By Ajaz Hussain, Independent Consultant, and Jessica Settimi, Senior Director, Continuous Manufacturing, Thermo Fisher Scientific
In addition to the devastating impact the COVID-19 global pandemic has had on public health, the economy, and the overall quality of our day-to-day lives, it has also exposed significant risks in today’s pharmaceutical supply chain. Improvements in speed to market and quality assurance, among other factors, need to be made to ensure not only the timely delivery of safe and efficacious drugs but also the stability necessary to manage future risks and disruptions.
Among many other benefits, continuous manufacturing can predictably shorten processing times, reduce the risk of human error, deliver better consistency and yield, and provide higher assurance of quality. It has long been considered a viable solution to speed and quality challenges posed by legacy methods. However, while there has been an increase in continuous manufacturing across the pharmaceutical industry over the last several years, many speed bumps prevent its widespread adoption. Driving a path forward for continuous manufacturing calls for a closer look at the current global challenges, existing barriers to implementing it, and each stakeholder’s responsibility in pioneering the ideas and initiatives necessary to fulfill its potential.