Presentation on theme: "Gakava L Roche Products Ltd., Welwyn, UK"— Presentation transcript:
1 Gakava L Roche Products Ltd., Welwyn, UK New Starter Models for Pharmaceutical Companies and Clinical Research Organisations (CROs) October 2011Gakava LRoche Products Ltd.,Welwyn, UKIn the last four years as a SAS programmer in the pharmaceutical industry I have had the opportunity to work for anumber of different companies, both CROs and pharmaceutical organisations. During that time I have been a newstarter and have gone through different company induction models.The presentation compares and contrasts New Starter Models used by Pharmaceutical companies and Clinical ResearchOrganisations (CROs).New starter refers to recent graduates, students on internship or someone who has changedcareers and joined the pharmaceutical industry as a SAS®/statistical programmer from a different environment suchas finance or marketing.
2 DisclaimerThe views and opinions expressed in this presentation are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Roche Ltd.
3 Agenda THE ROLE DRUG DEVELOPMENT PROCESS INDUSTRY BACKGROUND GENERAL TECHNICAL TRAININGPHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIESCLINICAL RESEARCH ORGANISATIONSIMPROVEMENTS AND ALIGNMENTCONCLUSIONSTraining structure : generic and Operation introductionOverview of the drug development cycleTypical activities a sas programmer faces everydayThe operation training overview : drug development process overview, principles of clinical trials, importance of trial protocol, different regulatory bodies and SOPsPHARMA advantages and disadvantages –job specific trainingCROs advantages and disadvantagesFinally the presentation ends by identifying improvements and alignment of the models in both environments.
4 Job specificationThe RoleThe role of a SAS programmer mainly consists of reporting clinical trial data from Phase I-IV studies. The role typically involves understanding the requirements and writing programs to create statistical tables, listings and graphs from the data collected during a clinical trial.Provide statistical programming support for the statisticians and statistical programming expertise for the company.Write programs to create statistical tables, listings, and graphs.Independently QC peer programmers’ statistical tables, listings, and graphs.Write programs to create the analysis database.Meet milestones.Provide functional guidance.Develop operating procedures - Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) which are detailed written instructions to achieve uniformity of the performance of a specific function.The studies can be in different therapeutic areas such as Oncology, Psychiatry, Endocrinology, Cardiovascular disease and Infectious diseases to mention a few.
5 Drug Development Process (Source PhRMA) -All clinical trials have a protocol(legal document) outlining the design, conduct and operating procedures of the trial.-The protocol contains a study plan on which the clinical trial is based. The plan is designed to safeguard the health of the participants (while limiting their financial liability) as well as answer specific research questions.-The protocol describes, among other things, what types of people may participate in the trial; the schedule of tests, procedures, medications, and dosages; and the length of the study.Clinical trials are heavily regulated and to ensure safety of the subjects involved:UK – Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency(MHRA)US- Food and Drug Administration(FDA)To legally test the drug on human subjects in the U.S., the maker must first obtain an Investigational New Drug (IND) designation from FDA. This application is based on pre-clinical data, typically from animal studies, that shows the drug is safe enough to be tested in humans.The New Drug Application (NDA) is the vehicle in the United States through which drug sponsors formally propose that the FDA approve a new pharmaceutical for sale and marketing. The goals of the NDA are to provide enough information to permit FDA reviewers to establish the following:
6 General Training Structure Generic Introduction : This covers the company’s overviewE.g. Human Resources (Pensions) , IT awareness, company’s values etc.Operation introductionThis covers an overview of the pharmaceutical industry, drug development and job specific trainingGeneric – Human Resources (Pensions) , IT awareness, company’s values :Integrity Courage and Passion!, Behaviours in Business and IT learning
7 Industry BackgroundThe operation introduction training usually covers:The drug development process and the steps involved in clinical researchThe principles of clinical trialsThe importance of a trial protocolThe different regulatory bodies of clinical trialsStandard Operating Procedures (SOPs) which are detailed written instructions to achieve uniformity of the performance of a specific function 
8 Industry Background…Pharma companies are responsible for the long term development of drugs and CROs undertake specific tasks for Pharma companies it follows that there will be differences in the New Starter Models.A pharmaceutical company or drug company’s main focus is to research, develop, market and/or distribute drugsThere is usually a drive to experience the overall drug development process and be involved in its results and patient impactClinical Research organisations provide a service on specific tasks for Pharmaceutical companies.There is usually a drive to meet timelines within agreed budget
9 General Technical Training Pharma/CRO The new starter is enrolled in a SAS certification programme/recognised external SAS course or SAS training is provided in-house followed up by hands on experience - again in- house.After training a mentor is assigned to guide them through real studies.The new starter is usually granted access to the Pharma in- house reporting system after they have completed an initial training session. This training is not usually done in the real working environment and its detachment from the live reporting system means that they don’t get any real experience of using the system until after access has been granted.An in-house reporting system is a system for creating datasets and reports using the SAS system.
10 General Technical Training… Being new and working on real studies has its challenges in both Pharma companies and CROs as follows:The time to report on the study can increase because the new starter has to become familiar with new conceptsResources can be lost from other studies as the mentor has to double check all the work done by the new starter In addition for new starters in CROs, there are also these additional challenges:The new starter has to read a number of SOPs from different Pharma companies which also takes time to become familiar withThey also have to be trained in the different in-house reporting systems for different clients which again can take time to become familiar with
11 Pharmaceutical Companies A pharmaceutical company or drug company is a commercial business whose focus is to research, develop, market and/or distribute drugs, mostly in the context of healthcare . They can deal in generic and/or brand medications.
12 Pharma AdvantagesWorking on a single therapeutic area and on one study means that they become familiar with the specific compounds under development, know the SOPs better and the people conducting the studies.The new starter will only deal with the company’s SOPs which means they are easier to become familiar with than if they are dealing with many different SOPs from different companies. Similarly with the in-house reporting system.They will experience the overall drug development process and be involved in its results and patient impactThey will be directly involved with the science team and will be able to influence the reporting outputs for the studyThe advantages of working within a pharmaceutical company are that you become familiar with the specific compounds under development, you know the SOPs and also the people conducting the studies.It is possible to build constructive and positive relationships with the people conducting the studies.
13 Pharma DisadvantagesThere can be a lack of variety of studies to work on in different therapeutic areasWorking on one in-house reporting system limits the new starter’s experience as reporting systems vary and other systems used by other companies could have some features which are better than the system being used
14 Clinical Research Organisations A contract research organisation, also called a Clinical Research Organisation, (CRO) is a service organisation that provides support to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries in the form of outsourced pharmaceutical research services (for both drugs and medical devices). Pharmaceutical /Biotech companies give CROs specific tasks to concentrate on allowing them to increase efficiency in the delivery of their product.Protocol writing, crf designing, monitoring, reporting jobs etc
15 CRO AdvantagesWork on studies in different phases and therapeutic areas.This is an enriching experience since they have exposure to varied clients with different or similar in-house reporting systems. An in-house reporting system is a system for creating datasets and reports using the SAS system.There is a possibility of working on different studies at the same time.This should develop and improve the New Starter’s multitasking capabilities and communication skills within global teams.Different disease states, different trials and protocolsA person can be working on six different projects at a time, gaining experience in many areas, being exposed to many influences that they can refine over time.The need to complete contracts on time and within budget while maintaining the highest standards of quality give the work a real edge.
16 CRO Disadvantages Working on studies for a short period of time. This does not allow new starters to develop a good grounding in the concepts of that therapeutic areaThey will not usually work on a whole study from beginning to end.They will not gain in-depth experience of the study and the only information that they will be given will relate to the part of the study that they are working on.The new starter has to read a number of SOPs from different pharmaceutical companies which also takes time to become familiar withThey also have to be to be trained in the different in-house reporting systems for different clients which can take time to become familiar with
17 Improvements and alignments PharmaThe introduction of a dedicated training environment within the live reporting system. This will ensure that the concepts learnt during training can directly be applied to the working environment and that the initial training is beneficial.The introduction of a dummy study for new starters to work on with common reporting aspects across all therapeutic areas. This will provide insight into other therapeutic areas where the new starter might be required to report in the future and will give a general overview on the different types of reporting across different therapeutic areas.Access to be granted to the training area for new starters from CROs who will be working on the Pharma company studies. This will ensure that CRO new starters quickly become familiar with the tools required to successfully report on the studies.
18 IMPROVEMENTS AND ALIGNMENT CROsThe introduction of a general dummy study which should preferably be independent of the client environment. This should cover common reporting aspects across all clients and not on one client system. This will have the benefit of giving new starters a general overview of the standards across different clients and therapeutic areasAccess to be granted to the client job specific training environment and material (dummy study) prior to beginning to report on the real study. This will ensure that the new starter becomes familiar with their client’s reporting system and how to use it as quickly as possible.
19 CONCLUSIONBoth Pharma companies and CROs should create a dummy study (within the live reporting system) for new starters to work on. New Starters can practice, gain confidence and get a good idea about what they will potentially face when they start working on a real study.Pharma companies allowing CROs to have access to their in- house dummy study in a controlled reporting environment will ensure that new starters from CROs are able to quickly become familiar with the reporting system so that they will be more effective when working on a real study with their client.These alignments in the New Starter Models in Pharmaceutical and CRO environments will make it easier for new starters in both environments to smoothly transition into their careers and become efficient in undertaking work tasks more quickly.
20 CONCLUSION…CRO or Pharma?Depends on career planResearch on which environment best suits your career planWhat is important is that you will be helping to find a cure or improve the standard of living of patients!!
21 References  AskDefine - http://pharmaceutical.askdefine.com/  Wikipedia - AskDefine - Wikipedia -