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European Pharmaceutical Contractor

What's New in LIMS?

In the 21st Century, everyone operating in pharmaceutical or fine chemical QA/QC should be familiar with laboratory information management systems (LIMS). In pharma and contract research particularly, they are ubiquitous. In R&D, the picture is more complex but they are nevertheless commonplace. The LIMS arena has experienced some headline changes recently and a keen awareness of the implications of these could prove invaluable in assessing both the system and the vendor. These can be summarised as follows:

The use of Internet technologies

Compliance with 21 CFR Part 11 and similar regulatory protocols

Both issues are business pressures; the former is, of course, optional and offers process improvements and efficiencies, while the latter is mandatory.

For many laboratories, the choice is now whether to upgrade or replace legacy LIMS, and also whether to harmonise on a single vendor. There is a bewildering choice of LIMS and LIMS vendors. In addition, many other software systems are capable of implementing functionality traditionally viewed as being within LIMS.


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By John Dickson, Consultant at Thermo LabSystems

John Dickson joined Thermo LabSystems in 1999. He is a consultant in the Pathfinder global informatics services group, specialising in validation services.

Originally trained as a Medical Laboratory Scientist, John then worked for GlaxoSmithKline for 14 years in quality assurance, responsible for implementation and maintenance of laboratory computer systems. He has a BSc in Computer Science and FIMLS in clinical chemistry.

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John Dickson
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