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Browsing by study line "Industriell farmaci"

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  • Lindevall, Mari (2021)
    The purpose of this systematic review is to investigate the usage of artificial intelligence in the pharmaceutical industry in the fields of pharmaceutical manufacturing, product development, and quality control. Today, developing and getting a new drug on the market is time-consuming, ineffective, and expensive. Artificial intelligence is seen as one possible solution to the problems of the pharmaceutical industry. From 734 articles 77 academic study articles were included. Included articles showed artificial neural networks to be the most used artificial intelligence method between 1991 and 2021. The search was conducted from three databases with the following inclusion criteria: studies using AI in either pharmaceutical manufacturing, product development or quality control, English as the language, and Western medicine-based pharmacy as a branch of science. This systematic literature review has three main limitations: the possibility of an important search word missing from the search algorithm, the selection of articles according to one person's assessment, and the possible narrow picture of the used artificial intelligence methods in the pharmaceutical industry, as pharmaceutical companies also research the subject. The use of artificial intelligence in product development has been studied the most, while its use in quality control has been studied the least. In the studies, tablets were a popular drug form, while biological drugs were underrepresented. In total, the number of studies published increased over three decades. However, most of the articles were published in 2020. Nearly half of the articles had some connection to a pharmaceutical company, indicating the interest of both the academy and pharmaceutical companies in the use of artificial intelligence in manufacturing, product development, and quality control. In the future, the efficacy of artificial intelligence, as well as its limitations as a method, should be investigated to conclude its potential to play a key role in reforming the pharmaceutical industry. The results of the study show that a wave of artificial intelligence has arrived in the pharmaceutical industry, however, its real benefits will only be seen with future research.
  • Vuorela, Arja (2024)
    Adoptive cell therapy utilizes the patient's own immunological system in the treatment of cancer. T cells expressing the chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) are produced from the patient's own T-cells. The CAR gene is introduced into the T cells by a gene transfer vector, which results in the T cells expressing the CAR molecule that recognizes the antigen on the surface of the cancer cell. When CAR-T cells are returned to the body, they recognize the cancer cell with the CAR molecule and destroy it. CAR-T cell therapy has shown promising results in the treatment of malignant hematological cancers. The white blood cells used as starting material for CAR-T cells are collected from the patient using a specially designed leukapheresis device. The collected leukapheresis product is transported to the CAR-T cell manufacturing site as soon as possible, either fresh or frozen. The aim of this stability study of leukapheresis products was to determine the effect of storage time and temperature on the quality of fresh cell products regarding cell number, viability and composition. In addition, the goal was to determine the optimal storage temperature and the shelf life of leukapheresis product to ensure high quality cell starting material for CAR-T cell production. The study was performed by dividing the leukapheresis products into two cell bags immediately after collection, one stored at +15–25 °C and the other at +2–8 °C for five days. The leukapheresis products were examined at five different time points (0, 25, 49, 73 and 121 h) for white blood cell count, viability, apoptosis and white blood cell composition. The microbiological purity of the cell products was examined after leukapheresis. The leukocyte composition was stable, viability and cell yield over 80 % for at least 72 hours at +2–8 °C storage temperature. Although small proportions of cells were apoptotic after the 48 hours of storage +2–8 °C, the leukapheresis products contained more than 80 % viable leukocytes after 72 hours and over 70 % after 120 hours. Leukapheresis products remained stable for 48 hours at +15–25 °C, after which their leukocyte composition changed, leukocyte viabilities and yields decreased. The viabilities of the leucocytes were above 90 % for 48 hours at +15–25 °C, but at the 73 h time point, only half of the cells were viable. The optimum storage temperature for leukapheresis products was +2–8 °C, at which white blood cells remained in good quality for 72 hours. These results can be used to set quality requirements for the cell source material of CAR-T cell product and to plan the transport from the collection site of the leukapheresis to the CAR-T cell production site.
  • Autzen Virtanen, Anja (2023)
    Poorly water-soluble drugs are challenging to formulate as solid oral dosage forms because of their inadequate solubility in the gastro-intestinal tract. Amorphous solid dispersions (ASDs) are a proven method of increasing the oral bioavailability of poorly water-soluble drugs through drug supersaturation. Downstream processing of ASDs into oral tablets has gained academic interest in recent years. However, minitablets, which are tablets smaller than 4 mm in size, have not received the same level of attention. Minitablets have been cited as a promising dosage form for children, the elderly and in veterinary use because of their good compliance, flexible dosing, and ease of swallowing. In this work, 15 different blends of microcrystalline cellulose and lactose have been characterized for their suitability in the formulation of an ASD of spray-dried poorly soluble indomethacin in PVP K 29-32 or HPMCAS MF as minitablets. Minitablets were compressed at the compression forces ~1000 N and ~1500 N. The flowability of the blends were evaluated based on the Carr’s indices, Hausner ratios and angles of repose. From the most promising blends, 3.0 mm placebo minitablets were manufactured. A mixing test using colored beetroot powder was used to determine the optimal mixing time. The finished tablets were tested for their uniformity of mass, crushing strength, height, and disintegration. Based on their Carr’s indices and Hausner ratios, Vivapur 105, Vivapur 200, Pharmatose 200M and Pharmatose 80M had the best flowabilities. Placebo minitablets were successfully manufactured from blends of these excipients except for the 1:1 ratio of Vivapur 105/Pharmatose 80M. The mixing test indicated that the optimal mixing time is 20 to 25 minutes. The mass variation for all placebo batches except the 1:3 ratio of Vivapur 105/Pharmatose 80M was less than 10 percent from the average mass and most batches therefore fulfilled the uniformity of mass requirement of the European Pharmacopoeia. For five of the batches, the variation was within 2.80 percent. The average crushing strengths were between 32.4 N and 79.7 N and increased with increasing compression force. All batches of placebo minitablets disintegrated within 6 to 19 seconds on average except the 1:3 ratio of Vivapur 105/Pharmatose 80M which took 90 seconds to disintegrate. Minitablets filled in capsules disintegrated within 124 to 167 seconds on average except for the previously mentioned slower disintegrating batch which disintegrated in 477 seconds. All placebo minitablets, individual or loaded into capsules disintegrated within 15 minutes thereby fulfilling the requirement of the European Pharmacopeia. When considering the results obtained for placebo minitablets, the 3:1 ratio blend of Vivapur 200/Pharmatose 200M with 0.5 % (w/w) magnesium stearate was found to be the most promising candidate for ASD formulation. This formulation was subsequently used as the basis for the manufacture of 3.0 mm minitablets containing 6.22 % (w/w) of a spray-dried dispersion of indomethacin and PVP K 29-32. Except for one outlier, the mass variation of these minitablets fell within 2.37 % of the average mass, thereby fulfilling the requirement of the European Pharmacopoeia. Single indomethacin-PVP minitablets disintegrated within 6 minutes and 38 seconds, and capsules containing twelve minitablets disintegrated within 10 minutes and 37 seconds, which also is accordance with the pharmacopoeia. At 80.3 to 80.4 N the crushing strength was at the upper end of the targeted range, but still adequate. Thus, the formulation developed in this study appears promising for the manufacture of minitablets containing 6.22 % of an amorphous indomethacin-PVP dispersion. This study demonstrated that minitablets could be manufactured from a spray-dried solid dispersion despite its poor flowability.
  • Mikkonen, Sampsa (2023)
    Orphan medicinal products (OMPs) are pharmaceuticals, that are utilized in the treatment of rare diseases. Rare diseases are diseases with a prevalence of at most five individuals out of 10 000. Clinical trials with statistically robust clinical data are challenging to conduct with rare diseases, since patient populations are small and the amount of trial subjects enrolling into these trials are usually scarce. Rare diseases also represent a variety of different diseases with divergent properties (5000-8000 identified). This presents challenges in health technology assessment (HTA) when reimbursements for these treatments are assessed and decided, especially when these treatments are usually considerably expensive and burdening to national health care systems. The main objectives for this study and master´s thesis was to research via interviews with experienced professionals from pharmaceutical industry and officials as how to define, monitor and assess the clinical effectiveness of OMP treatments, how to enhance their market access, and how to develop the current conditional reimbursement system in Finland. The interviewees (n=12) all represented from their respective backgrounds and introduced opinions from their own occupational positions and frameworks based on their professional experience. The study was executed as a qualitative study utilizing semi-structured interviews with predetermined questions and themes between 6th of April 2023 and 8th of June 2023. The interviewees were initially contacted via email and phone by one of this thesis supervisors from a professional pool of individuals identified using purposive sampling. The interview transcriptions were examined and analyzed using content analysis, and they were coded and grouped into themes. When inquired, the most common opinions regarding how to define and monitor clinical effectiveness of OMP treatments, the most common answers emphasized individual clinical assessment, real world data (RWD) collection, consideration of symptom control and overall quality of life, economic effectiveness, and clinical expert assessment. Market access of OMPs could be enhanced with more flexible and bold applications for negotiations and agreements, and a need for uniform, predictable MEA procedures, parameters for treatment discontinuation, outcomes-based models, and earlier proactive start for initial negotiations on behalf of the payer (society). The existing conditional reimbursement system might be developed with outcomes-based models, increased dialogue and trust between companies and officials within the realm of negotiations, uniform and predictable MEA procedures, and already established MEA negotiation frameworks to fast tract OMP market access. Development of the existing conditional reimbursement scheme, as well as objective to enhance market access environment in Finland could be accomplished by novel, flexible, patient specific, holistic and bold systems with an emphasis on systematic collection of RWD. Uniform and predictable MEA procedures with predetermined negotiation frameworks could bring value through faster market access and valuable predictability for pharmaceutical companies in their operations. Rapid market access of OMPs could be beneficial via clinical effectiveness of the treatments, as well as through collecting valuable clinical data from the medicinal products.
  • Harju, Lauri (2023)
    In pharmaceutical sciences the pharmaceutical supply chain is often examined from a quality perspective. As the world is becoming more uncertain due to pandemics and conflicts the societal and political situation where the supply chain operates should be considered. Understanding the big picture helps to consider the cause and effect that lead to medicinal shortages. Effects of these shortages can be seen on every level of the supply chain from the manufacturer to the patient, which is why actors on the supply chain can benefit from understanding the background factors. The aim of the master’s thesis was to examine, whether pharmaceutical field actors could affect realisation of geopolitical risks by preparation and examination that the pharmacotherapy would not be interrupted. Second aim was to bring forward political and societal aspects to pharmaceutical availability which are often side-lined by quality aspects in pharmaceutical context. The study was conducted as a qualitative semi-structured interview between October 2022 and February 2023. Participants (n=11) were recruited via e-mail using representative sampling. Due to recruitment problems, convenience sampling was also used. Questions presented to the interviewees were depending on the group (n=3) they were assigned. Term ”geopolitics” was associated mainly with political and economic factors. Main geopolitical risks for Finland were seen to be small market size and distant location. For Europe, the risks were centralisation of manufacturing (and dependence) to Asia due to economic factors and long disruption-prone supply chain. Transport of pharmaceuticals from Asia to Europe was with sea and air cargo. Inside Europe, transport to Finland was with mainly with lorries utilising ferries. Rail transport was mentioned to be used only on one interview. The transport routes were seen to be staying the same in the future both for Asia-Europe and Europe-Finland. Even though risk management is an important part of functioning of every company, the change in the type of risks requires a new mindset in the pharmaceutical field both from the individual actors as well as international organisations. From risk of strikes and natural disasters we have moved to trade wars, pandemic restrictions, and the strategic acting of industries critical to society. At the same time, the ability/willingness of societies to pay for pharmaceuticals is decreasing, which leads to the manufacturers to find new ways to ensure business.
  • Sihvola, Otto (2024)
    Finland has long traditions on the use and development of digital healthcare systems. This infrastructure, covering the entire population, has enabled the utilization of electronic healthcare records (EHR) collected in various registers for secondary purposes, such as research, development, and innovation (RDI) activities. Following the emergence of this activity, an operational environment supporting the reuse of data developed between these registers and data users, enabling diverse research activities. The Secondary Use Act, prepared on the basis of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and which came into force in May 2019, triggered many reforms for this operating environment. According to experts from various stakeholder groups, the reforms were seen as both beneficial and challenging, as observed in a small number of related studies already conducted. The purpose of this study was to investigate the current state of the impacts brought by the Secondary Use Act by mapping the views and opinions of representatives from different expert groups on key changes in the operating environment from their perspective and identifying potential areas for development. The study was conducted in early 2024 as a semi-structured interview study. The interviewees consisted of experts (n=8) from various stakeholder groups familiar with the operating environment for the secondary use of real-world data. The interviewees had extensive and significant experience with either the Secondary Use Act or its operating environment. Six distinct themes emerged from the material: data management in national registers, data utilization in research, the national process and guidance, the preparation process and culture of the Secondary Use Act, internationality, and actors and their equality. To identify new and significant observations, a comparison with previous research findings was conducted, ultimately identifying key factors that still challenge stakeholders. These factors related to inequalities among stakeholders, restrictions due to data protection requirements, lack of guidelines, and data harmonization. The results confirm the previous studies’ observations and highlight the particularly challenging areas for stakeholder groups in the current time. Overall, opinions about the data permit authority were mostly positive, while there was relatively more distrust towards register holders and legislators. Based on the study, there are clear grounds for developing the Secondary Use Act, but its timing is influenced by the progress of international projects, such as the EHDS model. Future research should increasingly focus on joint European projects to integrate Finland into the international operating environment.
  • Korventausta, Susanna (2022)
    Etätyö yleistyi maaliskuussa 2020 äkillisesti COVID-19 pandemian seurauksena maailman terveysjärjestö WHO:n suosituksesta. Etätyö on ollut ennen koronapandemiaa harvinaista lääketeollisuudessa, joten etätyötä lääketeollisuudessa on tutkittu hyvin vähän. Etätyön on arvioitu jäävän pysyväksi ratkaisuksi, joten on ajankohtaista tutkia etätyön soveltuvuutta ja tehokkuutta lääketeollisuudessa. Etätyöntekijöiden tuottavuus kasvaa yleensä huomattavasti. Työpaikalla koetaan jatkuvasti keskeytyksiä, melua ja muita häiriötekijöitä, joiden lisäksi työmatkat kuormittavat työntekijöitä. Etätyöntekijät säästyvät suurimmalta osalta näistä ongelmista, jolloin suurempi osa heidän työpäivästään kuluu varsinaiseen työntekoon. Valtaosa etätyöntekijöistä tekee etätyötä osan työajastaan. Tutkimuksen tavoitteena oli selvittää kokemuksia etätyöstä, etätyön soveltuvuutta ja etätyön tehokkuuteen vaikuttavia tekijöitä lääketeollisuudessa. Tutkimus on toteutettu Orion Oyj:n Suomen toimipisteissä. Tutkimuksen toteuttamistapa oli kvantitatiivisen ja kvalitatiivisen kyselytutkimuksen yhdistelmä. Yhdistämällä kvantitatiivisia ja kvalitatiivisia kysymyksiä pyrittiin saamaan tarkempia tietoja kuin pelkällä kvantitatiivisella tutkimuksella voitaisiin saada. Kysely oli avoinna 15.11.–26.11.2021. Vastausprosentiksi saatiin 34,9 %. Etätyön merkittävimmiksi hyödyiksi havaittiin työ- ja vapaa-ajan joustavampi yhteensovittaminen ja se, että etätyössä keskittyminen on parempaa. Kommunikaation koetaan onnistuvan hyvin etätyössä, mutta kasvokkain tapahtuvaa kommunikaatiota pidetään myös tärkeänä. Esimerkiksi kehitys- ja ideointipalaverit olisi hyvä järjestää mahdollisuuksien mukaan kasvokkain. Lisäksi hiljaisen tiedon siirtyminen on vähäisempää etätyössä. Etätyö soveltuu hyvin tutkimus- ja tuotekehitystyöhön, eikä sen koeta heikentävän merkittävästi kykyä innovoida. Tulosten perusteella etätyötä haluttaisiin tehdä enemmän kuin 40 % työajasta ja etätyötä pidetään tehokkaana työskentelytapana. Kyselyssä ei selvitetty, minkälaisia etätyömääriä vastaajat ovat tehneet vahvan etätyösuosituksen aikana. Osa vastaajista on saattanut olla muita enemmän lähitöissä, mikä voi vaikuttaa tuloksiin. Saadut tulokset olivat kuitenkin samansuuntaisia kuin aikaisemmissa tutkimuksissa. Suurin osa tähän kyselyyn osallistuneista oli erittäin kokeneita ja työnsä hyvin osaavia työntekijöitä, mikä voi lisätä etätyömyönteisyyttä tuloksissa.
  • Ritamäki, Kaisu (2019)
    Pharmaceutical companies are required to comply with fair market guidelines and regulations. However, definition of fair market value (FMV) in clinical trial is not unambiguous. In literature are some suggestions how to determine the phenomenon of FMV in clinical trial. Understanding the FMV and how it should be applied into practice when conducting clinical research is challenging. This study provides more focused information on FMV in clinical trials and its determination. FMV should be determined for research-related activities in clinical drug research. FMV of research related activities can be consistent if similar sites are performing similarly conducted studies for similar sponsors. Therapeutic area and geographical location of the trial site can also influence for the FMV. This study was performed in co-operation with Roche. The aim of the study was create a consistent and transparent method to assist in the determination of FMV in medical drug research in relation to the payments paid by the sponsor to the sites. Clinical trial agreements (CTA) and associated agreements were analysed to investigate FMV of research-related activities by study site, study type, therapeutic area and geographical area. Average price and price range of each research-related activity from previous CTAs and associated agreements of Roche Finland was calculated. Based on available data from literature and study results research-related activities and factors affecting to the FMV of clinical trials were discussed to create comprehensive understanding of FMV in clinical drug research. Based on this study average price of the specific research-related activities can be different by therapy area, site, study type and geographical area. All these factors are relevant when assessing FMV of specific research-related activity. Studied therapy area and site seems to have the most important impact when evaluating FMV. For some research-related activities such as national coordinator investigator (NCI) fee price ranges could be very big whereas in other research-related activities such as pharmacy fees prices could be quite similar. Some research-related activities were very study specific which affected evaluation of those activities. CTAs and associated agreements are valid documents to gather information assessing FMV of research-related activities in medical drug research. Average price and price range of the research related activity can be used when assessing FMV in medical drug research. However, price of the specific research-related activity need to be evaluated considering the studied therapy area, site, study type and geographical area.
  • Salminen, Veera (2021)
    Continuous monitoring of the safety profile of medicinal products is essential also after marketing authorisation approval to ensure the patient safety. Spontaneous reporting of adverse drug reactions is one of the most important methods to collect post-approval safety data of medicinal products. The advantages of spontaneous reporting system include reaching large population throughout a long period of time for many medicinal products, however, it also has some limitations. One commonly recognized problem of the system in many countries is under-reporting of adverse drug reactions. The national reporting scheme in different countries slightly vary, even between Nordic countries. The main aim of this study was to find out what improvements should be done to the current reporting scheme in Finland so that it would better encourage healthcare professionals to report in relevant situations, which respond to the purpose of the spontaneous reporting system. Physicians (n=20), pharmacists (B.Sc.) (n=78), pharmacists (M.Sc.) (n=21) and nurses (n=13) responded to the anonymous open voluntary online questionnaire. Close-ended questions were analyzed and results summarized in graphs and tables. Statistical analysis was done using chi-squared test. Content analysis was performed for open-ended questions by utilizing both, inductive and deductive approach. In the study, we found some differences in healthcare professionals’ opinions what kind of adverse drug reactions should be reported. Some of the healthcare professionals were also aware that they had not reported all suspected adverse drug reactions that came into their knowledge and several reasons were recognized for this. Seriousness of the reaction was considered the most motivating factor for healthcare professionals to report about suspected adverse drug reactions. The results of this study suggest that in healthcare professionals’ opinion, the most important factors that should be considered to improve reporting in Finland are training for healthcare professionals and simplifying the reporting as much as possible. Some differences were noticed between the occupational groups regarding preferences in the reporting route and especially physicians seemed to prefer formation of the report from the information system as a reporting method more than open web-based reporting form. Mobile application for reporting was not preferred that much among Finnish healthcare professionals. The results of this study support the hypothesis that under-reporting of suspected adverse drug reactions is also present in Finland. The reporting instructions should be clarified, training availability should be considered and reporting should be simplified as much as possible to improve the reporting.
  • Böhling, Linda (2021)
    Tablet is the most common pharmaceutical dosage form due to ease of administration, chemical and physical stability, and relatively low manufacturing cost. Direct compression is the preferred method for tablet production. Direct compression formulations typically contain a considerable amount of excipients. Therefore, excipients can have a significant effect on the tableting properties of formulations. More research is needed for better comprehension of the compression behaviour of different materials. The objective of this work was to investigate tableting properties of different excipients and their binary mixtures with two different laboratory scale tableting devices; the Gamlen® D1000 Powder Compaction Analyzer and the FlexiTab®. The excipients used were microcrystalline cellulose (MCC), lactose, mannitol, starch, and dicalcium phosphate (DCP). Different compression pressures were used to survey the compression behaviour of the excipients at a wide pressure range. In addition, potential effects of compression speed, dwell time, and lubrication method were considered. The excipients and their binary mixtures were characterised based on compressibility (solid fraction vs. compression pressure) and tabletability (tensile strength vs. compression pressure). The results obtained with the devices were compared to enhance process understanding. Based on the compressibility curves, it appeared that plastic deformation was the main compression mechanism of MCC and starch and fragmentation the main compression mechanism of lactose, mannitol, and DCP. The tabletability of MCC was excellent, and also the tabletability of mannitol was good. The tabletability of DCP was intermediate, whereas lactose and starch had inferior tabletabilities. In general, the tabletabilities and compressibilities of the binary mixtures were more or less what was expected based on the results of the individual materials. The results obtained with the different speed parameters and lubrication methods were mainly in line with the perceptions of the compression mechanisms of different materials. In overall, the results obtained in the Gamlen and FlexiTab experiments were quite similar. However, tensile strengths appeared generally slightly lower in the FlexiTab experiments. Probable explanations are the higher compression speed of the FlexiTab and differences in hardness measurements. This study indicated that the FlexiTab and Gamlen devices have different benefits. The Gamlen device is clearly very suitable for investigating tableting properties during formulation development, but the FlexiTab device has the advantages of higher compression speed and automatic powder feeding mechanism. Tabletability results were slightly better with the Gamlen, but more experiments are needed for solving the reasons (e.g. compression speed and hardness measurements). More information of the compression behaviour of different materials could be obtained by analyzing punch displacement data and by using different compression equations.
  • Suominen, Riina (2022)
    COVID-19 pandemic has caused a global crisis and its effects have also been reflected to pharmaceutical supply in Finland. At the beginning of the crisis the effects were especially evident in the consumption of self-medication analgesics, prescription drugs and drugs related to respiratory diseases. In a global crisis, collaboration between the public, private and third sector is becoming increasingly important, and it is important to consider how to develop the capacity for collaboration between organizations in different sectors during a pandemic. The purpose of this study was to find out how the cross-sector collaboration between the public, private and third sector of the pharmaceutical supply in Finland was organized in the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, what was the role of the cross-sector collaboration and how the preparedness and crisis management of the drug supply could be improved. The study was conducted as a semi-structured interview survey and the interviewees were selected to cover the various sectors of Finnish pharmaceutical care as well as possible. The analysis was performed by the Gioia method and thematic design. Based on the study the organization of cross-sector collaboration was both operator- and authority-oriented and the legislation and environment in the drug supply created the framework for the crisis management. Both the authorities and the advocacy organizations can be described as having acted as hubs for organization. There was no clear crisis organization in drug supply, but different actors were involved in the crisis management at different stages of the crisis. The role of collaboration was emphasized in the sharing of information and resources and in joint solution of problems. The collaboration enabled foresight and preparedness, a focus on core tasks and crisis management, and mutual benefit. Lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic include the need to increase and intensify collaboration, increase crisis plans and crisis training, update the system of security of supply and mandatory reserve supplies, increase self-sufficiency, and increase overall governance. Cross-sectoral collaboration was seen as useful in crisis management of the crisis in the drug supply chain. The collaboration promotes the formation of a common picture of the situation and the flow of information from the field to decision-makers. Comparing the results of this study with the literature it can be said that the results partially support the previous literature. However, crisis management of the pharmaceutical supply chain from the organization of cross-sectoral collaboration point of view has not been studied in the past.
  • Virtanen, Anne (2023)
    This qualitative study was carried out as a semi-structured interview study, which was supplemented with quantitative information from centralized cytotoxic preparation units in Finland hospital pharmacies and with information about interviewees. Quantitative information was collected using questionnaires. The proportion of centralized cytotoxic preparation units that responded to the background information questionnaire was 95% (19/20) of all centralized cytotoxic preparation units in mainland Finland. In the autumn of 2022, hospital pharmacy employees (n=23) participating in the reconstitution of cancer drugs were interviewed. On average, the interviewees had 14 years of work experience in the reconstitution of anticancer medicines. They represented 75% (15/20) of the centralized cytotoxic preparation units in mainland Finland, covering centralized cytotoxic preparation units of different sizes and locations in different parts of Finland. In 2021, 88% of the anticancer medicines in all centralized cytotoxic preparation units in Finland were reconstituted at the workplaces of interviewed. According to the interviews, the reconstitution of anticancer medicinal products involves the possibility of an error in several stages of the process. An error can occur when prescribing the medicine, transferring prescription information, when selecting the raw materials, reconstituting of the cancer medicine and during transport. The interviewees identified 24 risks associated with these stages, that could lead to patient safety incidents. Safeguards have been built to avert errors or promote the detection of the errors. Based on the research data, the safeguards were classified into six categories: the development of the technology, guiding work through guidelines, strengthening competence, standardizing practices, controlled working environment and learning from deviations. In Finland, it has not previously been studied or classified with which functions and principles the centralized cytotoxic preparation units have built safeguards to prevent patient safety incidents. This study shows that reconstitution of cancer medicines is a risky process. To improve the quality of reconstituted cancer medicines and patient safety, both the system- and person-focused safeguards have been built into the risk points of the processes of the centralized cytotoxic preparation units, but their utilization varied between centralized cytotoxic preparation units. Based on comprehensive data, the research result can be generalized to centralized cytotoxic preparation units in Finland hospital pharmacies.
  • Siltakorpi, Matleena (2021)
    Obesity is a growing health challenge in Finland. Despite the fact, that obesity is recognized as a chronic disease, it remains underdiagnosed and undertreated. In the past few years, two new anti-obesity drugs have entered the market to support the lifestyle changes Anti-obesity medication would be a natural option to support lifestyle changes, but physicians have not widely adopted the medication in their treatment patterns. The aim of this study was to understand, what are the abilities of primary care physician (PCP) to treat obesity, considering their knowledge, resources and, local care pathways. In addition, the study sought to determine the most important factors, that are involved in the initiation of anti-obesity medication. The study was conducted as a semi-structured thematic interview. A total of nine PCPs from all over Finland were interviewed for the study. Of these, three worked on the private sector and six on the public sector. The interviews were conducted during October-November 2020. The framework of the interviews was built based on the previous studies and information within a pharmaceutical company specializing in the treatment of obesity. The content was analysed with inductive content analysis. PCPs interested in the treatment of obesity raised the topic of weight quite easily in various situations and some of them mentioned that they even find it easy to bring up the subject. However, the subject is mainly brought up when the patient already has some weight-related comorbidities. Preventively, weight is less often talked about, especially because of a lack of human and time resources. Currently the most comprehensive care pathways and interdisciplinary teams are in occupational healthcare. In occupational healthcare, resources are perceived as adequate and the interdisciplinary teams works well. In most healthcare centers, a separate care pathway for the treatment of obesity had not been built. In general, knowledge of the obesity treatment was considered adequate, but education on the biological basis of obesity is needed. Most of the PCPs knew about the new anti-obesity drugs and had positive attitude towards them, but they did not prescribe the drugs themselves. The most significant barrier to prescribe the anti-obesity drugs, was the price of the products and the lack of reimbursement. In addition, experience with anti-obesity drugs is limited and the need for education is high. Currently, occupational health physicians have better abilities to treat obesity in terms of care pathways, interdisciplinary teams and, resources than PCPs in public healthcare. The conditions are also better for the implementation of pharmacotherapy as resources and care pathways enables proper lifestyle guidance alongside pharmacotherapy. Prior to reimbursement, pharmacotherapy may not be a realistic option in the public sector, and the conditions for proper lifestyle guidance alongside pharmacotherapy are not sufficient in all locations.
  • Kuosmanen, Hanna (2022)
    More and more drugs for the treatment of lung cancer are entering the market with limited research evidence and high cost. However, health care resources are limited. To provide rationale and sustainable treatment for all patients, the need for health technology assessments has increased. International value frameworks with varying uses, structures, and components have also been developed to help assess the value of drug therapies. The purpose of the study is to illustrate how physicians, authorities, and pharmaceutical industry experts define the value and the effectiveness of drug therapy. The study also aims to chart the attitudes of health care professionals towards international value assessment frameworks and to describe the current challenges in health technology assessments focusing on lung cancer therapy. In addition, the purpose of the study is to evaluate the importance of therapeutic and economic evaluation of lung cancer therapies. The research material includes interviews with physicians (n=2), authorities (n=3), and pharmaceutical industry experts (n=5). The interviews were conducted as an individual (n=8) and pair interviews (n=1). The interview method used was a semi-structured thematic interview. The interviews were analyzed by using inductive and abductive content analysis and theming. The theoretical framework in the study was related to the challenges of assessing the therapeutic and economic value of pharmacotherapies. According to the study, the value and effectiveness of drug therapy are determined in a varied and perspective-dependent manner. The value of drug therapy can be divided into three dimensions, which were therapeutic, social, and economic impact. Treatment’s effectiveness was primarily determined by the health benefits gained and by the effects the therapy has on patients, society and care pathways. Based on the data, the current challenges of the therapeutic and economic evaluation of pharmacotherapies are related to the implementation methods and criteria of evaluation and decision-making, resources, cooperation needs, scientific evidence, ethics, the structure of the health care system and legislation. Based on the results, physicians, authorities, and pharmaceutical industry experts have different opinions of the need for cooperation. The interviewees also evaluated differently the status of the current development activities and the importance of international evaluations. There were also differences in the opinions on how important the therapeutic and economic evaluation of lung cancer therapies was considered. If the importance was considered low, the importance of the evaluations was expected to increase only after the refinement of treatment recommendations and guidelines. According to the data, the international value frameworks are not actively used in Finland and their significance will be considered insignificant in the future as well. The usefulness of the value frameworks was primarily limited due to structural factors, the assessment of reliability and the current evaluation system in Finland. The benefits of the value frameworks were primarily related to the coherence of the evaluation process, easing the evaluation process and improving patient equality.
  • Rantanen, Heta (2020)
    Iäkkäiden määrän lisääntyminen aiheuttaa tarpeen kehittää ja tutkia uusia lääkkeitä sekä lääkemuotoja entistä enemmän. Iän tuomat fysiologiset muutokset sekä useat sairaudet voivat aiheuttaa ongelmia perinteisten lääkkeiden annostelussa. Annosteluongelmien ratkaiseminen lääkemuodon muokkaamisella voi kuitenkin aiheuttaa riskin lääkitysturvallisuudelle. Tämän pro gradu -tutkielman tarkoituksena oli tutkia iäkkäitä potilaita hoitavien lääkäreiden kohtaamia lääkemuotoihin liittyviä ongelmia. Tutkimuksen avulla pyrittiin selvittämään, kohtaavatko lääkärit hoitotyössä lääkemuotojen aiheuttamia ongelmia, ja minkälaisia ongelmia lääkärit kohtaavat. Lisäksi lääkäreiden haastatteluissa esiinnousseita teemoja verrattiin hoitajien kolmen päivän seurantajakson aikana verkkokyselylomakkeelle kirjaamiin lääkemuotoihin liittyviin käytännön ongelmiin, joita käytännön hoitotyössä palveluasumisen yksiköissä ilmeni aiemmin toteutetussa tutkimuksessa. Tutkimuksessa haastateltiin viittä lääkäriä, joilla oli kokemusta iäkkäiden lääkehoidosta. Lääkärit etsittiin tutkimukseen mukaan sosiaalisen median kautta hakuilmoituksella. Puolistrukturoidut haastattelut nauhoitettiin ja litteroinnin jälkeen niiden analysoinnissa käytettiin aineistolähtöistä sisällönanalyysiä. Tabletteihin liittyviksi ongelmiksi lääkärit mainitsivat niiden ison koon ja pintaominaisuudet, joiden vuoksi niiden nieleminen vaikeutuu. Muita ongelmia olivat tablettien tunnistettavuus, jakouurteen puute sekä sopivien vahvuuksien puute, vaikkakin yleisesti lääkäreiden mielestä eri vahvuuksia on tarpeeksi markkinoilla. Kapseleiden ongelmiksi lääkärit mainitsivat myös ison koon sekä epäselvyyden siitä, saako kapselia avata vai ei. Oraaliliuosten ongelmiksi koettiin paha maku, liian laimeat vahvuudet, lasku- ja mittaamisvirheen riski sekä sekaantumisen vaara. Lääkelaastarit jakoivat mielipiteitä, mutta niiden ongelmiksi lueteltiin muun muassa iho-oireet ja laastarin irtoaminen. Yleisesti lääkärit eivät olleet tablettien murskaamisen kannalla, mutta jokainen haastatelluista lääkäreistä totesi murskaamisen olevan joissakin tilanteissa ainoa vaihtoehto. Lisäksi lääkärit luettelivat useita lääkemuotoihin liittymättömiä ongelmia, jotka liittyivät sekä potilaaseen mutta myös terveydenhuoltojärjestelmään. Jotta lääkemuotoihin liittyviä ongelmia voitaisiin vähentää, tulisi iäkkäiden kohdalla aina arvioida lääkehoito säännöllisesti. Arvioinnin perusteella iäkkäälle voitaisiin valita hänelle parhaiten sopivat lääkemuodot ja huolehtia siitä, ettei tarpeettomia valmisteita ole käytössä. Lääketeollisuuden ja lääkeviranomaisten vastuulla on edistää lääkkeiden kehitystä ja uusien innovaatioiden tuomista markkinoille. Käytännössä lääketeollisuus voi helpottaa terveydenhuollon ammattilaisten työtä tuottamalla selkeitä lääkeinformaatiotekstejä, joilla voisi esimerkiksi helpottaa murskaamispäätöksen tekemistä.
  • Lehtinen, Petra (2024)
    Medicines are essential to human and animal well-being. They do, however, cause harmful effects to the environment, humans, and animals – especially to aquatic organisms. The most significant route for pharmaceutical residues to end up in the environment is the conventional use of medicines in people. Due to ageing of the population and medicalization, the amount of medicines used to treat humans will only increase in the future. Pharmaceutical residues may also end up in the environment from production sites of pharmaceutical manufacturers, which causes harmful environmental effects locally. Also, the transport of raw materials and finished pharmaceutical preparations produces climate emissions. There is still work to be done to improve sustainability of the pharmaceutical sector. Incorporating environmental criteria in public procurement of medicines is seen as a method of advancing responsibility within the sector. In the spring of 2023, the HUS Pharmacy tender invitations included, for the first time, environmental criteria. Yet at this point, the criteria did not have a decisive role in decision-making. The aims of this study included discovering how the representatives of those pharmaceutical companies participating in the HUS tender invitations experienced the HUS environmental criteria, how they viewed the environmental criteria in public procurement of medicines in general, and which actions or incentives they considered the most effective tools in guiding pharmaceutical production towards a more sustainable direction. The study was conducted as an internet survey and video interviews. The environmental criteria of HUS were perceived as quite clear but there had been difficulties in seeking for the information needed. This was due to the limited time available and the internationality of the organizations, among other things. The respondents hoped for the adoption of uniform criteria, which would easen responding to different tender invitations and reduce the time needed for fact-finding. This kind of criteria was hoped to be prepared for in collaboration with different stakeholders, also considering internationality. Keeping environmental criteria involved in tender invitations was seen as one possible means of advancing sustainability of pharmaceutical manufacturing. Clear and agreeing views were not achieved for all questions presented, but instead the responses divided quite a lot for some questions. This is probably partly connected to the complexicity of the subject and the fact that some of the questions presented were seen as somewhat ambiguous. Altogether, it may be stated that the general atmosphere was more positive than negative towards the environmental effects being taken into account. Utilizing environmental criteria in promoting environmental responsibility of the pharmaceutical sector will be of use. But when formulating the criteria, it should be remembered that too strict criteria may result in a decline in the amount of offers to tender invitations.
  • Kiljunen, Sanna (2021)
    The objective of this research has been to investigate the management of alerts of Medicines Verification Systems in Europe. Verification of medicines according to Falsified Medicines Directive (FMD) came into force 9.2.2019. There is no standardized tool or system for the management of alerts, every Medicines Verification Organisation and manufacturer have had to find their own ways to manage the alerts. The research has been performed as a theme survey via questionnaire that has been sent to Medicines Verification Organisations in 30 European countries. Information to the questions of the questionnaire has also been gathered from the Internet pages that are mainly maintained by the Medicines Verification Organisations. This kind of method triangulation has been used in order to improve the reliability of the research. Answering rate of the survey was 17 %. By including the information gathered by method triangulation the overall yield percent of information in this study was 45 %. The information received via the questionnaire did not contradict with the public information. As conclusion, marketing authorization holders have been registered as users of the National Medicines Verification Systems or they have signed a contract with Medicines Verification Organisations. Marketing authorization holders are paying the costs of the Medicines Verification Systems. Penalties of FMD non-compliance are in use in part of the European countries. In the beginning of the implementation of the Medicines Verification System there has been stabilization periods in use which have already ended in half of the European countries. National competent authority is informed about system alerts typically in case of suspected falsification. In half of the European countries there is a separate computerized alert management system in use. Marketing authorization holder usually has access to the system. In some of the countries it is possible to integrate the system to the own serialization system of the marketing authorization holder. In six European countries there has been set a specific time for the alert investigation of the marketing authorization holder. Based on the results of this research the alert management system that covers the whole Europe that European Medicines Verification Organization is planning would really be needed. One common computerized system and common rules would ease up the alert management of all the stakeholders of the medicines verification.
  • Yliniemelä-Sipari, Sanna (2022)
    Tämän tutkimuksen päätavoitteena oli selvittää Bayer Oy:n Turun tuotantolaitoksella käytettävän CAPA-prosessin kehittämiskohteita. Tutkimuksessa pyrittiin erityisesti selvittämään, kuinka korjaavien ja ehkäisevien toimenpiteiden eli CAPA-toimenpiteiden toteuttamista voidaan tehostaa ja mitkä tekijät vaikeuttavat aikataulussa pysymistä. Lisäksi tavoitteena oli etsiä syitä myös sille, miksi juurisyyanalyysi ja todellisten juurisyiden löytäminen koetaan haastavaksi. Tutkimusmenetelmänä käytettiin puolistrukturoitua teemahaastattelua, johon valittiin tavoitteellisella otannalla 10 tuotantolaitoksella työskentelevää asiantuntijaa. Haastattelut toteutettiin videohaastatteluina etäyhteyden kautta. Aineiston laadullinen analyysi tehtiin deduktiivisesti ATLAS.ti -ohjelmaa apuna käyttäen. Tutkimuksen tulosten perusteella CAPA-prosessin kehittämiskohteet voidaan jakaa neljään pääkategoriaan: suunnittelu ja resurssit, järjestelmä, koulutus sekä yhteistyö ja merkitys. Keskeiseksi kehittämiskohteeksi nostettiin selvitys- ja toteuttamisvaiheiden suunnittelu, niiden toteutumisen seuranta sekä riittävien resurssien (aika, henkilöstö) varmistaminen. Lisäksi sähköistä Dev@com-dokumentointijärjestelmää tulisi kehittää niin, että se tukee CAPA-prosessin eri vaiheita ja on helppokäyttöinen sekä yhteinen kaikille CAPA-tapauksille. Juurisyyanalyysissä hyödynnettävien menetelmien ja työkalujen käyttöön toivottaisiin lisäkoulutusta, jonka lisäksi CAPA-prosessin tavoitteita tulisi selventää. Myös yhteistyön lisääminen yli osastorajojen ja vastuun jakaminen useammalle henkilölle koettiin tärkeiksi keinoiksi kehittää CAPA-prosessia ja lisätä sen merkitystä eri työtasoilla ja koko tuotantolaitoksella. Tutkimuksen tulokset ovat linjassa kirjallisuudessa esitettyjen havaintojen ja mielipiteiden kanssa ja siten mahdollisesti yleistettävissä muihin lääkeyrityksiin tai lääkinnällisiä laitteita valmistaviin yrityksiin. Yleistettävyyttä voitaisiin parantaa vielä laajentamalla tutkimusta muihin lääkeyrityksiin. Tämä tutkimus on yksi ensimmäisistä julkaistuista laadullisista tutkimuksista, jossa saatiin hyödyllistä tietoa siitä, mikä auttaa lääkeyrityksiä tehostamaan CAPA-prosessia ja tukemaan toiminnan jatkuvaa parantamista.
  • Helle, Emilia (2021)
    Background. Parallel importing of pharmaceuticals has potential to generate significant savings but results of previous theoretical and empirical studies on the consequences of parallel importing and its ability to generate competition have been contradictory. Little research on the effects of parallel importing has been conducted in Finland. In April 2017, the reference price system in Finland was extended to also cover substitution groups determined on the basis of parallel imports. The aim of the reform was to increase competition between direct and parallel imports and thus to generate savings in reimbursement costs. However, the impact of the reform has not yet been significantly studied. Aim. The aim of this study was to examine the effects of parallel importing and the expansion of the reference price system on the price development of direct and parallel imported medicines and reference prices. The purpose was to investigate in general the price development of products and reference prices in the period following the expansion of reference price system, to examine the importance of how long a reference group was involved in the system on price development, to examine the impact of the extension of the reference price system and the market entry of a competing parallel import in particular on prices of direct imported products and to examine the importance of the number of parallel imports competing with the direct imported product on price development. Methods. Reference price decisions and lists of prices of reimbursable medicinal products were used as research material. The data was found on the website of the Pharmaceuticals Pricing Board. Quarterly price data on the prices of products belonging to the reference price groups determined on the basis of parallel imports was extracted from the data. Price data was examined from January 2016 to October 2019. Price development was monitored as percentage changes on a quarterly and annual basis. The effect of extension of the reference price system and the entry of a competing parallel import was examined using a sort of before-after set-up by comparing the price development of products before the change to the price development of products after the change. Regression analysis was used to assess the statistical significance of the variables explaining price development of products. Results and conclusions. During the period, the prices of direct and parallel imports and the reference prices decreased in most of the reference price groups. Price increases amongst the groups were very rare. Based on price development and regression analyzes, both the expansion of the reference price system and the market entry of a competing parallel import significantly reduced the prices of direct imports. However, the time that the reference group was involved in the reference price system or the number of parallel imports competing with the direct import did not have a significant impact on the price development of direct and parallel imports. It can be stated that parallel imports are likely to generate significant savings in Finland and the expansion of the reference price system has contributed to the ability of parallel imports to generate savings. However, further research on the real savings generated by parallel imports is still needed.
  • Korhonen, Mira (2021)
    Good availability of medicines means that authorised medicines are placed on the market and not in a short supply. Drug shortages have increasingly become a common problem that has compromised the continuous availability of medicines. Drug shortages are caused by many complex factors, such as capacity constraints, manufacturing difficulties, business decisions, availability of raw materials, and sudden increase in demand. Drug shortages can cause adverse effects, medication errors, allergies, and delays in necessary treatments. There have been studies that have explained the reasons behind medicines shortages. However, more information is needed especially from the perspective of markets in Finland. The aim of this study was to reinforce and deepen the knowledge concerning the availability of medicines in Finland. The aim was to identify the group of medicines that are more exposed in short supply than others and define the root causes of medicine shortages. In addition, the aim was to form an overview of the availability of medicines in Finland. The study was based on a Finnish medicine agency's registry. Data were collected retrospectively from materials that contained shortage notifications from marketing authorisation holders and mandatory reserve supplies permissions for exemption to maintain lower stock levels. The study was dated between the years 2017 and 2020. More detailed data from the medicine shortage was only available from the year 2020 because of changes in procedures. The study also contained data from the register for all marketed and non-marketed medicinal products with marketing authorisation. The data classified with ATC-codes, because it is used internationally and thus makes the study to comparative to other studies. Data were analysed with cross-tabulation and frequency distributions. The study addressed that drug shortages were reported of medicines that are commonly used in Finland, such as nervous and cardiovascular system drugs. These medicines covered almost half of the annual shortage notifications. The number of drug shortage notifications has increased annually by approximately 40 percent. Correspondingly mandatory reserve supplies permission for an exemption to maintain lower stock levels were reported most on nervous system drugs and anti-infectives for systemic use. The number of annual permissions remained quite constant. The amount of the permissions increased 14 percent between the years 2017 and 2018 and a further 6 percent to the year 2019. However, the amount of permissions increased 26 percent in the year 2020. There is clearly recognized the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic when considered the rate of shortage notifications and mandatory reserve supplies permissions. The main reasons for the shortages were capacity constraints (32%) and increased demand (21%). Most of the drugs in short supply were drugs with national (33%) or decentralised (30%) marketing authorisation procedures. Broadly were able to state that the availability of medicines was at an acceptable level. 62 percent of all medicinal products with marketing authorisation were placed on the market. In addition, only 29 percent of older drugs with marketing authorisation accept during the years 1996 to 2003 were withdrawn from the market. In future, more large-scale studies are needed based on this study to improve the system that maintains the continuous and high-quality medicine distribution. Most important is to create a better tracking system and co-operation between national and international officials.