Hi. I'm Donna and I'm a Manager at Teva in the Extractables and Leachables Group at Teva's Waterford site.
There’s more to my job than just inhalers.... I support new product development in R&D and it’s very exciting to be involved with some of the new emerging dosage forms, including long-acting injectables. Waterford primarily develops and manufactures inhalers, but I’m also involved in supporting a variety of different products and have the opportunity to work with colleagues at our different global sites, including sites in the EU, US and India.
I work with assessing the closure systems on product packaging or devices for our medicines... We need to know how our products can be impacted by different container materials as it’s important for patient safety. We assess the medicine after it’s been in contact with different closure systems, to see what may have migrated.
I’ve had an exciting journey at Waterford.... We’ve been able to bring in new analytical equipment and new technologies that haven’t been used here before. My biggest achievement is being involved in building a new team and laboratory for extractables and leachables testing. This has been a significant team effort.
There’s no typical day, and I like the variety that brings... A big part of my job is developing testing strategies to address risks identified, draw conclusions, and consolidating the data package for a submission for a new drug product. Additionally, being involved with a vast team to bring new products to market, and then seeing the finished product launch… it is a huge achievement.
Studying chemistry combined my two favourite subjects at school - maths and science... I studied chemistry at University, then started work at a contact research organisation in the UK. I worked there for 10 years, specialising in extractables and leachables before moving up to project management, supporting clients, and providing training. When the vacancy was advertised at Waterford, it was such a good match for my skillset that I decided to make the move from the UK to Ireland. That was nine years ago, and it’s been a great opportunity to advance my career.
Being a woman in science has changed a lot, and for the better.... When I started my career at my previous employment, there were no women in senior roles but it’s very different now. It is no longer a male-dominated area and I really admire the example set by senior management women I’ve had the opportunity to work with at Teva.
I’ve had a great experience being in the lab, learning new technologies.... I love the fact that it is not routine. If you find a passion (that’s related to your work), you can follow that. If you’re thinking of joining the pharmaceutical industry, my advice would be, if you enjoy it, then do it. If you like your job, it makes everything so much easier – it is a huge part of your life.
About 50% of my day is usually science-related... and that isn’t just hands-on development, it also includes project management and interacting with colleagues in the laboratories. Then there is the other 50% where I’m thinking of the bigger picture, including assessing new equipment, responding to regulatory queries and discussions in industry forums.
Due to Teva’s size, we have experts in pretty much everything... you just need to find the right person to ask within the organisation. Being able to learn from other people is a great advantage.
Innovation is huge at Teva... Waterford is involved in lots of innovation projects and Teva is becoming more global allowing you to network with other sites and share learning and experiences. We are also developing new dosage forms, such as nasal sprays. Waterford is growing and I think that’s going to continue.
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