report form [CRF] vs. protocol)
    • ensuring the validity of the data in the CRF and data acquired in source documents (CRF vs. source documents)
    • guaranteeing that the analyzed data correspond to the CRF data (database vs. CRF)

    This confirms the need for QA involvement in clinical trials specifically in terms of inspection readiness.

    Reasons Why Quality Assurance (QA) is essential

    1. Time Saver

    While continuous monitoring during a clinical trial is a taxing task, it can save you from wasting hundreds of hours rectifying shortcomings within the trials at a later stage. Errors recognized in their initial stages are easier to modify to achieve desired outcomes. Whereas, delays can worsen the problem in clinical trials and inevitably push back the desired result, which can hinder the inspection readiness process.

    1. Money Saver

    While many believe that investing in quality assurance from the get-go is not only time-consuming and costly, it is quite the opposite. Errors during the trial stage lead to millions of dollars lost during the production stage and major delays in inspection readiness, which can further add to the cost. Sometimes dropping the trial before entering the production stage due to a lack of quality assurance become inevitable.

    1. Boosts Client Confidence

    Businesses that are known to ensure quality assurance are more likely to retain trust and confidence from clients and customers alike. During clinical trials, clients are more likely to follow the lead and trust the process when their standards of expectations align with the trials working. When boosting clients’ confidence, it is essential to highlight both the “whats” and “hows” of the trial, and quality assurance helps deliver the “hows” of the trial to keep your clients’ mind at ease.

    1. The Backbone of Consistency

    When it comes to clinical trials, it is of utmost importance that each drug produced be of the same quality to prevent ill-desired outcomes. In clinical research, the quality assurance process ensures internal consistency by scheduling regular operational checks at each level of the trial process and data collection processing to validate trial procedure compliance and data validity.

    1. Leads to Accountability

    When quality assurance is the working foundation of a clinical trial, each individual involved plays a vital role in ensuring that they deliver top-notch results in making the trial a success. Hence, the need for excellence permeates every aspect of a company in which quality assurance is at play.

    Conclusion

    Maintaining integrity and precision during a clinical trial is an ongoing, dynamic process that is the key to inspection readiness. This continuing process necessitates modifying processes and effectively conveying these adjustments to all investigators and support staff. This is why quality assurance involvement is essential and a key component to the clinical Quality Management System (cQMS) overall.

    Need to strengthen or supplement your QA component? Contact us for a free consultation! We would love to hear from you to discuss strategies!

     

    References

    • BROWN, C., 2019. Price Check: How to Cut Costs in Clinical Trials. [online] Anjusoftware.com. Available at: <https://www.anjusoftware.com/about/all-news/insights/cut-costs-clinical-trials> [Accessed 8 April 2022].
    • JLI Blog | Global Training & Education Provider. 2018. Quality Control and Quality Assurance in Clinical Trial | James Lind Blog. [online] Available at: <https://www.jliedu.com/blog/clinical-trial-quality-control-assurance/#:~:text=In%20clinical%20research%2C%20quality%20control,and%20reliability%20of%20the%20data.> [Accessed 8 April 2022].
    • Manghani, K., 2011. Quality assurance: Importance of systems and standard operating procedures. Perspectives in Clinical Research, 2(1), p.34.
    • Parashar, P., 1995. Patient Satisfaction – A valid tool of quality assurance (C. Q. I). J Family Community Med, 2(2), pp.7-8.
    • The Important Site. 2022. 10 Reasons Why Quality Assurance Is Important – The Important Site. [online] Available at: <https://theimportantsite.com/10-reasons-why-quality-assurance-is-important/#:~:text=Quality%20assurance%20is%20a%20process%20all%20organizations%20should,who%20could%20be%20with%20the%20company%20or%20independent.> [Accessed 8 April 2022].
    • Valania, M., 2006. Quality Control and Assurance in Clinical Research. [online] Applied Clinical Trials Online. Available at: <https://www.appliedclinicaltrialsonline.com/view/quality-control-and-assurance-clinical-research> [Accessed 8 April 2022].
    • WCG Avoca. n.d. Inspection Readiness: What is it and how do we get there?. [online] Available at: <https://www.theavocagroup.com/inspection-readiness-what-is-it-and-how-do-we-get-there/> [Accessed 8 April 2022].