Teams from Arecibo, Pearl River Honored with Team of the Year Gold Awards

May 4, 2006
All finalists deserving of praise, say the judges.

The judges have spoken, though not unequivocally, as teams from Merck in Arecibo, Puerto Rico, and Wyeth in Pearl River, N.Y., have been named Gold Award winners in Pharmaceutical Manufacturing’s 2006 Team of the Year awards. Combined scores based upon evaluations from our expert panel were so close that both teams were deemed deserving of the top award.

Three teams from the Wyeth SpA facility in Aprilia, Italy, were, collectively, honored with a Silver Award, while another Wyeth team, the Contractor Performance Management (CPM) team from Collegeville, Pa., was granted a Bronze Award.

Another TOTY award finalist, the Pfizer CPAT Project Core Team, was given special recognition for its role in encouraging a common and open process analytical technology (PAT) software platform that is now gaining industry-wide acceptance. Much like FDA’s PAT team that was granted a special award last year, the Pfizer team was considered different enough in goals and composition from the other finalists to warrant commendation in its own category.

The judges hailed the Merck Production System (MPS) team from Arecibo for its role in piloting a manufacturing system that is to be rolled out at Merck facilities worldwide. The team engineered major reductions in cycle times, changeover times and inventory, all the while demonstrating uncommon morale, togetherness and sense of purpose.

Wyeth’s Pearl River team was similarly praised for helping to turn around an entire facility and serve as a model for other facilities to emulate. Pearl River’s targeted, Lean-based Excellence in Operations initiatives resulted in significant efficiency gains, while inspiring team members to pull together and go beyond the usual call of duty. Some members devoted four hours a day over the course of 13 weeks to the Excellence in Operations projects.

Wyeth’s Aprilia teams were recognized for their successful initiatives to reduce waste, set-up and changeover times in their facility — changes that have greatly enhanced morale among team members. Finally, judges complimented the Collegeville CPM team for its cutting-edge project to improve relationships with and extend company values to suppliers.

The stories of all award winners can be found in April’s Pharmaceutical Manufacturing, and on (see "2006 Team of the Year Finalists: Acting Locally, Thinking Globally").

Among the judges for the awards: Scott Tarpley, consultant with Light Pharma; James Agalloco, president, Agalloco and Associates; Ivan Lugo, president of INDUNIV; and PAT expert and consultant Emil W. Ciurczak.

All teams honored will receive official Team of the Year crystal trophies. The Gold Awards will be presented in person by Pharmaceutical Manufacturing’s editorial staff.