How Are Macros Used in Pharma/Biotech Programming?

What is a Macro anyway?

Simply put, a Macro (short for "macroinstruction") is a single instruction that expands automatically into a set of instructions to perform a particular task. In computer science, a Macro is a rule or pattern that specifies how a certain input sequence of characters should be mapped to a replacement output sequence of characters, according to a defined procedure. Today, Macros are used in a number of different industries for very good reasons.


Why use Macros?

Macros are used so that repeatable processes can be automated. When Macros are checked and tested, Quality Control is built right into the process, saving 30-50% of your workers' time. It also sets a standard procedure, consistency and routine for a given work process, which is a huge reason companies appreciate Macros.

The consistency of using Macros brings familiarity to reviewers' jobs, making it easier to spot changes in various categories of data, such as increases or decreases, for example. If you were to compare working with Macros to not having them at all, you would find that without them, projects take longer, putting out routine reports is harder, and there will likely be inconsistencies in your company reporting. The cost involved in developing Macros isn't all that expensive, considering what you get in return. (Add piece of mind to all the other benefits mentioned above.) And when you team with a company that has a macro library already developed, you save invaluable development and testing time, as well.

How Are Macros Used in Pharma/Biotech Programming?

A library of SAS Macros, ready for implementation, automates the process for reporting outputs such as tables, listings, and graphs. Macros drive standardization with page layouts for all outputs. Production time speeds up the output of tables, listings, and graphs, using validated code, which reduces the need for validation.

"In today’s competitive environment, macros add value," says Paul Gilbert, President of DataCeutics. He adds, “Deploying tools that give programmers a quicker method to complete projects gives way for the highly-skilled programmer to spend more time working through the complicated and one-off type of work projects.”

Who is DataCeutics?

DataCeutics is a Functional Service Provider of Statistical Programming, supporting the Pharmaceutical Industry for 25 years. DataCeutics is also the developer of CR Toolkit, a set of SAS macros that assist programmers with the reporting of tables, listings, and graphs in support of FDA submissions.

To learn more, visit DataCeutics at