Pharmapack: new developments in pharma packaging and drug delivery

Pharmapack Europe 2017 highlighted trends including human factor principles, with individualised packaging and serialisation as the integral solutions of the future

Pharmapack Europe has closed its 2017 edition, celebrating its 20 years as the leading European event for pharmaceutical packaging and drug delivery devices. The top trends that emerged from the two-day event included: patient centricity, traceability, innovation, compliance and adherence.

Anne Schumacher, Brand Director at Pharmapack Europe, said:

During the conference, we got a view on how the industry is synergising with the patient and looking to individualise packaging.

“This year's event was an amazing celebration of our industry – 20 years is a reason to celebrate what we have achieved in this time.”

There was an increase in attendance from 2016, with 5,290 attendees and 411 exhibitors. It was the most international Pharmapack Europe to date, with participants from over 100 countries.

The programme

The conference programme included three sessions focused on “Innovation and Compliance”, “Patient Adherence: New challenges, New Opportunities”, and “Impact on Patient Centricity and Biologics on Packaging and Device Development”.

A special emphasis was placed on the emerging importance of the “human factor” (defined as patient centricity, adherence and/or compliance), particularly with the current trend of self-administered drugs.

Pharmapack's Serialisation and Track and Trace symposium outlined the industry's efforts to overcome pharmaceutical counterfeiting, putting traceability solutions and serialisation strategies at the forefront of the agenda.

With the impending deadline looking over manufacturers, a special session provided guidance on the EU Falsified Medicine's Directive. Additionally, the symposium featured case studies and practical examples of traceability application and compliance for attendees.

The media debate

Outside of the conference agenda, this year's Pharmapack Europe also included a first ever media debate (1st February), with industry experts, predicting future innovations to mark 20 years of the event. In line with the trends experienced during the event, the debate was centred on compliance, patient centricity and digital integration.

Chaired by Jim Chrzan (Group Publisher for Healthcare Packaging Magazine, PMMI), the following professionals shared their thoughts on the industry”s evolution in the past 20 years, and the upcoming trends:

  • Philippe Arnaud (Hospital Bichat-ClaudeBernard AP-HP)
  • Pascale Gauthier (Biopharmaceutical Department, Faculty of Pharmacy, Auvergne University)
  • Lionel Jeannin (Device and Packaging Expert at Novartis)
  • Jean-Marc Bobee (Director Industrial Anticounterfeiting Strategy at Sanofi).

Specifically, they discussed digital integration, packaging individualisation, medication/device synergies and serialisation.

Key observations

With device development being fast-tracked by many authorities, Jeannin commented that the interaction between medication and devices is growing across the globe, with the FDA a leader in regulation on combination products. Europe is also experiencing development in this area.

“Technology is becoming more integrated with packaging, particularly as solutions move towards greater patient centricity, in terms of screen integration, signal transmission and data sharing,” said Gauthier.

“Individualisation is at the forefront of innovation, particularly with regard to small populations and the elderly.”

Bobee stated that packaging is the key element in the security for patients and products, with tamper evidence now expected to be an essential requirement in the future.

In the last 20 years, the experts agreed, several products have had anti-counterfeiting and traceability issues in an increasingly complex supply chain.

New and returning features

Finally, Pharmapack Europe 2017 also saw the return of the Innovation Gallery and Innovation Tours, presenting the most innovative products in the pharma packaging and delivery device industry through dedicated guided tours.

Another Pharmapack first was the introduction of the new Pharmapack Start-up Hub – the newest addition to the show floor, which highlighted young pharma companies as the most innovative in the exhibition.

The next Pharmapack will take place on 7–8 February 2018 at the Paris Expo Porte de Versailles, hall 7.1.