I am responsible for providing Quality & Compliance support to the company’s consumer businesses worldwide, and support to their pharmaceuticals and medical devices and diagnostics sectors in Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific and Latin America.
I joined the company I currently work for in 2000 and have been in this role, with increasing responsibilities, since then.
There is no such thing as a typical day – the main feature of my work is the variety – on any particular day, I could be almost anywhere in the world, at a manufacturing facility, meeting with regulators or industry associations, developing international standards or presenting at a conference.
I started with responsibility for Europe, Middle East and Africa and have since taken on wider geographic responsibilities and taken on specific projects.
I wanted to continue being involved in activities with a technical focus but in a broader range – I had the opportunity to be involved with pharmaceuticals, medical devices, diagnostics and consumer products throughout their lifecycles.
I studied Pharmacy at the University of Bath and graduated with a Bachelor of Pharmacy degree in 1979. I completed my preregistration training in hospital pharmacy and registered as a member of the Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain in 1980 (now the Royal Pharmaceutical Society).
I returned to the University of Bath to undertake research for a Ph.D. in pharmaceutical microbiology.
On graduating, I joined the Scientific and Technical Branch of the Department of Health, initially working on sterilization but having opportunities to be involved in GMP/Quality Management and a wide range of other areas. This went through several reorganisations and I had positions of increasing responsibility, ending up as the Head of the Device Technology and Safety unit. I became a Fellow of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society in 2004.
I would say a couple of things. I have been involved for many years in developing international standards for validation and routine control of sterilization – we have just completed a major revision of the standards for major sterilization processes and, for the first time, published a consistent and coherent (I think) set of standards.
Secondly, I was recently involved in co-leading a team looking at the relationships with external manufacturing partners, which included a review of the way that relationships were managed in countries all around the world. We have now rolled out a set of standards and processes that are being implemented at the moment.
Credibility and flexibility.
As I travel a great deal, I have an office in the United States and an office in my home in the UK. Our virtual worldwide team meets up periodically and we always ensure that these are social as well as business meetings!
There are a wide range of opportunities – don’t let yourself get put into one pigeon hole.
By working in the pharmaceutical industry you are doing something to make people better and improve their quality of life, and that is very important to me.