Innovation pressure for pharmaceutical packaging

The pharmaceutical industry is bringing new medicines onto the market at increasing speed. More and more frequently this is accompanied by innovations in administration and packaging too.

At present everyone is talking about sustainability. Pharmaceutical packaging must also become more ecological. The focus here is not only on more environmentally friendly materials, but above all on analyses of the environmental impact throughout the product life cycle. Ever stricter legal regulations make it necessary to reduce the carbon dioxide footprint in packaging production. And there is also a need to move quickly to recyclable materials. The UK, for example, has passed legislation requiring 50 percent of metered dose inhalers to be recycled this year.

Proactivity is required

Acting instead of just reacting – true to this motto, more and more companies are working independently of legal regulations to make their packaging solutions more environmentally friendly. In order to significantly increase recycling rates, many experts believe that patients must be involved. Recycling systems at the point of purchase, for example, offer such a possibility. Like deposit systems for bottles, they would enable patients to return their applicators when they pick up their medication again.

Robotics, 3-D printing and customization

In addition, developments in robotics and 3-D printing are also opening up great opportunities for the pharmaceutical packaging industry, since, for example, designs can be turned into prototypes much more quickly. Another trend in the pharmaceutical sector is individualization. Here, a gradual shift towards smaller patient cohorts and consideration of their biological requirements can be observed, which also means new innovation opportunities for administration technology and packaging materials.

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