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Putting India on the global map: Pharma packaging and labelling trends in the next decade


PPL Conclave 2018 witnessed a panel discussion on Putting India on the global map: Pharma packaging and labelling trends in the next decade. Eminent pharma packaging experts, Santanu Chowdhury, Sr GM – Packaging Development Sun Pharma, Saravanan TJ, Senior Manager – Packaging Development, Biocon, Harpal Singh, Deputy General Manager – Packaging Development, Glenmark Pharmaceuticals, Prasad Satam, Head- Packaging Development, Aurobindo Pharma and Shankar Gupta, COO, ACG Engineering, formed the panel for this discussion. The session was moderated by Avinash Kumar Talwar, Director – Supply Chain Management, Head – Global Sourcing (Strategic & Plant), Dr Reddy’s Laboratories.

Talwar’s rundown on the various projects at DRL to improve packaging and the need to develop patient-friendly pharma packaging set the context for further discussions. He also quizzed the panelists on different facets of pharma packaging and its correlation to India Pharma Inc’s growth trajectory.

Singh briefed about some regulations which will shape the industry in the near future such as EU falsified medicine directive (EU FMD) and Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA). Besides, he spoke on some measures that Health Canada has started enforcing.

Satam spoke on the prospects for India to be a global leader in the life sciences sector, with an emphasis on opportunities for pharma packaging manufacturers. He also listed down the challenges faced by packaging players, especially in sourcing material for primary packaging. He also advised the players to expand their footprints from regulated and semi-regulated markets to explore other geographies as well.

Chowdhury shared his views on how technology is changing the pharma packaging landscape. He drew inferences from the advancements in drug dispensing technologies with a growing emphasis on convenience and safety. He said that these changes are being driven by the paradigm shift happening across the healthcare system from cure to care. He elaborated on the importance of implementing QbD. He also touched upon topics such as balancing between, cost, innovation and convenience, patient adherence, regulatory compliance etc.

Saravanan spoke on labelling and the role of fluids in enhancing its efficiency and
efficacy. He detailed the various transformations and changes happening in the labelling
sector. For instance, highlighting the role of labelling and packaging in patient adherence, he explained the value addition provided by time, temperature indicator labels on the product. The label has an active ingredient which changes colour when the products nears expiry. He informed that several such interesting and innovative features are coming up in the labelling sector.

Gupta said that the packaging industry has to be ready to meet the challenges and opportunities in the pharma sector. As machinery and solutions providers, the challenge would be to remain cost-effective while embracing a culture of innovation. He also advised pharma packaging professionals to make strategic changes to their current systems to be at the top of the game.

Panelists concluded that the pharma packaging industry is on the cusp of a major transformation and stakeholders need to collaborate to augment its
advance and assuage concerns.

Key takeaways

  • Indian pharma industry needs to gear themselves up for upcoming regulations to stay competitive and relevant
  • Pharma companies are developing innovative labelling solutions for patient adherence
  • Machinery manufacturers have to work with customers to deliver more innovative solutions

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