More Quality Teams Say Performance Is A Major Goal in 2019

New report indicates fewer pharmaceutical industry quality professionals believe compliance is the top goal compared to 2018, and most believe data will impact performance.

HAMILTON, N.J., – January 29, 2019 – While compliance remains the top quality goal for pharmaceutical industry quality teams in 2019, economic performance could soon take the top spot.

This is according to the 2019 Pharma Quality Outlook Report, a survey sponsored by Sparta Systems and conducted by Pharmaceutical Technology.

This latest research indicates that quality professionals are shifting their focus from compliance to performance. 

According to the report, 66 percent of industry executives named compliance as a top goal, down ten percent from last year. Meanwhile, over a third (39 percent) say that economic performance is now their top objective, a four percent increase.

In order to meet their increasingly important performance goals, quality teams plan to use data and analytics. A majority (63 percent) anticipate using data to improve quality department performance.  

Meanwhile 58 percent expect to leverage data to improve cross-functional performance.

However, survey respondents don’t believe that their existing quality systems provide the data and integration capabilities needed to achieve their goals.

While there is a consensus that data will be impactful, many respondents appear to be wary of potential roadblocks. Nearly a third (31 percent) believe that lack of data analysis and reporting capabilities will be an obstacle. 

Similarly, 30 percent anticipate that attaining access to complete and accurate quality data would be a challenge.

Additionally, 46 percent said that accessing and analyzing data was the biggest challenge with their existing system.

“This latest report clearly indicates that the roles of pharmaceutical industry quality teams are evolving.  There’s more emphasis on driving results and impacting business performance than before, while compliance remains essential,” said Stephen McCarthy, Vice President of Digital Innovation at Sparta Systems. “Leveraging the right data and technology platform will be a vital for success in 2019.”

Additional key findings include:

  • Data is becoming an increasingly critical part of regulatory compliance. Nearly a third of respondents (32 percent) anticipate using quality data to report to the FDA.                                     
  • The two biggest obstacles to achieving quality goals will be limited budget and headcount (48 percent) and communication and collaboration tools (35 percent).                                            
  • Many are missing out on the benefits of digital cloud platforms. Nearly a third (32 percent) still use paper and spreadsheets and 27 percent report using in-house systems.                                     
  • There could be more of a shift to the cloud in 2019: 46 percent of respondents anticipate quality budgets to increase while 12 percent say a new cloud-based/digital QMS platform is a top consideration.                                                        
  • There is a sizable interest in Quality 4.0 technology, with 43 percent of respondents indicating that they plan to evaluate or experiment with quality 4.0 tech over the next twelve to sixteen months.

Download 2019 Pharma Quality Outlook

Survey Methodology 
The survey of 161 industry executives has been compiled into a full report detailing pharmaceutical companies’ goals and objectives for quality control and assurance in 2019.