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Panel discussion: Prioritising patients with pharma packaging

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The pharma industry has realised that its future progress can be ensured only by putting the patient at the centre of  its activities. However, being patient-centric requires a clearly charted strategy. Hence, the first panel discussion at PPL Conclave 2019 was on ‘Prioritising patients with pharma packaging.’ An expert panel discussed how imperative it is for the pharma packaging industry to re-evaluate and re-imagine its existing approaches, to support all activities ranging from drug development to and commercialisation, and make it more patient-centric to achieve improved health outcomes.

The discussions touched upon the need for innovation in pharma packaging, strategies to foster innovation in pharma packaging, the current status of pharma packaging, the opportunities and challenges in this sector and more. One of the most crucial points highlighted during the panel discussion was that it is essential to develop a quality by design mindset to develop packaging solutions which are patient-centric and serve their needs effectively. The emphasis was on how it is essential to look at packaging as an aspect which could provide considerable value to patients and improve user-experience. To cite an example, the panelists pointed out that adherence of patients can go up considerably if we make even incremental innovations to the current products.

Similarly, they also drew attention to the fact that packaging solutions should be developed after considering the physiological, physical and social characteristics of the targeted patients. For instance, cost and availability can also have huge impact on patient adherence. As India has a huge rural market we should also look at their needs and spending capacity while developing packaging olutions.

The experts were emphatic that packaging can add a lot of value to a pharma product, right from reinforcing patient acceptance of treatment, simplifying transportation of medicines and ensuring product safety and efficacy. However,  pharma companies need to take the initiative to drive innovation in this sector. The panelists concluded that great pharma packaging solutions will emerge through team work between different stakeholders i.e pharma companies, packaging manufacturers, even telecom manufacturers and technology solutions providers. At the same time, it is also very important to engage with the patients to understand their needs. The gaps can be plugged only through direct interactions with the patients.


We have to develop a quality by design mindset in pharma packaging to improve patient-centricity

Santanu Chowdhury, Director – Packaging Development, Sun Pharma


The pharma industry can change even change negative perceptions with effective packaging solutions and drive home the fact that it is an industry that saves lives

Ashok Bhattacharya,Executive Director, Takeda Pharmaceuticals, India (Moderator)


Adherence to medicines can go up considerably if we make even incremental packaging innovations to current products

Prasad Satam, Head – Packaging Development, Aurobindo Pharma


India needs packaging solutions which would enable ease-of-use, improve patient adherence and at the same time be cost-effective

Anupam Chanda, AGM Packaging Development, Innovation & Development, Established Pharmaceuticals, Abbott Healthcare


As India has a huge rural market we should also look at their needs and spending capacity while developing packaging solutions

Anahita Karande, Head-Packaging Development, Alembic Pharmaceuticals


Utilising digital technologies to develop smart pharma packaging solutions can help tremendously in patient engagement, accuracy of drug dosage and regulatory compliance

Rajesh Mishra, Associate Director – Packaging Development, Innovation & Development, Established Pharmaceuticals, Abbott Healthcare

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