US-based contract research organisation (CRO) Quintiles Transnational has developed a new tool to help biopharmaceutical companies assess their relative risk-management preparedness.

The Readiness Inventory for Safety Questionnaire (RisQ) explores a range of core competencies essential to maintaining a quality risk-management function, Quintiles explained. The results of a validation study with RisQ are being presented this week at the Drug Information Association’s European meeting in Berlin, Germany.

“No company wants to be caught ‘off-guard,’” commented study author John Hall, vice president of global medical affairs, epidemiology and outcomes research for Quintiles. According to Hall, the RisQ questionnaire “can be utilised as a strategic management and communication tool to convey risk management needs throughout a company”.

Helping pharmaceutical companies to mitigate risk and maintain safe drug use is the focus of Quintiles’ Late Phase and Safety Services units – issues that have taken on increasing prominence in today’s pharmaceutical market, the CRO noted.

Never before has there been such a concentration on drug safety and quality, it said, adding: “Pharmaceutical companies are under intense pressure to bring drugs to the market more quickly and at the same time, recognise and manage the benefit risk balance of their medicines”.