NeuAge Institute (NAI)

How Covid Has Impacted the Field of Pharmaceutical Regulatory Affairs

When the pandemic first hit in 2020, it was hard for anyone to know what to expect, even the most experienced pharmaceutical regulatory affairs professionals. With so many uncertainties, the field was filled with internal questions, as well as external pressures to step up to the plate. As it turns out, a crisis like COVID-19 has led the regulatory affairs field to discover long-term opportunities for improvements.

At the NeuAge Institute, students in Regulatory Affairs benefit from applied training that they can implement directly on the job. As a rewarding and intellectually stimulating profession, students with scientific backgrounds thrive in expanding their pharmaceutical knowledge. Learning the latest on regulatory systems, legislation, and practices, students can apply their knowledge even in the most extreme situations, such as unpredictable pandemics. 

Continue reading to see what changes occurred in the industry due to COVID-19.

Regulatory Affairs Professionals Proved Their Resiliency During the Pandemic

As experts in the details of the development, manufacturing, and quality standards of pharmaceutical products, regulatory affairs professionals were crucial to the COVID-19 response. Their ability to pivot their processes to continue to meet regulatory standards while prioritizing safety demonstrates their resilience in the workforce.

Regulatory affairs certificate holders were able to address public health concerns while simultaneously keeping licensing up to date and maintaining the company’s legal status. Regulatory affairs professionals are equipped with the skills to respond to special situations and priority reviews. Although they may not have been expecting a global pandemic, these professionals showed that their training equipped them for real-world situations. 

Reacting swiftly to changing conditions while maintaining regulatory compliance was a necessary response from the industry. Moving forward, we can expect to see regulatory affairs professionals continue to think quickly, deploy resources appropriately, and ensure continuity of regulatory operations.

pharmaceutical regulatory affairs
Quick and innovative thinking helped regulatory affairs professionals succeed during Covid

The Adoption of Remote Work for RA Positions

A major change that affected virtually every aspect of regulatory affairs was the switch to remote work. Human contact was a top safety concern, especially early on in the pandemic. Safeguarding procedures to isolate employees and staff when possible allowed pharmaceutical companies to continue production throughout the pandemic.

Moving to a work-from-home setting is not always easy, and many regulatory affairs staff were faced with challenges with technology, communications, and more. However, through these challenges, these professionals were able to discover a new framework in which to fill their roles.

Initially, many regulatory affairs employees reported disruptions in office operations, disjointed communication with team members, and a lack of resources while working from home. But as the situation evolved, these employees were able to establish a more productive routine. Without interruptions, many professionals began to feel that they worked more efficiently at home. This switch to a remote framework shows that important work, such as that in the regulatory affairs field, can continue even in unexpected circumstances.

regulatory affairs certificate
Pharmaceutical regulatory affairs embraced remote work for many operations

Changing the Approach to Pharmaceutical Regulatory Affairs in a Post-Covid World

The changes from the global pandemic resulted in changes to the long-term approach to regulatory affairs. What started off as disruptions in office work and communications flourished into improved efficiency and availability through remote work. International meetings and conferences were held online without major restrictions, as each party could attend without travel or safety risks. The ease that digitization offered pharmaceutical regulatory affairs operations proved too valuable to dispose of during non-pandemic times.

The pandemic has jumpstarted conversations that were mere ideas pre-Covid. For example, remote assessments and digital health development were seen as areas for growth, but the pandemic kickstarted their implementation. A trend toward flexibility, innovation, and problem-solving from regulatory affairs departments turned out to be a much-appreciated approach that is likely to continue long after the pandemic.

Are you interested in starting regulatory affairs courses?

Contact the NeuAge Institute for more information!

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