Chemical Management for Biopharmaceutical
and Research Labs
Integrating EH&S into the Business Process
One of the world’s leading biopharmaceutical technology and companies has worked closely with Chemical Safety Software over the past several years to develop a complete program for managing chemical inventories. This includes procurement and disposal as well as regulatory compliance and reporting. Researchers have immediate access to the chemicals and compounds they need, while inventories of hazardous and regulated materials are monitored, reduced and better controlled.
R&D organization’s research activities often involve thousands of small quantity compounds that must be readily available. Tens of thousands of unique chemicals in many more containers are in use at a typical pharmaceutical research facility. A pharmacy approach centralizes and streamlines the chemical distribution process, organizes chemicals by functional groups, allows for EH&S input and supports the goal of compliance with environmental health and safety permit and reporting requirements. Chemical Safety’s Environmental Management System (EMS) has helped make an in-house pharmacy program possible by controlling and dynamically sharing critical information across the supply chain.
In this program, receipt of chemicals is recorded in EMS by way of an electronic link into a purchasing/receiving system, and container labels with individual barcodes are created. As chemists need specific materials for research, they log into an intranet website where they check availability of the required substances. If a chemical was ever ordered by one researcher, but not completely used up, it can be requested by another chemist with an online form. Researchers may then pick up the chemicals or have them delivered.
When chemicals are checked out of the pharmacy, container labels are scanned, as are barcodes for the requesting lab, and the materials are moved to the new location, both physically and electronically in EMS. In this way materials are tracked throughout a research facility and inventory records are kept accurate. Unused amounts of chemicals are returned to the pharmacy’s storage area, where they are scanned and recorded as available inventory in EMS.
The entire system runs on a secure network and chemists are given access rights to those substances necessary for their research. If a chemical is not available in the pharmacy, a chemist may order it directly from a pre-approved supplier whose catalog is available on the pharmacy web-site. Materials receipt information can be input to EMS through the purchasing system link, or directly by one of the preferred chemical suppliers with whom Chemical Safety has built an interface for this purpose.
All of the EMS functional modules work in conjunction with this program. Inventory is cross-referenced to MSDS and chemical databases. Federal, state and local compliance reports as well as user-specified management reports can be generated easily. Users can search for information based on name, synonym, CAS#, ingredient, manufacturer, formula, location and hazard type. MSDS’s and chemical inventory levels can be viewed and reports can be created and printed by any authorized employee in the plant. Hazardous materials and waste can be tracked cradle-to-grave, and chemical usage, along with related costs, can be calculated by location, lab and chemist.
The program has resulted in lower costs on a number of fronts. Purchasing and disposal costs have gone down due to the simplified sharing of materials and information. Insurance fees were also reduced because stocks of potentially dangerous materials were lowered, and no longer stored bench-top throughout the research facility.
Interested in learning more? Click to read a program summary and find out how you can get started with the EMS software.