Pharma Packaging Innovation Programme 2015, 8 May 2015, Munich

Pharma Packaging Innovation Programme 2015, 8 May 2015, Munich

I attended and spoke at the Pharma Packaging Innovation Programme 2015 in Munich this last week.  Many thanks to Mehreen Zafar and the team at World Business Intelligence for organising such an informative event.

Presentations I attended were:

Holistic Design Approach to Pharma Packaging; Harnessing Different Approaches for Real Innovation

Guido Schmitz, Head of Packaging and Technology Innovation, Bayer Healthcare

Guido presented on the work he is leading in Bayer to increase innovation and creativity with the packaging of their consumer products to provide new consumer offerings.  In order to stand out in the marketplace, products need to become more personalised but this provides challenges to supply chain efficiencies.  However selling a premium product can also be a differentiator from generic product if costs can be appropriately contained.

Through the example of the Aspirin repackaging project, Guido highlighted how consumer insights were essential to support new packaging formats and concepts.

Packaging and Distribution of a Novel Cytotoxic Compound – a case study

Dr Matthias Fischbach, Director CMO Implementation Projects, Merck Serono

Matthias presented a case study for the development of the packaging solution for a new cytotoxic product.  This product presented particular challenges for, not only was it cytotoxic, the product was also sensitive to light and temperature.

The design, manufacturing and distribution of the product had to be considered so that the packaging ensured that the healthcare professionals, the various operators, the product, the manufacturing operations and the distribution activities were all protected from exposure.

The most significant risk was broken vials and Matthias outlined a number of solutions for vial protection with sleeves, secondary packaging and shipper packaging.

Practical Technologies to Deliver Excellence in Communications and Increase Brand Confidence

Christopher Waterhouse, Managing Director, iDi Pac Ltd

Chris presented on how packaging presents benefit in communication, brand awareness and business return.  He highlighted the various challenges facing packaging designers, including legislation, flexibility, cost containment and patient adherence, and how packaging can make things easier to understand and appeal to different target audiences.

He also outlined how batch sizes are falling and packing complexity is increasing, driving up cost.  From this, he showed how technologies like on-line leaflets or booklet printing can address the contradicting challenges of improved personalisation of product information whilst increasing agility of supply.

Developing and Sustaining Excellent Packaging Labelling and Artwork Capabilities

Andrew Love, Vice President, Be4ward Ltd

I presented on the capabilities a Pharma company needs to consider to ensure it has a sustainable end-to-end artwork and labelling service.

Achieving Serialisation Compliance as a Contract Manufacturing Organisation (CMO) for Track and Trace Legislation around the World

Burak Tiftikci, Managing Partner, Supply Chain Wizard LLC

Burak presented on the challenges of implementing serialisation in CMOs.  Whilst there is a significant challenge in implementing such capabilities in your internal operations, extending these into your external partners is even more complex.  It is essential to ensure clear accountabilities and responsibilities are agreed and appropriate governance and oversight is exercised.  You need to define your strategy and ensure that the solutions you implement are compatible with CMO operations.

It is important to address this now due to the imminent requirements around the world for serialisation solutions – surveys estimate that 75% of CMOs don’t have sufficient resources to undertake serialisation projects.  If your CMOs cannot meet the requirements, it may be necessary to switch to other suppliers and this takes time.

Regulatory Affairs, Parma Advertising and Marketing – from theory to practice

Roxana Gavriloaia, Regulatory Affairs Manager, Johnson & Johnson

Advertising of Pharma products is strictly controlled around the world and rules vary across different countries.  Roxana presented on the main categories of product, the different rules that can apply and the different communication channels adopted.  She emphasised the need for companies to comply with the rules and the impact on patients when this is abused.

The need for Regulatory, Medical, Marketing and Legal to work closely together was highlighted.  The presentation concluded with the benefits good communication can provide to patients, helping them use their medicines most effectively.

Coding of Primary Packaging and Devices: Upcoming Requirements and their Challenges

Patrik Merckell, Global Packaging Technology and Operations Manager, Novartis

Patrik presented on the growing demand for single unit coding of pharma products and the device coding (UDI) legislation that is starting to be implemented.

There is growing demand from hospitals and healthcare providers for a coding solution on each use of the product (e.g. a tablet or a vial).  This is to ensure that the right patient gets the right product at the right dose at the right time through the right supply route.  This presents significant benefits to hospitals and healthcare providers.  However, single unit coding is a significant challenge for the supply chain and Patrik outlined some of these challenges.

Patrik also outlined the challenges associated with the device coding legislation and some of the solutions being developed to address this.

Effective Drug Packaging for Patients: Supporting Adherence, Safe and Easy to Use

Karel vam der Waarde, Pharmaceuticals Graphics Design Researcher

Karel’s presentation looked at medical packaging from the perspective of the patient.  He looked at the design of packaging and the provision of information.  Finding the right information is challenging due to the graphic design and layout of the text.  He also showed how information provided can be misleading and in many cases doesn’t help the patient use the product properly or effectively.

Legislation exists and is supported by readability guidelines, but many products on the marketplace fall short of these.  He proposed some simple improvements to the design of packaging, layouts and the provision of information that could have significant patient safety benefits.

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