Now that outsourcing has become so widely used in pharmaceutical manufacturing, the competition between contract management organizations (CMOs) has intensified. The pharma industry continues to grow at a massive rate and CMOs are doing all they can to attract clients; the problem is, unlike other industries, contract pharma companies are unable to differentiate themselves on quality. For example, in car manufacture, one company can better itself by producing a car that has a better engine, better fuel economy and a more luxurious interior – this is not possible for contract manufacturers in the pharmaceutical industry.
All contract pharma manufacturers are bound by the same industry levels of quality control, trying to go against guidelines to make a drug that is better in some way will simply result in the product being rejected and never making it to market. Entering into a price war, can be a good short term way of attracting clients, but soon enough, prices will begin to be undercut, or matched by companies with better reputations.
The only clear way of gaining an advantage over competitors is to offer faster turnaround times. The benefits of a faster turnaround are obvious: products are manufactured and delivered quicker, thus getting to market quicker and giving the pharmaceutical company the edge over their competitors. Faster turnaround also results in shorter production and cash cycles.
The most common way of achieving a faster turnaround is to add capacity. This can be done by expanding operations; buying more equipment and hiring more staff. Investment in a high-speed production line is a sure way of speeding up processes and is purchased high-end hot melt extrusion machinery. Hiring more staff and adding a second or third shift to operations will also help boost production efficiency. However, the best way of getting a fast turnaround time may be found in the use of rapid microbial methods (RMMs).
Rapid Microbial Methods
RMMs can be used by any contract pharmaceutical manufacturer company and presents a much quicker way of obtaining definitive results during testing when compared to traditional microbiological methods. By using modern rapid testing systems results are presented in clear graphics that are colour-coded for easy identification. Results can be provided in just 24 hours, often 17 days quicker than tradition methods.
By introducing RMMs into the manufacturing process, contract pharma companies are able to:
- Quickly reduce inventory and stock requirements
- Reduce waste
- Use less energy and water
- Adapt quickly to the ever-changing needs and demands of clients
- Recover quicker from contamination events
These benefits give contract manufacturers a clear edge over competitors using traditional methods and will give them the ability to attract more customers. Reducing energy and inventory space also present financial rewards to contract manufacturers, allowing them to save money and take on more work. Many of the global leaders in pharmaceuticals are already using RMMs for testing, and it is only a matter of time before more companies begin to demand that pharmaceutical manufacturers use them too.
PharmaForm is a full services contract pharmaceutical manufacturer that specializes in controlled release technologies, such as hot melt extrusion and fluid bed processing.