Patient progress

14 September 2004 (Last Updated September 14th, 2004 18:30)

Due to stringent legislative restrictions, pharmaceutical companies expect a high standard of quality and service from packagers, and these expectations are rising continually.

Packaging is a vital part of the development of any product, and this is particularly true in the pharmaceuticals market. The way a product is presented or protected – or made convenient for use – can make the difference between success and failure in potential billion dollar markets.

State-of-the-art processes are required, and packaging companies need to be at the forefront of this, implementing new materials and technologies. Packaging companies also need to be fully aware of safety implications and validation requirements, since the safety of the patient is of paramount importance. Packaging systems adopted for pharmaceutical products must also ensure that quality is maintained, ensuring an extended shelf life.

Prototype production

Harro Höfliger is a packaging company that specialises in providing packaging solutions to the pharmaceutical, food and electronics industries. The company is able to provide a range of diferent packaging formats and solutions to suit most applications.

Pharmaceutical companies are able to take advantage of complete solutions based on Harro Höfliger's specialist knowledge in process technology, software programming and electronic development, and its experience in packaging concept, design, manufacture and assembly.

The company is able to offer services from production of prototype/concept packaging through to the installation of a full packaging line. For pharmaceutical packaging customers, Harro Höfliger has experience in the development of GMP-compatible equipment and processes.

Harro Höfliger can package tablets, capsules, patches, pre-filled syringes and diagnostic products. The company also provides equipment for primary packaging systems such as blister packs, sachet production from foil or metallised paper/ plastic, and carton production. In addition, the company also provides consumer-convenient secondary packaging, which includes a new wallet pack and multi-layer product packs.

The Walletline system is a modular packaging platform for the production of wallet packs. The system can incorporate a wide range of shapes, sizes and formats in its standard specification, and can be integrated into existing production processes without difficulty (particularly blister packaging machines and cartoning machines). Walletline also facilitates a high level of output (up to 300 packages per minute). It can also accommodate a variety of packaging options on the same platform, such as childproof/tamper-proof packaging, incorporation of instruction leaflets and tear-off strips for customer feedback.

The system can easily produce a complicated, multifunction package in one integrated operation. The process is controlled throughout by a multiple array of sensory and optical components installed throughout the system.

Syringe benefits

BD Medical - Pharmaceutical Systems is a medical technology company which specialises in providing convenient and innovative systems to the pharmaceutical industry. The company is currently producing a range of custom-designed, pre-filled syringes.

This range has been widely recognised as being a convenient and safe option for the packaging, storage, delivery and administration of a wide range of pharmaceutical solutions, including low molecular weight heparin, vaccines and a variety of other ready-for-use biotech products. The advantages of this syringe range include:

  • Ease of use and convenience
  • Reduced risk of error (such as misidentification, or an incorrect dosage)
  • Reduced risk of contamination
  • Minimal response times (no needles to fit or solutions to draw up)

The newest product in this range is the BD Hypak Physiolis™, glass pre-fillable syringe. This system of drug delivery devices adopts many new innovative design features. These include:

  • A thin-walled needle design allowing injection flow rates to be standardised across the range (29G to 27G)
  • The needle shield is designed to protect the needle and personnel, without compromising sharpness
  • The needle itself is of a five-bevel design, which decreases the force necessary for penetration of the skin (70 per cent less)

Innovations such as the pre-filled syringe system can revolutionise packaging for pharmaceutical manufacturing companies. The system is designed to allow production from an integrated fill and finish system. This ensures greater consumer safety, fewer misuse problems, and compatibility between the filled product and the syringe design.

In addition, the pharmaceutical company would have an even more efficient traceability system for the product, since each unit is for single use and can be both individually and batch coded.

Packaging a pharmaceutical product is a high-responsibility undertaking. The health of a patient cannot be compromised. Advancing methods of drug delivery, coupled with the advent of biotech products (which are far less stable than conventional compounds), mean that packagers who aim to succeed in the pharmaceutical sector need to be inventive and innovative to maintain a competitive edge. Harro Höfliger and BD Medical - Pharmaceutical Systems have proved their vision and expertise, and are ready to face a new era in pharmaceutical packaging.