Christopher Garrod knew he would need a desiccant in his s sample bottles of Vimovo, but after speaking with his R&D team, Garrod, a senior engineer on the Packaging Process Execution Team for AstraZeneca, immediately realized it would present a unique challenge. Vimovo, a fixed-dose combination of enteric-coated naproxen and immediate release esomeprazole, is a highly moisture sensitive drug. The atmospheric exposure limits for the desiccant were a lot tighter than any product they had packaged before, presenting Garrod with his first challenge
Choosing whether to use a packet or canister desiccant became clear to Garrod early on in the process. Astra-Zeneca was currently using desiccant canisters in its tablet packaging where it was required,so using canisters seemed at first to be the obvious choice. However, at the same time AstraZeneca was preparing to launch Vimovo, it was also preparing to launch a product in Sweden called Axanum, a combination low dose aspirin and esomeprazole tablet. During a transitstudy for Axanum, the capsules were physically damaged by the hard canister pounding against the tablets in the bottle. Garrod, not wanting to take the risk that a canister might damage Vimovo in transit, felt his only options would be to use a canister with cotton fill, which would protect the tablets, or to use a desiccant packet system. According to Garrod, a cottoner can add complexity to the line, potentially creating efficiency loss as well.