Sterile Medical Packaging’s Greatest Hits

It was 20 years ago today, give or take, that Pharmaceutical and Medical Packaging News debuted. To mark this milestone, Daphne Allen has posted an article, "Looking Back over 20 Years of Sterile Medical Packaging," on, that offers a comprehensive overview of the changes that have affected the design and production of sterile medical packaging during the last two decades.

 Norbert Sparrow

“In 1993, medical device manufacturers sought packages that would maintain sterile product safety and efficacy, reduce hospital and supply chain waste, and offer cost efficiencies to prepare for healthcare reform,” writes Allen. “Twenty years later, the goals are pretty much the same, but the means and methods have definitely changed.”

Allen recounts how expectations in quality have evolved; the shift toward a scientific approach to sterile medical device packaging, largely under the influence of the EU medical device directives in 1993; the application of Six Sigma principles; developments in materials and associated sterilization technologies; and sustainability issues, which have come very much to the fore in the last few years.

The article includes a timeline of sterile medical packaging milestones, from the formation of WG7, which was charged with writing a global standard for packaging of terminally sterilized medical devices, to a name-check of the winners of the 2012 Ameristar awards in the medical device category.

Check out this article to see how far the medical sterile packaging world has come and the issues that will confront it in the next 20 years.

Stay relevant as a medical device packaging engineer

Norbert Sparrow, Editor in Chief, UBM Canon

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