PDA Letter Article

Voices of the Board: What has the year 2021 in store for us?

by Jette Christensen (Novo Nordisk), Chair PDA Board of Directors

Jette Christensen

First and foremost, I wish you all a Happy New Year. I sincerely hope that 2021 will bring you happiness, good health, and harmony.

2020 was a very unusual year. The COVID-19 pandemic changed our world and our way of living. We had to isolate ourselves, wear face masks outside the classified areas and our homes, and learn to work in different ways. Whether we work for a pharmaceutical company, a vendor, academia, a regulatory agency, or as a consultant, we have all been impacted.

Even the PDA organization has been forced to find a new way of working. For sure, 2020 was a challenging year, but we gained many good learnings that we can use to benefit members.

Sudden Move to Virtual Events

Last year, our Annual Meeting was the first meeting/conference that we had to change into a virtual event. Since then, we have held several virtual meetings and continuously improved the digital setup. The PDA staff has worked very hard on improving the quality of our digital solutions, and we are now in a position where we can proudly say that we provide participants with very high-quality virtual conferences and training sessions. We will, of course, still focus on refining and delivering the best possible virtual conference and training setups.

Event Calendar 2021: Virtual and Hybrid

For your kind information, we will continue our signature conferences--the Annual Meeting, Quality and Regulation Conference, PDA/FDA Joint Regulatory Conference, Pharmaceutical Microbiology Conference, and Universe of Pre-Filled Syringes and Injection Devices Conference.

Conferences on new topics will be held, too, like the Robotics and Automation Conference. Please visit our event calendar and learn more about them.

We now expect that traveling across borders will remain restricted, at least during the first half of 2021, so our conferences will continue to be run solely on a virtual platform. When it traveling is safe again, we will offer both face-to-face and virtual events, often in a hybrid shape of the two. 2020 has shown us that virtual meetings provide some benefits, for example, that you do not need to travel and that our virtual conferences allow you the opportunity to watch the recorded video presentations when it fits into your time zone. However, we are painfully aware that you miss meeting face to face, networking and building new relationships, shaking hands, or sometimes even giving each other a hug.

Finally, we will continue our wide range of e-learning events and webinars.

PDA Advisory Boards

In 2021 our advisory boards, SAB, BioAB, ATMP, and RAQAB will, as usual, monitor the current hot topics that impact our members, and will provide input to PDA activities.

The advisory boards ensure that the task forces will deliver high-quality documents that include technical reports, ‚ÄúPoints to Consider‚Äù papers, and standards. You can look forward to receiving interesting and up-to-date science- and risk-based technical information — just stay tuned.

COVID-19 Task Force

In 2020, our COVID-19 task force offered, among other things, a series of webinars on virology and coronaviruses, remote inspections, inspection preparation, FDA guidance on COVID-19, and modular manufacturing to enhance/upscale capacity.

In 2021, the task force will provide you with more valuable information on how to handle the pandemic in the pharmaceutical world. Please remember to check our website in order not to miss any important webinars.

Supporting the PDA Vision and Mission

As you can see from the above examples, PDA will have plenty of deliverables in store for you in 2021. These deliverables are only possible due to our very competent staff who successfully plan all the offerings and due to our active PDA members. I would like to thank all the PDA member volunteers who are willing to share their vast knowledge and put a lot of time and effort into these tasks. Your strong commitment makes the PDA able to fulfil our vision and mission.


  • To be the premier global leader in advancing pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical manufacturing science, technology and regulation, enabling members to better serve patients


To maximize product quality, availability, and value by connecting people, science and regulation within the pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical community as:

  • The preferred choice for professionals who seek to acquire specialized, innovative skills and knowledge enhancing their professional development
  • The premier education partner for professionals in academia, industry and government for the advancement of manufacturing, quality and regulatory science
  • An organization that aligns its practices and resources to support its core values of science-based approach, integrity and inclusion