Focus towards pharma packaging Innovations
Innovation in pharma packaging has an important role to play in helping to offset the rising pressures on regulations and delivering safer, more effective and affordable drugs in lesser time
Today, pharma packaging industry focusses on these four major key areas
- Safe and affordable
- Patient adherence
- Fighting against counterfeit
Safe and affordable drugs
One of the most important functions of packaging is to shield products from the damaging effects of the external environment. Many formulations become unstable when exposed to air, moisture, or light, and therefore protection from these factors is necessary to ensure medicines remain effective and safe and that too available at affordable prices Pharma industry is shifting their paradigm by innovating user friendly dosage forms like instant drinks, ODGs, lozenges, effervescent and chewable tablets and skin patches wherein packaging goes hand in hand with product development this may definitely encourage patient for adherence due to ease in dosing.
The world is in the midst of a medicine non-adherence crisis, with up to 50 per cent of people prescribed medicines are failing to follow compliance advice in some way. Aside from the obvious detrimental health effects of not taking medicine properly, it’s also costing the global economy around $637 billion a year .There are many reasons why patients don’t follow compliance advice, including mis-understanding, forgetfulness and not being able to afford prescriptions. Hence pharma packaging professionals are striving hard to develop smart and simple packaging which will enable patients to take the right dose at the right time and also empower health professionals to track at-home usage.
Fighting against counterfeit
Another issue like Counterfeiting medicine has become the world’s largest fraud market, contributing around $163 billion to $217 billion per year world wide. Counterfeiting medication is very profitable for criminals. They take advantage of the good reputation of products and brands that the original manufacturer established through its consistently high-quality products. Fraudsters are only interested in producing what looks like an exact copy, and do not care about the quality and effectiveness of the contents. Smart packaging solutions have emerged offering something of a firewall through intelligent supply chain e-visibility like Block chain technology which generally succeed in making it harder for criminals to produce falsifed products. Few other advance developments like embedment of micro particles with digital information which effectively prevents the cloning, duplication and replication of data.
Increasingly awareness among the consumers, the demand is to impact the environment as little as possible. The future of pharma packaging will see a shift towards more sustainable materials, moving away from plastic (currently industry has been so heavily reliant on) and to design and manufacture new biodegradable plastics. Development of new techniques like 3D visualisation or 3D printing to be used widely which will use only the exact materials, reducing waste required for prototyping. The pharma market will continue to be a challenging and competitive one. The need to combat big issues such as counterfeiting, adherence , sustainability will continue to be a pressing industry requirement and packaging professional will have crucial role to make this happen.