Pharmapack Europe Identifies Key Pharma Trends for 2016

January 20, 2016
BioPharm International Editors

Serialization, combination products, emerging markets, outsourcing, TVF, and adherence are identified as the key themes in drug delivery and packaging for 2016.

Pharmapack Europe, an annual exhibition and conference for the pharmaceutical, biopharmaceutical, and veterinary industries, has identified several key trends the organization feels the pharmaceutical industry and supply side companies, operating in drug delivery and packaging, must address in 2016. The annual Pharmapack event will take place from Feb. 10–11, 2016 in Paris.

In 2016, Pharmapack Europe expects the pharmaceutical/biopharmaceutical industries will focus on implementation of track-and-trace technologies and the impending European falsified medicines directive. At the event, experts will discuss the implications of the pan-European authentication scheme and its impact on contract manufacturers, original equipment manufacturers, and pharma companies.

Other trends include the European standard EN 16679, which recently came into effect and provides guidance for the application, use, and checking of tamper verification features to the packaging of medicinal products. By 2018, all prescription medicine will be required to include a tamper verification feature (TVF). The pharmaceutical industry is now at a crossroads, and manufacturers across Europe have to decide which TVF to choose before the looming deadline.

Combination products will also be a key focus for 2016, with the integration of human factors engineering (HFE), design for manufacturing (DFM), and design for assembly (DFA) viewed as the foundations for the development of this product class. Ultimately, it is envisaged that there will be an emergence of smaller and smarter combination products that will speed up time to market by examining the manufacturing scale-up strategy, concurrent with the development process.

Technologies and packaging that can improve patient adherence will remain a key growth area in 2016, and several sessions will run at Pharmapack across the design process for patient friendly packs and how new innovations alongside social media are helping drive crucial competitive advantages. In oral solids, the discussion for the past 30 or so years has been across rigid versus flexible solutions, essentially bottles versus blisters. But in 2016, companies will be seeking better packaging options for pharmaceutical doses, according to Pharmapack.

Moreover, the drive for packaging to communicate with patient and healthcare professionals is growing rapidly, whether driven by regulatory agencies (serialization and traceability) or consumer groups. The next hotbed of potential innovations is set to be flexible packaging for variable dosage forms, in line with the rise in personalized medicine. Ultimately, Pharmapack says, there may be packaging that has the scope to communicate, or be involved more directly, in the relationship between consumer and physician. But who will be the industry trailblazers, and can disruptive players like Apple and Google help to build new ecosystems that revolutionize this status quo?

Perhaps most significantly, outsourcing is continuing to accelerate, with many new prototypes and innovations now emerging rapidly from the contract services sector. This acceleration has huge implications not only in terms of regulation challenges and changes, but also in terms of skills migration from pharma into the supply chain.

The Innovation Gallery at Pharmapack Europe 2016 will showcase the advances in packaging intelligence-such as new material, primary and secondary packaging, delivery, labeling, leaflets, anti-counterfeiting technologies, and traceability-that will underpin the next generation of delivery technologies in 2016 and beyond.

Source: Pharmapack Europe