News Feature | April 17, 2014

High Barrier Pharma Packaging Needed For Quality Meds, Experts Say

By Estel Grace Masangkay

Improved anti-counterfeit features and high barrier packaging are needed to maintain quality and protect molecule sensitivity of various drugs, experts said in a seminar held in Mumbai recently.

Packaging expert Gautam Buddha said, “Protection is required for APIs, formulations, semi finished goods and bulk transfer packs to address molecule sensitivity. Regulatory requirements need to be adhered to in pharma packaging for providing equivalency for thickness and quality of adhesives, coatings, layers and quality. Other requirements which need to be addressed include identification of contact layers, extension of existing shelf life, limited shelf life due to impurity, shelf life of packaging material, extension to other markets, necessary documentation and alternatives to Vinyl based coatings or films etc.”

The changing complex regulatory environment in regulated and pharma-emerging markets demand such measures in view of the predicted patent cliff in 2014. Along with rising healthcare costs and the growing threat of counterfeit drugs, the industry needs to act to address the crucial demands for pharmaceutical products packaging.

Johannes Giessler, director of Sales & Marketing at Perlen Packaging, said, "There is a growth in demand of high barrier specifications, standardized specifications for numerous applications, individual patient packages and counterfeit resistant packaging. Besides this, new legislations are being framed which are increasing costs of products i.e. European falsified medicine directive, ePedigree law etc.”

Innovations in pharma packaging need to be adapted to demographic changes and applications in personalized medicines, according to experts. Global pharmaceutical firms are also anticipated to enlarge its presence in emerging pharma markets. Along with the growing trend of company mergers and acquisitions, these are expected to present opportunities for improved pharma packaging in pharmerging countries.

“We need to intensify our geographical presence accordingly by expansion strategy and strengthening relationships with generic companies in pharmerging countries like India. Barrier films, optimization for generics, and volume can multiply for off-patent drugs in emerging markets,” said Director Giessler.