Proper Pharmaceutical Use Depends on Packaging
Increasing the safety and the ease of use of drug-delivery systems could improve patient healthcare in hospitals and beyond, suggested several speakers at Pharmapack 2009. Pharmacists and hospital care experts called for packaging innovations that could help increase the accuracy of pharmaceutical dosing while protecting both practitioners and patients from mistakes.
“Packaging and dispensing systems are linked and contribute to the proper use of pharmaceuticals,” Claude Santini, Président, Académie Nationale de Pharmacie (France), told the Pharmapack audience during his opening address.
For instance, added Jean-Claude Chaumeil, Faculté de Pharmacie, Université René Descartes Paris V, packaging could help “overcome the problem of complex mixes in clinical nutrition.”
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Annick Tibi later added that packaging plays a critical role in clinical trials by ensuring that both practitioners and patients follow study regimens precisely. “Packaging must be adapted to the protocol, including where the regime is administered—in a hospital or clinic, on or off site,” she emphasized. Tibi serves as a pharmacist in charge of clinical trials for AP-HP (France).
Pharmapack exhibitors and speakers offering packaging technology shared their innovations for increasing the dosing accuracy and safety of pharmaceuticals and related healthcare products. Matthias Birkhoff, director of business development of Ing. Erich Pfeiffer GmbH (Radolfzell, Germany), presented the developmental work behind the company’s Ophthalmic Squeeze Dispenser (OSD). The dispenser is designed to administer ophthalmic fluid when the container is squeezed. Birkhoff explained that Pfeiffer strove to ensure the OSD would “generate a drop without creating a jet or spray.” Developers also worked to ensure that no bacteria would enter and grow inside the container during product use.
The soft polymer bottle is equipped with an internal filter to ensure that air intake does not contaminate bottle contents. Pfeiffer confirmed the built-in contamination control using microbial challenge tests that involved actuating the OSD over a petri dish with live bacteria. After repeated attempts to contaminate the device during testing procedures, “no device was contaminated,” Birkhoff told Pharmapack attendees.
Hervé Pacaud, director of business development for Valois Pharma (France), introduced Pharmapack attendees to Equadel. He called it the “first patient-independent multidose pump,” explaining that liquids are dispensed in a manner that operates independent of patient actuation. “Equadel maintains similar performance in both high- and low-speed actuation tests,” Pacaud explained. “A spring inside guides actuation regardless of finger pressure.”
Valois calls Equadel suitable for new molecular entities, either local or systemic, dispensed via the nasal route.
Valois Pharma has recently invested in growing its capacity to create solutions for nasal and pulmonary drug delivery: building its new R&D center in Le Vaudreuil (France), strengthening its R&D-dedicated teams (110 people), and devoting an approximately 7% of its annual revenue to new product development.
Future issues of Passport will look at other emerging packaging technologies intended to ensure safe drug delivery, so be sure to keep Passport on your favorite Web sites list!