From The Editor | September 3, 2015

3 Can't-Miss Sessions At Pharma EXPO 2015

ken congdon

By Ken Congdon

packaging and pharmaceutical expo - pack expo

Pharma EXPO will take place at the end of the month (Sept. 28-30) in Las Vegas. The trade show is a joint venture between PMMI — The Association for Packaging & Processing Technologies and ISPE (The International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering) and will be collocated with PACK EXPO at the Las Vegas Convention Center for the first time this year. Together, the two events are expected to draw nearly 2,000 exhibitors and 30,000 attendees from 40 vertical markets.

Education is central to the Pharma EXPO experience. ISPE has put together a strong conference program that covers the latest topics and trends impacting the pharmaceutical industry. The educational sessions have been organized into three distinct tracks — the Manufacturing Operations track, the Compliance Trends track, and the Pharmaceutical Packaging track. Rather than run these tracks concurrently throughout the conference, ISPE decided to dedicate one day of the conference to each track.

“We didn’t want to force attendees into making decisions between multiple sessions occurring simultaneously in different educational tracks,” says Susan Krys, Vice President of Program Development for ISPE. “By focusing on a single track each day of the conference, we’ve eliminated this conflict.”

The Manufacturing Operations track will run on Monday, September 28, and will focus on providing attendees with insights on single use systems, employee empowerment, OEM and CMO selection, and contamination control. The Compliance Trends track is slated for Tuesday, September 29, and will delve into issues like serialization, track and trace, risk management, cleaning validation, and incident investigation. Finally, sessions for the Pharmaceutical Packaging track will be presented Wednesday, September 30, and will cover packaging line optimization, container closure testing, advanced stability modeling, transdermal patch packaging, and oral solid dose packaging.

Spotlight Sessions Are A Must At Pharma EXPO

Each of the three tracks at Pharma EXPO will feature a Spotlight Session keynote. These sessions promise to be the highlight of the conference program and are a can’t-miss educational opportunity for attendees.

The Spotlight Session for the Manufacturing Operations track is titled Manufacturing Excellence: Empower Employees To Unleash Their Potential In High-Performance Work Teams. In this presentation, Steve Speer, Director of Operations for ProPharma Group, will share an employee empowerment methodology designed to unleash human potential in the workplace. Specifically, he’ll educate attendees on the basic process of implementing, growing, and maturing the use of high-performance work teams whose sole purpose is to drive continuous improvement related to manufacturing and compliance requirements.

“This presentation is very different from the other sessions slated at Pharma EXPO, but it’s a vitally important topic,” says Jan Baurley, Consultant of Global Quality Systems at Eli Lilly and a member of the Pharma EXPO Conference Education Planning Committee. “Pharmaceutical employees shouldn’t operate in a silo or vacuum. To be successful, drugmakers need to develop teams that are empowered, work together, and have a collective goal. Needless to say, this requires a great deal of finesse, and this session will provide best practices for building this team dynamic.”

Day Two’s Compliance Trends Spotlight Session is titled Using Quality Risk Management To Evaluate Compliance For Multiproduct Manufacturing And Inventory Facilities In The Pharmaceutical Industry. In this keynote, Paul Ahlijanian, Senior Manager at Pfizer, will address the growing regulatory compliance challenges related to cross contamination control for pharmaceutical companies that manufacture and store multiple product classes of active compounds (e.g. hormones, steroids, cytotoxics, sensitizers, etc.). This presentation will not only provide attendees with insight into how to identify and analyze cross contamination risks, but will also outline how to generate a QRM (Quality Risk Management) document and implement control measures to mitigate these risks.

“This session is particularly intriguing because actual case studies and risk management reports will be reviewed and cited,” says Baurley. “This real-world insight will provide attendees with a roadmap of pitfalls to avoid and best practices to mirror.”

Wednesday’s Pharmaceutical Packaging Spotlight Session is titled Using Advanced Stability Modeling To Push Innovation And Speed To Market For Package Development. This presentation, led by Dr. Kenneth Waterman, President of FreeThink Technologies, will illustrate how accelerated modeling enables rapid packaging decisions to be made without having to go through historically inefficient processes.

“Anyone that has worked on the development of pharmaceutical packaging knows that it is a process historically based around trial and error,” says Baurley. “As a result, making the right packaging decisions is often time consuming and expensive. Injecting advance stability modeling into this process is becoming a very popular way to scientifically justify the packaging you select while reducing time to market and overall costs. This should be a very informative session on this trend.”

Each of these Spotlight Sessions is complemented by a full slate of additional education content aligned with each track. The full Pharma EXPO conference program is available here.

Educational Opportunities Abound

The ISPE seminars aren’t the only educational opportunities available at Pharma EXPO. In fact, the event features an Innovation Stage, conveniently located on the exhibit show floor at booth number N-559 that will offer free 30-minute educational presentations throughout the day to all Pharma EXPO and PACK EXPO registrants. (Attendees must pay an additional fee to attend the ISPE conference sessions).

“The Innovation Stage seminars are presented by exhibitors and other subject matter experts,” says Kate Achelpohl, Director of Member Communications at PMMI. “These sessions have been vetted to ensure educational value and have been well-received by attendees in the past.”

There are several interesting Innovation Stage sessions on tap at Pharma EXPO including Serialization Impacts In The Pharmaceutical Industry and Creating Tomorrow’s Packaging Today: Technology And Collaboration-Based Approaches To Optimize Pharmaceutical Package Design. A full schedule of Innovation Stage presentations is available here.

The Center For Trends & Technology (Booth Number C-4829) is another place to find valuable free education at Pharma EXPO and PACK EXPO. Sponsored by Rockwell Automation and its PartnerNetwork Program, The Center For Trends & Technology offers presentations, informative kiosks, and an interactive wall that will show how smart manufacturing advancements can provide attendees with a competitive edge. You can view the complete Center For Trends & Technology schedule here.

Finally, Pharma EXPO Live, located within the Healthcare Packaging booth (# N-405), provides attendees with a more informal means to educate themselves. Pharma EXPO Live will be anchored by a continually changing video wall featuring supplier-provided product videos, live interviews, live-demo alerts, social media conversations, and more.

If you’re looking for unparalleled pharmaceutical industry education; a fantastic networking opportunity; and a glimpse into the latest technologies impacting pharmaceutical manufacturing, processing, packaging, and supply chains; then consider attending Pharma EXPO this month. Registration for the event is only $30 until September 14 and flexible rates for the ISPE Pharma EXPO conference program are available. Hope to see you there!