The trends, the technologies, the supply – Pharmaceutical Packaging

Pharmaceutical packaging is a major part of the pharmaceutical supply chain and just like any other industry; there are fashions and trends that take hold of the ‘next best packaging option’. Pharmaceutical packaging comes in varies forms, from a closure to an electronic device.

Glass bottles have seen a plateau in demand, with plastic (PET) bottles taking the lead on preferred standard primary packaging for pharmaceuticals. PET is a polymer of ethylene glycol and terephthalic acid. Pellets of PET resin are heated to a molten liquid, which can be easily extruded or molded into almost any shape. PET bottles are fast becoming the popular choice in pharmaceutical packaging and will be an estimate worth $20 billion dollars, by 2020.

Track and trace (or the common term, serialisation when it comes to packaging) is becoming hotbed for discussion and implementation. The global market is flooded by counterfeit drugs, creating great concern for stakeholders and patients alike. Pharmaceutical companies are under scrutiny to ensure that all their products have full traceability and are creating a sound infrastructure to ensure the safety of their product.

Pharmaceutical packaging has had increased responsibility to maintain the quality and integrity of the drug that it is transporting, which has strong developments in innovation. The incredible statistic is that 10%-30% of all pharmaceutical drug products are counterfeit and the pharmaceutical industry and supporting organisations have a duty to protect the world’s population.

The pharmaceutical industry not only demands supply, it also expects innovations from its stakeholders. More and more large pharmaceutical companies are using an ‘outsource’ business model to help them deliver the ideal primary packaging for their newly developed drug (or current). The two stand-out developments are the syringe that prevents contact the active ingredients and primary packaging. The area that connects the hub and the needle is made of a flexible plastic. The medication cannot come into contact with the needle during transportation, with a supporting tamper-evident element the development is fast becoming revolutionary in the syringe market.

The second design innovation that Origin Pharma Packaging would like to highlight is the straw component for children and the elderly that can be utilised to administer the drug. The end user can ingest the drug with a drink and be assured of exact dosing with a supporting control filter.

Companies such as Origin Pharma Packaging work on a global scale, with a number of strategic manufacturing across Europe and the U.S. and innovation offices in London and New York. The have developed a revolutionary supply chain mode, HP3 which is supporting the huge need within the pharmaceutical packaging supply chain – SPEED.

Primary pharmaceutical packaging in the supply chain is arguably the second most important assets in the pharmaceutical supply chain. Globally, packaging companies have a duty to be advocates of legal practices in manufacturing. In addition to this they are also the drivers of increased sustainability of pharmaceutical packaging to ensure efficient processes to deliver optimum solutions.