US-based pharmaceutical company EMD Serono has launched Slim Pack, a packaging solution for fertility medication made of fully recyclable cardboard.

The packaging is for EMD Serono’s GONAL-f RFF Redi-ject (follitropin alfa injection) pen and is 40% smaller than the product’s previous packaging.

The redesigned, smaller package is designed to occupy less space in a refrigerator.

Follitropin alfa injection is a prescription medicine containing follicle–stimulating hormone (FSH) used in infertile women.

The therapy is intended to help ovulation and pregnancy in women who are infertile for reasons other than primary ovarian failure, as well as cause their ovaries to create multiple eggs as part of an assisted reproductive technology (ART) programme.

Slim Pack is designed to improve portability, efficiency and convenience without compromising the quality of fertility medication.

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It is expected to enhance the supply chain process by allowing more product to be transported in fewer shipments.

In addition, the packaging will improve EMD Serono’s sustainability profile by reducing the GONAL-f RFF Redi-ject product’s total carbon emissions by 33%.

EMD Serono president Chris Round said: “As leaders in healthcare, we are focused on improving the experiences of our patients and customers while recognising our responsibility to preserve the planet for future generations.

“Our new Slim Pack is an initiative we hope will drive convenience while reducing our overall carbon footprint.”

EMD Serono is the healthcare business of German pharmaceutical giant Merck, through which Merck operates in the US and Canada.

The packaging will support Merck in its efforts to reduce its annual worldwide carbon dioxide emissions.

By switching to fully recyclable cardboard from its previously used plastic trays, the company expects to offset around 180t of plastic waste a year.

EMD Serono employs around 1,500 people around the US, with its commercial, clinical and research operations based in Massachusetts.