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Inaugural ceremony-Day 1

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Pharma Packaging and Labelling (PPL) Conclave, in its third edition, focussed on the theme ‘Capturing value with packaging’. This year, experts and veterans at the event explored the current trends in packaging and assessed their impact on the pharma sector’s advancements. They evaluated the role of emerging technologies, novel materials, and holistic designs to attain crucial objectives like supply chain integrity, anti-counterfeiting, reduction in medication errors, patient-centricity, sustainability, regulatory compliance, innovation in drug development, brand identity and customer loyalty.

Special Address: Patient-centricity is key to packaging

Chakravarthi AVPS, Global Ambassador, World Packaging Association gave a very insightful and inspiration speech at PPL Conclave 2020. He opined that as we enter a new decade, the pharma industry will experience a wave of disruption, led by unprecedented opportunities and challenges. For instance, increasing threat of counterfeits, growing regulatory scrutiny, lack of adequate resources and rise in chronic diseases will pose enormous challenges in future. Likewise, changing demographic profiles, globalisation, empowered customers and
technological advancements will offer huge opportunities.

AVPS Chakravarthi, Global Ambassador, World Packaging Organisation

Therefore, pharma packaging too will have to continuously evolve to meet growing demands, optimise growth
potential and overcome challenges. Pointing out that gone are the days when packaging was simply about containment and protection, he went on to state that packaging will be the second physician for patients in times to come since it will speak and listen to patients. He also urged pharma packaging leaders to ensure that patient-centricity is central to all transformations in this sector. He asserted that the ultimate goal should be patient safety and convenience since it the most important important tenet for the pharma sector.

He was also emphatic that packaging professionals should stay abreast of the latest happenings and constant changes in this sector. They need to be stronger and smarter to identify the pain points and scientifically tackle them since the role of packaging in maintaining quality and efficacy of products throughout the supply chain is very crucial. He also pointed out that platforms like the PPL Conclave are a great way of staying updated and sharing knowledge with peers to propel progress in the pharma packaging industry.

SelfDose – A self-injection device

The presentation by Shraddha Sharma, Marketing Manager, West Pharmaceuticals Packaging India showcased an interesting device – SelfDose. Accentuating that West Pharma aims to be the world leader in the integrated containment and delivery of injectable medicines, she cited SelfDose as an example. She informed that it is a new age self-injection device which enables patients to control drug delivery safely and effectively.

Shraddha Sharma, Marketing Manager, West Pharmaceuticals Packaging India

Describing it is a true single source solution that reduces cost, simplifies supply chain and minimises testing, Sharma divulged that the product’s features were designed with the help of patient-tested experience. Elaborating further, she explained that it is a very patient-friendly device with a differentiated and ergonomic design to overcome dexterity challenges. Moreover, it has a hidden needle, self-controlled injection rate, disposable single dose system, offers passive needle safety and provides visual feedback for proper administration. She affirmed that SelfDose can help with needle phobia and reduce needle-induced anxiety in patients as well by virtue of its easy-to-use and highly intuitive design.

Sharma also explained that SelfDose overcomes various challenges that auto-injectors pose such as glass breakage, customisation costs and dimensional variability since the device works well with all 1 mL long syringes and requires no extra customisation.

Thus, she promised that as a product designed through formative Human Factor testing, it can significantly improve patient experience. She concluded the session by informing that the product which was launched on May 1, 2018 for Methofill Methotrexate SELF INJECT has already received approvals in the EU, the US and Canada. It has also won several accolades for innovation and medical design at several prestigious forums.

Innovative, compliance-driven sustainable packaging solutions

PPL Conclave 2020 saw a plethora of interesting sessions and presentations. One of them was by Manoj KM, Director – Business Development and International Business, Avery Dennison. Highlighting the mega trends in pharma packaging, he asserted that security, serialisation, track and trace, patient engagement, smaller production lots, sustainability, innovation in packaging, machinery and automation, combination devices for delivery etc., will drive transformations in the this sphere. He also spoke on the role of labelling in pharma packaging for compliance with regulations like EU-FMD, US-DSCSA (track and trace), development of drug delivery devices like PFS, injectables, auto-injectors, trends such as precise packaging materials, temperature controlled packaging and storage, intelligent labels, patient compliance etc.

Manoj KM, Director, Business Development and International Business, Avery Dennison

Manoj also gave an overview about his organisation’s offerings for the pharma sector with pertinent product examples to demonstrate that Avery Dennison is aligned with the emerging trends in pharma packaging and
labelling. These examples included their FMD portfolio, low mandrel application portfolio, low migration portfolio, the company’s approach towards sustainability and an overview of their RFID offerings.
He informed that his company’s strategies to achieve its sustainability goals include:
1. Developing competitive product portfolio for single-use plastic packaging, enabling circular economy
2. Educating converters and end users as a thought leader on sustainability and packaging recycling
3. Engaging in the ecosystem to understand regulation, brand strategies and recycling
4. Reducing environmental impact with focus on GHG emissions, recycling and responsible management of films and chemicals He concluded with an avowal that Avery Dennison aims to be a force for good, adding value to all its stakeholders.

Disruptive innovations in packaging

Ramaiah Muthusubramanian, CEO, Packfora LLP drew from his vast experience from FMCG packaging to share valuable insights and lessons at PPL Conclave 2020. He talked about consumer trends, attitudes and behaviour where consumers are increasingly taking control over messages they wish to receive and how lack of credibility is driving consumers away from marketers to more trusted sources for product/brand information.

Ramaiah Muthusubramanian, CEO, Packfora

Pointing out that relentless optimism drives transformation and disruption, he said it will be the same in pharma packaging as well. He also stated that 85 per cent of millennials think that the packaging materials are part of the product and brand experience. 24 per cent millennials prefer limited editions and personalised packaging while 80 per cent of millennials say product packaging is important in their purchasing decision. Thus, the role and impact of packaging has grown manifold. Now, since packaging is a multi-disciplinary science, professionals in packaging need to have knowledge across the value chain, he advised.

He cited examples to detail how technology is bringing in newer achievements and benefits to packaging. Rooting for sustainable packaging, he said that it should be beneficial, safe and healthy for individuals and communities throughout its life cycle; meet market criteria for performance and cost; is sourced, manufactured, transported, and recycled using renewable energy; optimise the use of renewable or recycled source materials; is manufactured using clean production technologies and best practices; made from materials healthy throughout the life cycle; is physically designed to optimise materials and energy and is effectively recovered and utilised in biological and/or industrial closed-loop cycles.

Thus, sustainable packaging has to meet tripartite needs and has to be economically sustainable, planet-friendly and meet social obligations. It is therefore important to look at packaging design from a life cycle assessment standpoint and make the right choices. Speaking on the role packaging can play in creating more sustainable consumption behaviours, It’s about making it easy and convenient for consumers to reduce waste, without impacting negatively on product performance – and if possible, actually enhancing it.

The combination of serialisation and business intelligence

Gianluca Cocuzzo, Area Sales Manager, Manager, SEA Vision began with an overview of his company’s 25 years of experience in the life sciences sector. He informed that SEA Vision has deployed 1500-plus serialisation lines and 6500-plus vision systems installed globally, explaining that the company is a software house specialising in the design and development of pharma track & trace and aggregation, vision inspection systems and business intelligence software suite.

Gianluca Cocuzzo, Area Sales Manager, SEA Vision

Cocuzzo also mentioned about yudoo, the new pharma-designed software suite to manage everything. He said that yudoo amplifies the concept of production workflow. The key benefits include improved real production times, discovering criticalities that may occur to other departments and could affect production and take corrective actions. Once the production starts, yuview is the module that helps to monitor the lines, with a synoptic real-time view. Views can be grouped and drilled down hierarchically by levels such as sites, lines and assets.

Elaborating on the term ‘asset’, he defined it as each entity (device, machine, line, site) or group of entities capable of showing data. He explained that yudesk allows to define the assets existing in a manufacturing site. yudesk is the module to manage all production operations.

He also elaborated on yubi, the business intelligence module that allows performing the following: custom and historical report management, multi-level data filtering and analysis, complex production KPIs analysis, machine status and downtimes and predictive maintenance. He said that with data analysis techniques and extraction of data processed by packaging lines, SV4.0 transforms ‘Big Data’ into ‘Smart DATA’ in a simple, flexible and effective way to obtain right information which reaches the right people at the right time. He said that yubi also helps in predictive maintenance. The status of machines is recorded using sensor technology and automatically checked against templates which indicate a possible fault. In conclusion, he said that SEA Vision provides tools to its employees to help in advanced decision making.

Panel discussion: Capturing Value with Packaging

PPL Conclave 2020 emerged as a great platform for pharma packaging leaders, experts and veterans to consult and discourse on the current and future trends in the industry, their growth drivers and the challenges. One of the several pertinent discussions at this forum was on the topic, ‘Capturing value with packaging’.

(L-R) AVPS Chakravarthi, Global Ambassador, World Packaging Association (Moderator); Ashok Bhattacharya, Executive Director, Takeda India (Co-Moderator); Yugal Sikri, MD, RPG Life Sciences; Shantanu Chowdhury Sr GM, Sun Pharma; Abhijit Chatterjee, Director – Packaging, Lupin; Tripti Nakhare, Sr GM – Reguatory Affairs, FDC, and Viveka Roychowdhury, Editor, Express Pharma.

It comprised a distinguished panel including AVPS Chakravarthi, Global Ambassador, World Packaging Association (Moderator); Ashok Bhattacharya, Executive Director, Takeda India (Co-Moderator); Yugal Sikri, MD, RPG Life Sciences; Shantanu Chowdhury Sr GM, Sun Pharma; Abhijit Chatterjee, Director – Packaging, Lupin; Tripti Nakhare, Sr GM – Reguatory Affairs, FDC, and Viveka Roychowdhury, Editor, Express Pharma. These experts discussed on proactive approaches to develop more agile, compliant and innovative packaging solutions for delivering significant value to businesses and consumers alike.

The panelists informed that the buzzwords of pharma packaging in times to come will be patient-centricity, authentication, tamper-evidence, track and trace, transparency, digital labels, robotics, AI and IoT, recycling of packaging materials, etc. They also established that packaging has a great role to play as the conduit between the end-user and the producer and explored the significance of improving patient-packaging interactions. The role of packaging in improving patient-adherance and compliance by effectively communicating and engaging with them was covered in detail during the course of the panel discussion. They were emphatic that packaging should become a value creator, a value catalyst in the hands of patients.

The experts also highlighted how packaging’s importance has grown by leaps and bounds in the past decade and advised packaging professionals to keep improving their skills and knowledge to stay relevant in a disruptive age. One of their recommendations was that packaging teams should collaborate with other teams to devise and design packaging solutions which will serve the current needs of the market effectively.

Sustainability was one of the important themes at PPL Conclave 2020. Acknowledging that sustainable packaging is not a choice, but an immediate need, the panelists examined the different approaches and benefits of designing and implementing green packaging or sustainable packaging solutions such as hybrid bio-plastics.

The session also highlighted how pharma labelling and packaging is getting re-imagined in a big way, with technology playing a starring role in this transformation. They elaborated how technology is helping packaging attain crucial objectives like supply chain integrity, anti-counterfeiting, patient-centricity, user convenience, regulatory compliance, innovation in drug development, etc. Thus, it was a very insightful discussion with several takeaways for the attendees.

Improving packing lines efficiencies with suitable coding technologies

Sandeep Vadakattu, General Manager, Domino Printech made a presentation highlighting the methods to improve packing lines efficiencies with suitable coding technologies at the third edition of PPL Conclave 2020.
He touched upon the challenges faced in the pharma packaging labelling and how different label materials affects the finished products. He emphasised that if a label gets rejected, the bottle too gets rejected, leading to losses for the pharma company. So, suitable labelling and coding technologies have important roles to play in optimising OPEX.

Sandeep Vadakattu, General Manager, Domino Printech

Pointing out that there have been several advancements in coding technologies, he detailed how they are driving better efficiencies and thereby improved transparency as well as regulatory compliance. He elucidated on the benefits of laser coding offered by Domino Printech and explained about indelible codes, instant and clean coding, flexible messages, high efficiency, minimum maintenance, inventory management and sustainability- economics and environment. He informed why companies also need to install correct laser which should be parallel to the product to be coded without any rolling angle or yaw. They also need to maintain correct focal length which will ensure consistent codes and less rejections.

Thus, Vadakattu’s presentation highlighted key factors in labelling and coding, making it very informative and insightful. He also went on to showcase Domino’s offerings in this segment and also informed about the company’s global as well as domestic presence.

Capturing value through packaging: Post serialisation perspective

Ajay Bapat commenced his presentation by mentioning that though the percentage of issues pertaining to products with high level of impurities and containments, products without active ingredients, with incorrect quantities of active ingredients have come down in recent years, the problem still exists.

Ajay Bapat, Pharma Packaging Consultant

He highlighted the WHO report on medication compliance and insisted on adherence to long-term therapies. He also spoke on studies which have shown that compliance improve on commencement of dosage reminders.
Bapat urged the industry to think beyond compliance, try to make a tighter/secured supply chain, ensure safe delivery of authentic material to customers and be a party to customer’s satisfaction. He also touched upon on how to use data in upcoming compliance requirements, trade requirements, optimising returns and recalls, supply chain visibility, inventory management, demand forecast and marketing effectiveness.

He also elaborated on the benefits of UIDs which include:

  • Real-time authentication by first-line managers on the spot
  • Gives information about vital secondary and primary sales details with complete tracking details and checks expiry losses
  • Checks on interstate infiltration of goods
  • Checks stockist’s level of inventory replenishment
  • Assesses the impact on campaigns
  • Alerts on slow-moving products
  • Checks on counterfeits

According to him, data also helps pharma manufacturers to have a direct relationship with patients. Bapat also elaborated on actionable intelligence and talked about connected packaging with patient’s interactive engagement.

Panel discussion: Parenteral packaging: evolution and revolutions

The third edition of Pharma Packaging and Labelling (PPL) Conclave 2020 brought together leaders from the pharma fraternity to discuss pivotal topics revolving around pharma packaging trends, challenges and opportunities. One of them was on ‘Parenteral packaging: evolution and revolution’.

(L-R) Saravanan Jeyabalan T, Associate Director-Packaging Development, Biocon; Mohan Mone, Pharma Consultant; Dr Sanjit Singh Lamba, former MD, Eisai India, and Soumyanath Mishra, Head-I, Packaging Research Development

The panelists in this session were Dr Sanjit Singh Lamba, former MD, Eisai India, Mohan Mone, Pharma Consultant, Saravanan Jeyabalan T, Associate Director-Packaging Development, Biocon and Soumyanath Mishra, Head-I, Packaging Research Development, Mankind Pharma. Dr Lamba, the moderator of this session set the context by giving an overview on the evolution of parenterals.

Each of the panelists too shared their experience and pointed out critical challenges in the area of parenteral packaging. For instance, they pointed out that batch sizes of products are falling. Moreover, regulations are becoming more stringent. So, parenterals packaging will have to meet these challenges and overcome them with packaging differentiation.

They were unanimous in their view that parenterals packaging has to meet the changing demands of this fast growing segment with newer materials, new-age packaging technology and innovative drug delivery devices, especially as biologicals take centre-stage.

While on one hand, the industry is progressing rapidly, on the other hand many issues caused by leachables, extractables, permeability have remained the same. Therefore it is essential to restrategise to deal with these issues more effectively, they advised.

They also discussed on various pivotal aspects in this sphere, including material selection which is a significant factor in parenteral packaging. The experts also examined how the material chosen should ensure stability and safety of the products, ensure patient convenience and safeguard efficacy of the drug.

During the panel discussion, speakers also mentioned that glass which is the most common material used in pharma packaging and elaborated on how innovation in glass packaging can address patient compliance. they also highlighted that over the years, alternative materials like plastics and different kinds of polymers such as COC and COP have also made their presence felt. Moving on, the discussion also accentuated how emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning and automation will drive transformations in parenterals packaging.

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