ARTICLES BY MARK F. WITCHER
How To Evaluate & Manage Safety Risks In Biopharma5/2/2022
Safety risks can be described and modelled as cause-and-effect relationships using system risk structures. This article structures risks beginning with a defined danger or threat so they can be effectively understood and then managed. Examples include wearing protective gloves (as a simple risk) and handling antibody-drug conjugates (as a complex risk).
Using System Risk Structures To Evaluate COVID-19 Pandemic Risks12/15/2021
This article's discussion demonstrates how system risk structures (SRS) can be used to understand complex risks and how SRS might be applied to understand the very complex risk landscape of the COVID-19 pandemic. It includes analysis of risk of personal infection, risk of disease progression or spreading, risk of vaccination, and more.
Principles And Concepts Of System Risk Structures For Understanding & Managing Risks12/6/2021
A truly effective risk analysis method for the biopharma industry should provide insights to and understanding of the fundamental properties and attributes that underlie every type of risk. This article describes how system risk structures (SRS) can be used to understand and manage both simple risk situations as well as complex risk landscapes quickly and efficiently.
FMEA Vs. System Risk Structures (SRS): Which Is More Useful?9/24/2021
In this article, Mark Witcher, Ph.D., discusses the many failure modes of FMEA and risk priority number (RPN), comparing and contrasting it with system risk structures (SRS) and adjusted risk likelihood (RPN). He concludes that one of these is more useful than the other for pharma and medical devices; which one is it?
Using System Risk Structures To Understand And Balance Risk/Benefit Trade-offs4/23/2021
The ICH 31000 guidance defines a risk as the “impact of uncertainty on objectives.” As a follow-up to his article on why we should replace the RPN with the adjusted risk likelihood (ARL), Mark Witcher describes how system risk structures can be used to simultaneously understand and manage both risks and benefits.
Rating Risk Events: Why Adjusted Risk Likelihood (ARL) Should Replace Risk Priority Number (RPN)4/7/2021
While the RPN primarily represents a risk event’s severity, perhaps a more important attribute to focus on is the risk event’s likelihood of occurrence. In this provocative article, Mark Witcher, Ph.D., proposes an adjusted risk likelihood rating approach that emphasizes a risk event’s likelihood of occurrence.
Revising Annex 1: A Case Study In Controlling Operating Risks By Understanding Uncertainty11/13/2020
Unfortunately, the pharmaceutical industry does not understand how to control a risk’s likelihood of occurrence. The current draft of EU GMP Annex 1 is an example of the industry’s focus on a risk’s severity while not understanding or evaluating a risk’s uncertainty and thus defaulting to using the precautionary principle for guidance.
Can We Eradicate Tech Transfer?9/23/2020
While warp-speed manufacturing is a pandemic term, the concept is important to the FDA’s 21st century vision of “a maximally efficient, agile, flexible pharmaceutical manufacturing sector that reliably produces high-quality drugs without extensive oversight.” Reaching 21st century performance requires replacing many 20th century practices.
A Functional History Of Process Validation: Part 2 – The Key To A More Effective Future8/14/2020
Part 1 of this two-part series discussed the history and underlying concepts of process validation (PV), which is required for dealing with the increasingly sophisticated pharmaceutical manufacturing processes necessary for realizing advanced medical therapies. This article describes how PV concepts can be evolved so the industry can better develop, manufacture, and launch the next generations of biopharmaceutical products.
A Functional History Of Process Validation, Part 1 – A Weak Foundation8/7/2020
This article is the first of a two-part series that describes the origins of process validation to explain the underlying concepts necessary to control the advanced bioprocess manufacturing technologies required to make the next generations of biopharmaceutical therapies.