Challenges and Innovations with Prefilled Syringes

Market considerations and new technologies must be recognized to achieve the full benefits of manufacturing prefilled syringes.
Sep 02, 2011

The pharmaceutical industry is constantly seeking drug-delivery technologies that can increase compliance, improve the quality of delivered care, reduce medication errors, and reduce the possibility of admixture-related contamination. Prefilled syringes, along with premixed infusion bags, are singledose, readytouse delivery systems that have the potential to positively impact patient care. From a pharmaceutical company's point of view, prefilled syringes can also contribute to a product's overall success.

Advantages of prefilled syringes include:

  • Ease of use: Prefilled syringes meet the demands of physicians and patients for effective and easytouse administration methods.
  • Reduction in medication errors: A medication in a readytouse format, in conjunction with other related initiatives, can help reduce medication errors.
  • Improved life-cycle management: Moving a product from a vial to a syringe may provide differentiation from competitive agents in the same therapeutic category.
  • Better pricing: Economic advantages may also be possible for pharmaceutical manufactures. Prefilled syringes meet the stated demand for increased safety and convenience, and may present the opportunities for premium pricing compared with vials.

Manufacturing benefits and cost savings can also be realized because prefilled syringes help increase the saleable yield of the active pharmaceutical ingredient (API). API filling in prefilled syringes is precise to the dose required. Only trace amounts of API remain in the needle of a prefilled syringe after injection, as opposed to single or multiuse vials, where it is necessary to overfill the API by 20–24% to ensure that an accurate dose is pulled into the syringe each time.

Prefilled syringes also offer savings from a capital-investment perspective. Vial washing, depyrogenation, and vial-component preparation equipment are not required because the syringes come presterilized and ready for use. Also, increased efficiency can be achieved by leveraging modern automated filling technology with barrier isolation systems, which can offer fill–finish lines with smaller footprints, higher throughputs and longer validation windows.

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