While many of us have been surprised at the speed with which the COVID-19 vaccine has been developed, we may not consider the additional complexity associated with safely transporting it. In the case of one of the available vaccines, Packaging Corporation of America collaborated with several companies to create the best possible solution.
Q How has the pandemic impacted the pharma packaging segment?
The pandemic situation was an exception to the conventional. It is easier to encounter an opponent or a situation when it is known and visible. Initially, during the outbreak, it was all about uncertainty. Within few months, the entire world was under its cover. Packaging being an integral part of the product and considering need of a global level coverage within a short time, it was a big challenge. The end-to-end supply chain from raw materials, packaging materials to the finished product was not equipped for this kind of emergency. There were many hurdles like the restricted movement of people, skeletal transportation system, scarcity of essential support systems, etc. Nevertheless, Packaging has a noble role to support product protection and distribution, irrespective of external situations. The only difference was quick optimization of the available resources and consolidate them to support the demand. R & D, Manufacturing, Packaging, Quality, Supply Chain, and all other major support functions got aligned to respond to the pandemic.
Q Can you tell us how the pandemic has promoted innovative packaging solutions and their future impact?
Innovation in Packaging has three distinct categories – Material innovation, Design Innovation, and Application innovation. Material innovation, particularly the primary packaging materials, is a long-term process, involving compatibility & stability study, extractable & leachable study, migration & permeation study, including clinical and bio equivalence studies of the product and transport worthiness of the finished product packaging. Considering the emergency, design, and application innovation got priority for development and adoption. However, the process of material innovation got momentum and many studies are continuing with different formulations at different parts of the world.
Q In pharma packaging can all single-use plastics be replaced with eco-friendly materials like agro-waste materials. Do you think this model is realistic?
In today’s world plastics, in various forms, are part of the product packaging system. It is not easy to replace them overnight without adequate backup study and appropriate backup data. However, its judicious use and controlled disposal can definitely improve the situation we are worried about. Replacing plastic with wood-based material will create another crisis, which we are already experiencing now.
Q In your assessment, how the segment is set to improve supply chain workflow?
When the right quantity of a product is delivered with the right quality at the right place at right time through a seamless end-to-end internal and external coordination and communication, then we can consider the supply chain is working efficiently. This is possible when automation & digitalization is adopted at each level of operations along with other hybrid technologies using track & trace, blockchain, wireless communication, artificial intelligence, augmented reality, etc. Connecting end-to-end material suppliers and solution providers is very crucial at this juncture to consolidate all the efforts to make the supply chain strong.
Q When it comes to sustainability in packaging what are the challenges faced? Elaborate.
Sustainability is mostly challenged by the timely availability of the input materials, manpower, and disruption due to the transport system at both ends. Else we have all resources and capabilities to meet the challenges, which we have already proved during the relaxed period before this pandemic 2nd wave started. The other part, availability of alternate formulation/material/design/ application is also in progress and they will be coming soon to support and sustain the business flow once study and data are available along with necessary regulatory approval. We are highly optimistic to prove our prowess.
Q How will a patient centric innovation help packaging? Can you tell us about the role of technology particularly AI, IoT, and Blockchain in patient centricity?
Most of the innovation happens only with the help of contemporary technologies. Hence natural expectation is the use of currently available technologies which can easily make a hybrid solution for a common cause. Automation, digitalization. Use of AI, IoT, Track & Trace, Block Chain, Interactive Packaging, Augmented reality, Wireless communication, Web portal services are many such tools that can enhance the intended end use of the product through its packaging.
- New AmSky™ blister system, the latest in Amcor’s recent innovation breakthroughs, has the potential to transform the sustainability of healthcare packaging
- Innovation eliminates PVC from blister packaging – enabling Amcor healthcare customers to improve the recyclability of their packaging
- Innovation will deliver the first child-resistant and senior-friendly (CRSF) recyclable solution for the most in-demand pharmaceutical packaging typ
Building on its recent track record of breakthrough innovations to deliver recyclable packaging, Amcor is today announcing c
Tokyo, Japan & Brussels, Belgium, April 21, 2021 – Asahi Photoproducts and Esko have showcased their breakthrough, fully automated flexo platemaking line CrystalCleanConnect at this year’s virtual.drupa event.
‘World’s First’ Recyclable PE-based Blister Packaging-Amcor develops breakthrough recyclable healthcare packagingNews:
Building on its recent track record of breakthrough innovations to deliver recyclable packaging, Amcor is today announcing customer trials of the world’s first recyclable* Polyethylene-based thermoform blister packaging. The new packaging is designed to meet the stringent requirements of highly specialized and regulated pharmaceutical packaging and creates a more sustainable alternative for the most in-demand healthcare packaging type. This innovation also benefits from up to 70% reduction in its carbon footprint, when compared to packaging alternatives on the market today.**
AmSky™ eliminates PVC (PolyVinyl Chloride) from the packaging by using a Polyethylene (PE) thermoform blister and lidding film. PVC can make packaging recycling more difficult or contaminate other materials if consumers attempt to recycle it. By removing PVC – whilst retaining all the benefits of pre-existing blister packaging – Amcor has created a new, recyclable solution that benefits the entire recycling process.
Amcor is currently working with several leading pharmaceutical companies to bring AmSky™ to market globally. The company expects AmSky™ to be available in the healthcare market by the second half of 2022.
The recyclability of the material was verified by cyclos-HTP, an organization based in Aachen, Germany, that provides independent assessment and certification of such environmental claims. The carbon footprint reduction is based on an Asset life-cycle assessment of a standard PVC blister with aluminum foil lidding compared with Amcor’s AmSky PE blister and lidding film. The Asset tool is certified by the Carbon Trust.
Berry Global Healthcare is launching what the company claims is the lightest dual-port blow fill seal closure currently available for large volume parenteral applications – up to 64% lighter than some competitor products. The new lightweight Cyrano™ provides an important sustainability benefit through the reduction in overall plastic usage while offering a safe and easy-to-use solution for all types of intravenous and infusion systems in hospitals and other clinical environments.
Cyrano™ uses Berry’s advanced molding technology to create extremely lightweight components that still deliver a reliable performance to safeguard product integrity, ease drug administration, and improve patient safety. The standard ready to use closure is validated for use on the latest blow-fill-seal machines and is certified to ISO 15 759.
Cyrano™’s twin in and out port design is sealed with a protective aluminum foil, offering a flat surface for fast and easy disinfection. The swift peel-off action of the foil also saves time during administration. Importantly, the foil protects each port individually, meaning one port can be opened for access while the other remains closed and sterile.
In addition, the two separate ports also offer maximum flexibility during usage, for example allowing individual sides for injection and infusion.
The silicone and rubber-free closure provides superior seal integrity for effective protection against drug spillage, tampering, microbial, chemical, and particle contamination. In addition, it offers excellent spike retention, automatically resealing after being pierced.
The bi-injected Cyrano™ is available in both medical-grade polypropylene and polyethylene to ensure maximum compatibility during filling, sterilisation, and sealing. The closure can be incorporated into blow fill seal equipment lines, with excellent welding ability for a secure fit with the bottle. The foil can be printed to enable branding and personalisation of the closure.
Muriel Combeau, Sales and Marketing Director, Berry Global Healthcare, commented: “By removing unnecessary weight and using fewer plastic elements in its manufacture, we have developed a closure that offers a valuable sustainability benefit with no compromise on performance.
Cyrano™ is a highly flexible, and also cost-efficient, solution for many types of parenteral requirements and the administering of preparations by IV or infusion. In particular, its dual port design allows greater adaptability and ease of use compared to more traditional twin cap versions.”
Certification affirms the company’s quality management systems meets ISO requirements
Auburn, AL, April 20, 2021 – Aptar CSP Technologies, a leader in material science and active packaging solutions (part of AptarGroup, Inc.), earned the International Organization for Standardization ISO 13485:2016 certification for both its U.S. and France-based plants. These internationally recognized standards set the requirements for a quality management system specific to the medical device industry.
Market trends. New products, design and technology. These topics will be explored on 27 April 2021 in a live web event organized by SACMI in collaboration with Aptar and McKinsey
Sustainability, safety, e-commerce. Three vital pillars of the post-COVID “next normal” in packaging that SACMI will explore together with packaging multinational Aptar.
Schreiner MediPharm designed the label with an integrated NFC chip precisely for the combination of the UnoPen™ and the SmartPilot™. With the NFC-Label, the drug can automatically be identified, authenticated and checked in terms of its expiration date. Due to the smart device, the time and date of the injection as well as the delivered dose are tracked and transmitted to the patient’s related smartphone app via Bluetooth.
Schott and Credence MedSystems have formed a strategic collaboration to make syringe injections safer through integration of Schott’s pre-fillable syriQ glass and the Credence Companion technology.
As reported in an Oct. 5, 2020 press release, the companies will work together to integrate the technologies and provide the pharmaceutical industry with an innovative and differentiated offering for drug delivery via prefilled syringes. The combination of Schott’s and Credence’s offerings targets a pre-validated and pre-assembled portfolio of passive integrated needle systems with various available syringe sizes made of both glass and high-quality Cyclic Olefin Copolymer materials.
“Integrating our established Companion technology with a broad variety of existing syringe barrels from Schott is an important milestone in offering innovation without change to the pharmaceutical industry,” said John Merhige, Credence’s chief commercial officer, in the press release. “This allows pharma the confidence to work with already validated systems but the freedom to choose the perfect fit from a wide portfolio.”
Fabian Stöcker, vice president of Global Strategy and Innovation at Schott Pharmaceutical Systems added, in the press release, “Having over 20 years of experience in the field of syringes, we are happy that, with this partnership and product offering, we can even go a step further to create a new, synergistic, and trusted offering for glass and polymer syringe systems that is responsive to the growing needs of the industry. To our knowledge, we will provide the first integrated needle safety system on the market with a polymer pre-fillable syringe by integrating the Credence Companion technology into our Schott TOPPAC syringes.”
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