Technologies to Track in 2019

By Sean Riley, PMMI

While Healthcare Packaging Expo (Sept. 23-25; Las Vegas Convention Center), co-located with PACK EXPO Las Vegas 2019, remains months away, trends and innovations in the life sciences sector continue to make headlines.

New packaging and processing technologies and materials are becoming increasingly creative to enhance product differentiation. As a result, pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals companies alike are exploring novel ways to elevate their image, implementing flexible, convenient formats like pouches and active packaging components like sensors.

Serialization and track-and-trace remain top of mind with pharmaceutical companies seeking ways to implement more robust methods of counterfeit prevention through blockchain’s innate tracking capabilities.

Four years after its introduction into pharma, 3D printing has moved from possibility to potential game-changing technology in the pharmaceutical sector. Healthcare Packaging reports that the technology is already making considerable in-roads in medical devices. Contributing editor Tim Hayes reports that one medical device company plans to open an on-site 3D printing facility in New York City’s Hospital for Special Surgery. At the center, the 3D printer will work closely with the hospital’s physicians to produce patient-specific implants for a range of orthopedic conditions.

Expected to be in operation by early 2020, the facility will act as a test operation for rolling out potential 3D printing services to hospitals across the U.S.

Our last post of 2018 touched on the aging population and the effect 78.0 million people aged 65 years and older by 2035 will have on pharmaceutical manufacturers. Another aspect of improved global healthcare and people living longer will increase the number of people living with chronic illnesses.

As Healthcare Packaging editor Jim Butschli reported in a recent Q&A with Joe Reynolds, Research Manager at Noble, “chronic illnesses such as diabetes, multiple sclerosis (MS) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are expected to skyrocket in the coming years. Treating these diseases successfully—and managing their associated health care costs—will depend in large part on patient adherence to medication regimens that may require daily, biweekly or monthly injections.”

One way to ensure adherence, as noted in Butschli’s piece involves training consumers how to self-inject medications in their homes. Noble and BD recently partnered to address patient onboarding training to self-administration of injectable medications. I recommend clicking on the full Q&A.

Healthcare Packaging Expo will provide a compelling opportunity for pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers to converge and see the latest life science solutions. Owned and produced by PMMI, The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies, the show will also offer educational programming and opportunities to cross-pollinate ideas among industries showcasing PACK EXPO Las Vegas. Register and learn more at hcpelasvegas.com.

2019-02-01T15:49:09+00:00 January 16th, 2019|