AMI's international conference on polymers in Barrier Pharma Packaging 2014 took place October 14-15, 2014 at the Hyatt Regency Princeton Hotel, in Princeton, NJ, the heart of one of the top pharmaceutical manufacturing regions of North America. This event focused on polymers in drug and pharmaco-biologics packaging including blister, stick, strip and bottles.
The pharmaceutical industry is facing ever increasing demands on drug packaging as safety requirements specify child resistant (CR) and senior friendly (SF) formats. In addition, the medical profession wants patient compliance to improve for prescription medication and this can be achieved with formats like blister packaging imprinted with days of the week over each tablet and inbuilt monitoring electronics. Generic over the counter (OTC) medications have other requirements, mainly being sold in bulk containers and in this case cost is a primary driver in material selection.
There is big issue with fake pharmaceuticals entering the market and this is being combatted by the introduction of traceability and inbuilt anti-counterfeit measures in packaging.
Many patients find oral solid medication hard to swallow, so there are innovations in the drug formats including tablets (ODT) and films (ODF) that are placed into packaging in a liquid or gel format and then evaporated to give a quick dissolve solid. This presents a challenge for the packaging materials, which have to withstand the drying process and provide the highest level of water barrier (WVTR) due to the high moisture sensitivity of these products.
There is growth in biologics in the market and these require a re-think in terms of packaging and protein interactions.
Barrier Pharma Packaging 2014 brought together pharmaceutical experts and polymer suppliers, and aims to cover all aspects from innovative pharmaceuticals and how to package them, to packaging standards. Experts in pharmaceutical packaging specification, design, manufacture and testing along with polymer producers and machinery suppliers were invited to network and debate the latest developments in markets, technical and regulatory issues, economics and production technology.