Teams from Merck, Pfizer, Wyeth Named Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Team of the Year Finalists

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Five teams have been named finalists in Pharmaceutical Manufacturing's second annual Team of the Year awards, which recognize manufacturing teams that have contributed to the improvement of their sites and the advancement of the industry.

Teams from Merck, Pfizer and Wyeth Pharmaceuticals have been named finalists in the second annual Team of the Year awards sponsored by Putman Media and Pharmaceutical Manufacturing magazine. The awards recognize manufacturing teams that have made outstanding improvements in efficiency and quality at their manufacturing sites, and have provided important contributions to their companies. Winners among the finalists will be announced in May.

Drug makers have lagged behind non-regulated industries in adopting some of the quality improvement programs, such as Lean Manufacturing or Six Sigma, that are now the rule in the automotive and electronics industries. Today, as drug companies aim to reduce the cost of medications and improve quality, the role of manufacturing is more important than ever. These awards are the first to recognize the growing importance of the manufacturing effort.

Finalists include:

The Merck Production System (MPS) Team from Arecibo, Puerto Rico, which piloted the MPS system to be rolled out at Merck Manufacturing Division facilities worldwide. The Arecibo team significantly reduced waste, product cycle times and batch changeover times, while transforming the culture and reviving a facility.

Pfizer’s five-member CPAT Core Project Team’s mission is to create a companywide open software platform to facilitate global process analytical technology (PAT) initiatives. It ended up spearheading an industrywide effort to develop a similar platform. The team, spread across several continents, collaborates via conference calls and the Internet while maintaining unity and a singularity of purpose.

Wyeth Pharmaceuticals claims three spots in the group of finalists. The Consumer Healthcare “Excellence in Operations” team from Pearl River, N.Y. has implemented targeted Lean projects and transformed the site from a liability to a corporate model. Wyeth Consumer Healthcare’s Contractor Performance Management Team in Collegeville, Pa. established a metrics-based system for measuring, and supporting, the performance of its suppliers. Meanwhile, three teams from Wyeth’s Aprilia, Italy site have been collectively recognized for Lean improvements to reduce packaging waste and improve Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE), while prompting a renewed spirit among shop-floor staff and management.

Finalists were chosen by the magazine’s editors. Gold, silver and bronze award winners will now be determined by a panel of independent experts, including Pharmaceutical Manufacturing’s editorial advisory board. Each finalist will be rated based on the challenge, scope and team aspect of the project it undertook, as well as the results and lasting impact it would have on the organization and team members. Team and company names, locations and all other identifiers will be removed from evaluation materials to maintain objectivity..

The inspiring stories of these finalists are presented in the April issue of Pharmaceutical Manufacturing, and on PharmaManufacturing.com. Winners will be announced in the May issue, and on the web site as well.

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Paul Thomas
PUTMAN MEDIA
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