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Manufacture Packaging, Drug Delivery, Standards & Regulation, Quality & Compliance

Packaging the Future

I often feel that there’s a perception that packaging is not a particularly interesting subject – perhaps because drug containers don’t always look that exciting. Indeed, patients barely notice the container at all unless there’s a problem – but that’s the way it should be. If the package does its job properly then it should be invisible to the patient and this is the aspect that I find so exciting about pharmaceutical packaging; the products are understated and unnoticed, and yet they can make the patient’s life much easier. Visible to the patient or not, certain therapies would not have reached the market without innovation in packaging technology. The primary packaging container is essential for the efficacy and quality of the drug product, and has a critical impact on the product approval process. In addition, it also affects patient compliance because packaging is key to addressing the human aspects of product use – for example, by making drug administration easier, more convenient, or less painful. This is quite a complex aspect of packaging design, because it’s important to understand the needs of your targeted patient group and how to make the packaging fit those needs. Things that are easy for young people may not be so for older people, for example.

A growing number of packaging innovations are being seen in the pharmaceutical industry and it’s very much an evolving field at present. In the future, I believe that we will see new delivery methodologies that we can’t even dream about today. 

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About the Author

Mike Schäfers

Mike Schäfers is Vice President, Product Management & Marketing Operations, West Pharmaceutical Services.

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