Industry expert Phil Geis talks about product recalls and how ready companies are for rapid microbial ID testing
Dr. Phil Geis, PhD, began his career in microbiology with the US Army, where he helped to establish clinical microbiological capability for its 45th Field Hospital and earned an Army Medal of Commendation. During his 30 years with the Ohio-based Proctor & Gamble Company, Dr. Geis where he managed global preservative and disinfectant development, studies of household and skin microbial ecologies and hygienic manufacturing. While at P&G, he also carried responsibilities for state and federal regulatory compliance and policy matters as well as formulation and product development for which he is co‐inventor for a number of domestic and international products. In 2011, Dr. Geis retired from P&G and established Geis Microbiological Quality services in affiliation with Advanced Testing Laboratory. Dr. Geis currently serves as editor for International Biodeterioration and Biodegradation journal and teaches at the University of Florida Microbiology and Cell Science department.
How has your career and industry experiences helped make you a subject matter expert in your field?
PG: I have been in the industry for 40 years working globally. I have seen what it takes to be successful within method development, risk assessment and building policy and processes. With success comes knowledge of the stumbling blocks as well. Establishing core principles upfront is key for getting started and not incur a false start. Understanding of specific core principles and having people who are capable and equipped to follow them in order to develop successful, sustainable processes. Thinking globally within the depth of technology. Experience of pioneering, who can think of next opportunity and maintain it, backed by people, systems and drive, to successfully conquer one opportunity while always striving to complete the next. Systems and technology need to be supported and suited for the people that are part of the processes.
What do you feel are the biggest challenges currently facing OTC Manufacturers and the Consumer Care Industry?
PG: Product quality recalls over the last 2-3 years is the highest I have seen in my 40 years within the industry. In 2017 there were 72 product recalls, among nine manufacturers. All these manufacturers were striving for preservative free products. Why? Because they were trying to quickly respond to social pressures and releasing products without proper base systems and validated processes in place to produce quality products.
What do you think are the most important industry changes and/or trends today?
PG: The current trend in value of implementing rapid methods. The industry is not properly prepared for this. Manufactures want to jump into rapid methods without having the knowledge or bandwidth to validate and support rapid technology and rapid systems. Manufacturers need to understand the time and expense of validating these rapid systems and find a cost-effective way to do so.
Another core principle is that your current laboratory system needs to be prepared to go rapid and take on stronger, more stringent, GMP controls.
What do our colleagues within the Consumer Care Industry need to be doing differently?
PG: They need to ensure systems and lab processes are sound and ready. Manufacturers need to go with products and systems from companies that can sustain and support the technology. Key is to implement a technology that fits most or all of your products.
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