Express Pharma, in partnership with Schneider Electric, recently organised a webinar on ‘Smart Pharma Packaging Technologies’ with an aim to support the pharma packaging fraternity, spanning technology solution providers as well as end-user industry experts, as they navigate through a fresh set of challenges and opportunities in a rapidly shifting landscape.
Viveka Roychowdhury, Editor, Express Pharma & Express Healthcare, the moderator, commenced the event by introducing the two keynote speakers and the two technical experts.
Setting the context for the discussion, she said, “The world is digitally transforming even as we speak and pharma packaging is keeping pace, getting smarter by the day. Be it the COVID-19 vaccines to be stored and transported at temperatures as varied as -20o Celsius to -80o Celcius or protecting insulin from counterfeiters with the latest serialisation technologies. The need for a smart supply chain is becoming more crucial and therefore the need for smart packaging.”
Subsequently, Chakravarthi AVPS, Global Ambassador, World Packaging Organisation, the first keynote speaker gave a very insightful presentation on a thought-provoking topic, ‘Do we really need smart packaging?’
He elaborated on global trends and recent advancements in smart pharma packaging through pertinent examples of solutions that are being adopted globally.
At the same time, his presentation also addressed established why smart packaging is becoming increasingly essential to the pharma industry. He highlighted that as the entire pharma industry, including pharma marketing professionals, battle two major challenges i.e. counterfeiting and non-adherence by patients, smart packaging solutions can be a pivotal tool in tackling these problems.
He also pointed out that smart packaging solutions driving patient-centricity by acting as smart medication monitoring systems that can track doses, provide timely reminders, be more tamper-proof, improve user convenience, etc.
Thus, intelligent packaging helps in consumer engagement, enables caregivers to be more effective and aid personalised healthcare, prevent spurious counterfeit drugs and much more. It also helps businesses by streamlining the supply chain, improving end-to-end visibility, aiding track and trace and making the medicines more secure and safe.
Thus, he concluded that as the world transforms, smart packaging too will become very crucial, especially to the life sciences industry.
The next keynote speaker, Saravanan Jeyabalan T, Associate Director – Packaging, Development, Biocon gave his views and insights on the increasing demand for controls on the pharma processes from regulatory authorities, and the need for digital solutions to improve pharma processes.
He informed that the world is advancing by breaking technological barriers every day and bringing solutions to resolve complex problems for the betterment of people. Pharma companies, considering the critical nature of the products manufactured by them, should adopt and implement strategies, techniques and technologies which will help them achieve best product quality, optimise resources and ensure maximum safety to patients.
He emphasised that pharma industry needs to embrace advanced technologies to upgrade itself continuously and address the challenges it faces and reduce errors as regulatory scrutiny intensifies across the world.
Citing examples he pointed out that solutions like serialisation and authentication solutions, digital artwork and labelling management solutions, palletisation design applications etc., can enable seamless track & trace, address counterfeiting issues, help effectively communicate with patients and caregivers and aid in reaching the market faster. Likewise, artificial intelligence can also bring several benefits to manufacturing and packaging processes across the world.
These two sessions were followed by presentations from two technical experts who spoke on technology solutions for the pharma industry.
Kaustubh Joshi, Director – Strategic Customers & Segments, Schneider Electric elaborated on how smart packaging can transform the value chain for the future by providing better flexibility and scalability through ease of maintenance, augment productivity, improve operational efficiency, offer better return on assets, reduce cost and time to market, enable environmental sustainability and more. He also gave an overview of Schneider Electric’s journey and solutions for the pharma sector as it undergoes a digital transformation.
Harsh Shah, Solution Architect – CPG Segment, Greater India Zone, Schneider Electric detailed how evolving IoT technologies are fueling innovation for packaging, the importance of serialisation to build a smart supply chain, the role of smart labelling as an anti-counterfeiting measure and its ability to enhance patient compliance. He also took the audience through the solutions offered by Schneider Electric for the pharma packaging and labelling industry and how they can help the end-users gain significant benefits.
Post these presentations, the speakers addressed a few questions raised by the audience. The queries were wide-ranging and addressed different aspects of pharma packaging development, scalability and economic feasibility of smart packaging solutions, cost-benefit ration in comparison to traditional packaging and so on.
Thus, a lot of information and knowledge was imparted and exchanged at this webinar. Roychowdhury concluded the event by acknowledging the role played by the speakers, attendees and the co-organisers in making the event a success.
The webinar is now available as “on-demand”. Check it out on Express Pharma’s website at https://www.expresspharma.in/pharma-videos/webinar-videos/smart-pharma-packaging-technologies/