According to a new report published by the PMMI Business Intelligence, most medical and pharmaceutical device development industry respondents admit that their businesses are now interested in making the necessary capital investments in the next year or two. The primary goal of this investment is either to buy new equipment to replace the old ones or to refurbish the ones they already use.
The modern world of business continues to grow and change in line with current tech developments. And the decisions to make the needed capital investments will primarily be influenced by automation, technology, regulation, cost, and the expected returns on investment (ROI). Disruptions caused by the current coronavirus pandemic combined with regulations played significant roles in driving up the demand for advanced and innovative equipment.
From the published report, currently, more than 60% of businesses involved in producing pharmaceutical products or other services related to it are ready to automate their services with the right opportunity. They are also prepared to opt for automation, especially when remote access is now becoming increasingly needful, especially with the current impact of the pandemic.
Businesses are now making the needed investments in advanced forms of machinery that will help increase packaging development and speed while improving efficiency.
Some examples of the line equipment that have been automated include the following:
- Labeling techniques that use paper labels or apply wraparound films onto containers can help speed up packaging speed as fast as 600+ per minute.
- Next up is the Form-Fill-Seal tech solution, which uses a single equipment piece to create a needed plastic container, fill it, and seal it up in an air-tight manner.
- There are also digital techs, blockchain, and IoT, making it possible for businesses to connect their machinery to smart devices. Doing this helps such companies to optimize their operations by troubleshooting and reporting errors. It also enables them to gain better insight into data across various machines and records across the supply chain.
- More businesses are using automatic blister packaging machines because of the tight seals and non-tampering values they offer. This type of packaging helps to improve production efficiency while ensuring that you maintain quality and consistency.
Personalized pharmaceuticals are the forces behind the growing demand for machinery solutions capable of packaging smaller batches and doing so with shorter lead times. Using these batches usually requires speedy, fast-paced, and agile scheduling processes from the pharmaceutical manufacturers.
Personalized pharmaceuticals also make it possible to focus on a patient’s unique physical or genetic makeup. That is making it possible to overcome the limitations found in traditional medicines. Plus, it is making it possible to shift significantly from reactive medication to preventive ones.
In addition to personalized pharmaceuticals, self-administration and self-treatment options in medication have also become very common in recent times, especially as more and more people feel forced to spend long hours in their homes resulting from the current COVID-19 pandemic. This situation has led to an increase in producing several devices that make it possible to self-administer medications. Such devices include prefilled syringes and self-injection devices that people can administer in the comfort of their own homes. Today several companies in the industry are now making considerable investments in filling equipment and assembly options that make it possible for them to fast-track changeover time when producing various auto-injectors.
Digitised packaging solutions
The modern market is becoming increasingly digitized. The modern consumer is now looking for convenient ways to receive all the necessary information they need to make it possible to self-administer. However, it is one thing to promote self-administering with improved packaging, and it is quite another thing to ensure that consumers do so in a more safe way. The reason is that the need to self-administer can put the patient at risk if there is no practical way to monitor them. Taking advantage of digitalized packaging solutions means that businesses can now communicate directly to their consumers. Doing this will help ensure that there is an effective way to monitor a patient’s self-administration. That will also help to improve the effectiveness of the medication and the patient’s outcome.
As pharmaceutical companies continue to push forward in creating more personalized drugs, there will be an increasing need to have more flexibility in the production process. Flexible production should create a system where the machines used in the production process can change quickly from one size of a product to another. And the report suggests that this type of production is becoming the increasingly desired option by most packaging companies. The reason for this is that product variations will also continue to expand or grow in a way that allows for personalized pharmaceuticals and self-administration of medications.
Respondents in the report pointed out that the type of machines suitable or portable enough for small-batch production will continue to trend. That is especially true as the stakeholders in the pharmaceutical sector continue to move towards the creation of more drugs that are more personalized to individual needs. Additionally, the need to have flexible production will cover the growing demand for batches with more unique dimensions, sizes, and formulations.
Finally, sustainability is of the essence. As most companies aim to improve the cost-efficiency of their production process and reduce waste, sustainability remains a key concern. It will determine whether the trends in the packaging process can continue long-term. That is especially important in the face of a growing need for businesses to be more concerned about the impact of their production processes on the environment.
The packaging process is increasingly becoming more environmentally friendly. Businesses are beginning to focus more on the types of materials they use and recycle them after use.
Although sustainability calls have permeated different industries and shaped up various manufacturing and production processes. The need for sustainability is now one of the new trends influencing the pharma industry and pharmaceutical investments concerning packaging.
Consumers in the pharmaceutical industry can now expect newer forms of packaging that do not come with adverse impacts on the environment.