How SAP is Helping Pharma Companies in Maintaining Quality Standards Using Pharma QMS Module

  • 16 May 2024
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QMS in pharma

In the recent years, the pharmaceuticals industry has presented an opportunity for innovation, causing the spotlight on pharmaceutical companies to intensify, and placing immense pressure on them to expedite production and distribution while maintaining stringent quality standards. In response, implementing a tailored Quality Management System (QMS) has emerged as a strategic imperative for pharmaceutical organizations to navigate turbulent times effectively.

In the pharmaceutical industry, maintaining stringent quality standards is not just a regulatory requirement but also a moral imperative.

A QMS in pharma serves as the backbone of quality assurance and control, encompassing processes, procedures, and documentation essential for ensuring consistent adherence to regulatory standards and customer expectations.

Amidst this landscape, SAP’s integrated solutions have emerged as indispensable tools, streamlining operations, enhancing efficiency, and bolstering compliance efforts. This article delves into the pivotal role of QMS in pharma and highlights SAP’s contributions in maintaining quality and compliance amidst evolving challenges.

What SAP Pharma QMS Module Has to Offer to Pharma Companies of India

In the pharmaceutical sector, upholding impeccable standards of product quality and patient safety stands as an utmost priority. Quality Management Systems in pharma play a critical role in realizing these objectives by offering a systematic approach to quality assurance.

Against this backdrop, SAP’s integrated solutions have emerged as indispensable assets, optimizing processes, improving productivity, and reinforcing compliance endeavours. Let’s delve into the different modules of QMS in pharma and explore SAP’s contributions to each.

  • Document Management Helps in Handling Relevant Documentations

Document management is crucial for handling the extensive documentation like protocols, SOPs, batch records, and regulatory submissions produced throughout various processes in the pharmaceutical industry. This aspect of the pharma quality management system facilitates the management of mission-critical documents, allowing manufacturers to store, create, track, retrieve, and manage various organizational documents throughout their lifecycle. Additionally, it enables the maintenance of audit trails for document views and ensures document security through features like electronic signatures and passwords.

SAP Document Management System (DMS) enables pharmaceutical companies to manage documents and records in compliance with regulatory requirements. It provides version control, document tracking, and electronic signature capabilities to ensure document integrity and traceability.

  • Change Request Management Streamlines the Entire Workflow

Effective change management is indispensable within QMS in pharmaceutical industry, ensuring adherence to current regulatory standards while safeguarding product quality, safety, and efficacy.

SAP’s Change Request Management (ChaRM) module enhances this process by offering streamlined workflows for requesting, reviewing, approving, and implementing changes. With ChaRM, changes undergo thorough evaluation, documentation, and validation before implementation, ensuring compliance and continuity in quality standards.

  • Training Management Brings Overall Training Assessment Workflows

Training programs are vital for ensuring personnel competency and regulatory compliance in the pharmaceutical industry. A robust training management system is crucial for tracking training activities, certifications, and competency assessments.

SAP provides a unified platform that integrates various business functions, including manufacturing, supply chain management, quality management, training management, finance, and regulatory compliance. Such integration within the pharma quality management system eliminates data silos and facilitates seamless information flow across the organization.

  • Risk Management Module Helps in Enhancing Compliance Standards

Risk assessment and mitigation are critical components of QMS in pharma. Identifying potential risks to product quality or patient safety enables companies to implement controls effectively.

SAP’s QMS includes a robust risk management module tailored for pharmaceuticals, facilitating the identification, assessment, and mitigation of risks. By leveraging SAP’s risk management tools, pharmaceutical companies can proactively minimize or eliminate risks to ensure product quality and patient safety, thus enhancing compliance and operational efficiency.

  • CAPA (Corrective and Preventive Action) Ensures Audit Readiness

Effective CAPA processes are essential for addressing deviations, non-conformances, and complaints within pharmaceutical manufacturing. By conducting thorough root cause analyses, companies can identify and rectify product faults to prevent recurrence. CAPA management within a QMS in pharmaceutical industry enables the recording of actions taken for non-conformance issues, ensuring audit readiness.

SAP’s CAPA functionality streamlines this process, facilitating root cause analysis, action planning, implementation tracking, and effectiveness monitoring. This comprehensive approach empowers pharmaceutical companies to proactively address quality issues and maintain compliance with regulatory standards.

  • Supplier Management Ensures Meeting Suppliers Regulatory Requirements

Pharmaceutical companies rely on a network of suppliers for raw materials, components, and services. Effective supplier management in a pharma quality management system ensures that suppliers meet quality standards and adhere to regulatory requirements.

SAP Supplier Relationship Management (SRM) facilitates collaboration with suppliers by streamlining procurement processes, managing supplier contracts, and evaluating supplier performance. It enables companies to ensure that suppliers meet quality standards and comply with regulatory requirements.

  • Quality Audits Ensures Overall Effectiveness

Internal and external audits are pivotal for assessing the effectiveness of QMS in pharma and ensuring regulatory compliance in the pharmaceutical industry. Audits span multiple areas, encompassing manufacturing facilities, documentation, processes, and supplier management.

This robust auditing process is facilitated by SAP’s Audit Management System, enabling organizations to streamline auditing operations. With managed workflows for creation, scheduling, preparation, execution, tracking, and updating, the system ensures comprehensive oversight of yearly, half-yearly, and quarterly audits. This integrated approach empowers pharmaceutical companies to maintain regulatory compliance and uphold quality standards efficiently.

Navigating Pharmaceutical Quality Regulations: A Roadmap for Effective Pharma Quality Management System Implementation

Adherence to stringent quality standards is paramount, guided by a variety of regulatory requirements and guidelines that shape the implementation of a QMS in pharma.

The definition and application of a pharma quality management system rely on established frameworks tailored to factors such as geographical location, product type, and the target market. Key regulatory bodies and standards include:

  • ISO 9001:2015 Foundation

ISO 9001:2015 from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) sets the foundation for QMS, but third-party contractors handle inspection and certification.

  • FDA’s cGMP Enforcement

The FDA enforces Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) standards in the US, emphasizing safety and quality throughout the pharmaceutical manufacturing process.

  • ICH Guidelines Contribution

The International Council for Harmonization (ICH) provides guidelines on impurities, risk management, and validation, with ICH Q10 outlining the Pharmaceutical Quality System.

  • US-specific cGMP Requirements

US-specific cGMP requirements for finished pharmaceuticals are detailed in 21 CFR Part 211 of FDA guidelines, covering quality control, staff qualifications, facilities, equipment, labelling, and warehouse requirements.

  • Electronic Records and Signatures

21 CFR Part 11 addresses electronic records and signatures, allowing for automated recording of process variables with improved accuracy and data handling, ensuring document integrity and authenticity.

SAP’s reporting and analytics capabilities enable pharmaceutical companies to generate regulatory compliance reports, track key quality metrics, and monitor performance against quality objectives. This helps ensure transparency and accountability in quality management processes. As a cornerstone of QMS in pharma, SAP’s solution not only ensures compliance with these regulatory standards but also facilitates the maintenance of consistent product quality throughout the manufacturing process.

Yes, Quality Is Crucial in Pharma Industry, But…

All this while, we have been talking about Quality Management Systems are indispensable in the pharmaceutical industry for maintaining product quality, ensuring patient safety, and complying with regulatory requirements. We were also able to understand that SAP plays a crucial role in supporting the initiatives of QMS in pharma by providing integrated solutions that streamline processes, enhance visibility, and enable proactive quality management. By leveraging SAP’s capabilities, pharmaceutical companies can achieve operational excellence, mitigate risks, and deliver high-quality products that meet the needs of patients and regulatory authorities alike. 

What You May Miss Out?

But do you know partnering with a trustworthy and experienced SAP Partner is equally important as quality is for Pharma Industry and you know why?

  • To understand the unique needs of your company and walk you through the SAP Integration/Upgradation process.
  • To make your business processes SAP equipped for better compliance and regulatory requirements.
  • To give you a 360-degree view of the cost considerations of integrating SAP into your business systems.
  • To give your employees complete training on the importance of data security and privacy while bringing SAP in place. ERP for Pharma Industry.
  • To brief you about the benefits of Cloud-Based ERP specific to your needs.

Uneecops Together with SAP Makes Your Pharmaceutical Quality Assurance Expert

With a recent amendment, the words ‘Good Manufacturing Practices’ (GMP) are now replaced with ‘Good Manufacturing Practices and Requirements of Premises, Plant, and Equipment for Pharmaceutical Products’ by the Health and Family Ministry, there is a complete overhaul in pharma manufacturing companies as there is now more stringent quality control guidelines. 

Be doubly sure and never compromise with the quality standards that the market and policymakers demand for. Uneecops understand the importance of quality assurance and work shoulder-to-shoulder with you to ensure compliance.

When you partner with Uneecops, you can be confident that our team will successfully manage pharmaceutical quality assurance and compliance for your complete manufacturing process — from tech transfer and clinical trials to warehousing and everything in between that SAP Solutions offers. 

You can rely on Uneecops’ award-winning SAP expertise for all your pharma quality assurance and manufacturing needs.

Dive deeper to have a look at our success story where our team of experts has helped in addressing the specific pain points of the pharma manufacturing business. Please feel free to connect for queries if any!

Shweta Bhanda

About the author

With having a Masters in Mass Communication and Computer Applications, Shweta holds 13+ years of experience in product technical documentation, website content writing, editing, proofreading, content strategizing and managing other content marketing and digital initiatives.