Rx-360 Board Member Interview: Jack Brinnier
Rx-360: What is your current role at Watson? Where did you start your career?
I am currently the Vice President of Corporate Quality responsible for Quality Systems and Compliance at Watson Pharmaceuticals Inc. My career started in an electronics company which supplied the US military. The move to a pharmaceutical company was not as different as one would think. Both industries working to government regulations and specifications have many similarities. I worked for Boehringer Ingelheim for twenty years in a variety of roles in systems, validation, regulatory compliance and QA. Twelve years ago I joined Watson as a site head of Quality and five years ago moved to Corporate Quality. We have worked to implement consistent compliance across the organization through the implementation of our Quality Systems.
Rx-360: How did you first hear about Rx-360? What about it first caught your attention?
I first heard about Rx-360 from Martin VanTrieste. The concept of an organization of manufacturers and suppliers interested in supply chain security immediately caught my attention. All pharmaceutical manufacturers are challenged to know their supply chain and regularly audit suppliers, warehouses and brokers. Suppliers are weary of the numbers of customers who audit them. We need a better approach and I see Rx-360 as a better way to monitor our suppliers and gather important intelligence about supply chain risks.
Rx-360: Why did you join the Rx-360 board?
I wanted to join the board to bring a different perspective with my background in Brand and Generic pharmaceutical manufacturing. It was a unique opportunity to help guide the development of an important industry group.
Rx-360: What aspects of Rx-360 do find you are most passionate about?
Regulatory and supply chain surveillance is also very important and valuable to our industry. As busy as we all are, Rx-360 is a good source of accurate information that saves us time and gives us a good perspective on changing regulations and supply chain threats. Clearly having shared and joint audit programs will benefit all Rx-360 member companies. As more companies participate, the audits will cost less and be of even greater benefit to all.
Rx-360: What do you think has been Rx-360’s greatest achievements so far?
The establishment of the procedures and systems for the shared and joint auditing program were very significant achievements as was the actual start up of the joint audit program. Rx-360 has also built good relationships with regulators in a short period of time which allows us to provide input from our industry directly to our regulators.
Rx-360: What do you think Rx-360’s greatest opportunities are in the next 3-5 years?
The industry continues to expand globally. Suppliers will be established in more regions of the world and our products will be made in new locations where there is not currently a good understanding of cGMP. Rx-360 is needed to give manufacturers an efficient way to monitor suppliers and subcontractors. Supply chain security will only become more challenging in the next 5 years.
Rx-360: What do you think Rx-360’s greatest challenge(s) will be in the coming years?
Many suppliers are not convinced that allowing an Rx-360 audit will replace multiple audits by many of their customers. More pharmaceutical manufacturers must participate in the joint audit program to assure that it becomes a standard approach accepted by our suppliers. In addition, multiple sponsors of audits will give Rx-360 leverage with suppliers who in the past would not permit audits due to the small amount of business done with any one pharmaceutical company.
Rx-360: Is there anything else you’d like to add?
In other industries like Aerospace, consortium audit programs have taken many years to get established. Rx-360 has done a lot in a relatively short period of time. I would encourage all pharmaceutical manufacturers to join and participate in the efforts to make our supply chains more secure, and assure the quality of the materials that we use in our products.