Establishing and Maintaining Partnerships with Surgical Model Suppliers
Introduction: The Global Surgery and Anesthesia Team (GS) is a group within Pfizer’s Comparative Medicine’s (CM) Groton, CT organization. We provide expertise in laboratory animal surgical models and anesthesia support to research partners. Our mission is to provide investigative partners with the best possible model to meet study needs. This allows us to guide investigative staff to the best outcome to meet their study requirements, whether this involves in-house development and production, or vetting suppliers that can provide surgical models to complete study work. We represent both the interests of CM and of the customer (investigative group) by presenting the need, how the model is intended to be used, performance expectations, and animal welfare
Methods: Although surgical models and method development are available in-house, there are times when outsourcing is required to meet timelines and increase efficiencies (speed). This is the case for frequently used models such as rodent vascular catheterizations and telemetry implantations. To ensure that outsourced Pfizer models meet quality standards for animal welfare and scientific endpoints, we have created collaborative partnerships with these suppliers.
Results: These established partnerships allow us to hold open and collegial conversations to suggest improvements, refinements, request validation studies, and communicate positive and negative outcomes. In the past, suppliers were not aware of how their models were being used once they arrived at Pfizer. We have been able to educate suppliers regarding our use of their models. This includes visits by vendor staff to observe how their animals were utilized in studies
Conclusion: In CM our number one priority is the health and welfare of the animals and the 3Rs. The health and well being of the animal has a direct impact on the success of the model and the validity of the studies in which they are utilized. Post-surgical complications can lead to model failure and, more importantly, the potential for pain and distress to the animal, leading to alterations in data and disruption or halt of a study.