My Letter to 40-Year-Old Me: Ten Years in the Future
This article was published in the November/December 2016 edition of Pharmaceutical Engineering® magazine.
It’s great to see that you are still having a lot of fun and living life to its fullest. I hope that whenever things get out of hand you remember that you will always be able to get through it. Remember all those people you met at ISPE, who are always thriving, full of energy, and being part of the change to deliver faster and better quality medicines to the people who need them the most.
Wow! It’s amazing to see how the European Medicines Agency was able to work with all its stakeholders to implement serialization successfully across all of its countries. Ten years ago it was hard to believe this would happen, since many countries in Europe were going through sociopolitical challenges. But this proves what people can achieve when they work together to provide the best for the patient.
It’s also nice to see that topics like facility of the future, workforce of the future, and data integrity are now part of daily life in pharmaceutical manufacturing.
I’m glad to see that ISPE training has evolved to provide full immersive virtual reality and augmented reality scenarios for GMP inspections. This is necessary, because although we managed to simplify inspections through mutual recognition agreements and the work of the International Conference on Harmonisation, the laws have become increasingly complex. We can use simulations to study data integrity issues in manufacturing, too, with courses for all levels of the workforce, from the shop floor to management.
I’m really proud that industry innovations have drastically reduced the amount of paper we generate when working in GMP. Electronic documentation is now widely accepted during inspections and audits. It’s also amazing to see that personalized medicine is a given, through full automation integration and single-use technology.
When I first joined ISPE Young Professionals more than 10 years ago, we made it our mission to do everything possible to deliver faster and better quality medicines. After my time as the Global YP Chair, two amazing young professionals Brody Stara (Amgen, Boston, USA) and Caroline Rocks (Mylan, Ireland) took over. Thanks to their work, it is now possible for young professionals across the world to collaborate on a daily basis, building their leadership skills to be the force of change in their generation.
Robert, in 2026 the world is even more interconnected and challenges seem even bigger than they did 10 years ago. I recommend you continue to work on the challenges you see arising in your industry. Try to do the impossible, and don’t worry—you will always win or learn something new.
Note: The idea for this column came from Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group, who wrote letters to “10-Year-Old Me,” “25-Year-Old Me,” “50-Year-Old Me,” and “65-Year-Old Me” on his personal blog.
Robert W. Landertinger Forero is Chair of the ISPE Young Professionals Committee and a core team member of the Drug Shortages Initiative team. Fluent in 5 languages (German, Portuguese, Spanish, French and English) Robert is an invited speaker in countries like Mexico, Ireland, China, the USA, and Germany. He has written for or been covered by Pharmaceutical Engineering, BioPharma-Reporter, and other publications.
New in 2017
Many thanks to Robert Landertinger for his perspective, thoughts, and contributions to Pharmaceutical Engineering over the past year.
In 2017, “YP State of Mind” will be penned by the Committee’s two new Chairs: Brody Stara, Engineer at Amgen, and Caroline Rocks, Senior Process Engineer at Mylan Ireland. Watch for their first column in the January–February issue.
Brody Stara Caroline Rocks
—ISPE Publications Team
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The magazine covers topics important to the global pharmaceutical industry across all sectors, including traditional pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, innovator, and generics. Pharmaceutical Engineering magazine presents valuable information on the latest scientific and technical developments, regulatory initiatives, and innovative solutions to real-life problems and challenges through practical application articles and case studies. Stay connected with the pharmaceutical industry by becoming a member of ISPE and receive Pharmaceutical Engineering Magazine delivered to your inbox and by mail.