Thinking outside the industry is catching on in pharma circles. Just as clinical trial software makers are borrowing techniques from the financial industry to aid in trial management, so are manufacturers gleaning strategic insights elsewhere.
Some have turned to car makers, notwithstanding the current bailout storm among those in the U.S. and market difficulties elsewhere in the world. Pharmalot, referencing the Financial Times, reports that AstraZeneca is paying car assembly plant experts to help improve manufacturing efficiency. Just-in-time manufacturing and supply chain techniques were honed in the auto industry.
AZ is paying lean-manufacturing experts from Jaguar Land Rover, who are applying their knowledge of car production techniques to drug making. "AstraZeneca is perhaps where we were five to six years ago," says one of the experts in the Times report. "They need a little momentum, but there is tremendous enthusiasm."
The arrangement answers the current drug industry need to cut costs and improve manufacturing processes. But watch out for pills made on Mondays and Fridays.