Pharmaceuticals

THE CORONAVIRUS CRISIS AS AN OPPORTUNITY FOR THE PACKAGING INDUSTRY?

2021-06-03


Source link:https://www.interpack.com/en/TIGHTLY_PACKED/SECTORS/PHARMACEUTICS

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The worldwide coronavirus pandemic threatens to wipe out entire industry sectors. Travel, event and catering companies, along with the cultural sector and club operators, have been particularly hard hit.

 

With the decision to classify the packaging industry as essential, the relevant companies were in a good starting position compared to the above-mentioned sectors. Sales figures in recent months make it clear that this is in no way a guarantee for survival that would allow such enterprises to sit back and do nothing. While special orders resulted in additional sales, the costs for logistics, production, raw materials, packaging materials and personnel rose at the same time. We are now even hearing talk of surcharges of up to 200 per cent for freight.

 

PACKAGING COMPANIES SEIZE THE OPPORTUNITY WITH PHARMACEUTICAL PRODUCTS

 

The obvious beneficiaries of the crisis are the online trade and the pharmaceutical industry. As demand for products increases, the need for product-specific packaging also grows.

 

Mondi was a packaging company that had its focus on the pharmaceutical industry already at the beginning of the coronavirus crisis. At the beginning of April 2020, the packaging and paper company converted the production lines of its plant in Gronau, Germany, so that it could produce retaining straps for face masks instead of baby nappies and feminine hygiene products. The three-ply non-woven fabric straps were supplemented with a laminated plastic film with elasticity, replacing rubberised straps, which take longer to manufacture.

 

PACKAGING COMPANY MANUFACTURES FACE MASKS
Barely two months later, Mondi went one step further by partnering with the Johner Institute in order to manufacture medical face masks itself, which it has now been doing since the end of May 2020. The latest model, Type II R, consists of a melt-blown non-woven fabric filter produced in-house and is said to have a bacterial filter performance of 98 per cent, which is higher than that of cotton fabrics. The face masks are packaged individually as hygienic disposable products in a plastic bag and can be easily removed from the specially manufactured folding box.

 

TEST KIT PACKAGING FOR COVID-19 TEST CARTRIDGES

In times like these, the fact that flexibility in production is particularly important in the medical industry is also demonstrated by the development of a packaging design that Mondi is manufacturing for the coronavirus test kit with SARS CoV-2 test cartridges from QIAGEN.

 

“At Mondi Korneuburg, we have adjusted our production planning to support Qiagen in meeting the increasing demand,” explains Eveline Wagner, Managing Director of Mondi Korneuburg.

 

The white, unprinted, multi-layer stand-up pouch consists of a three-layer high-barrier laminate made of a PET/Al/PE (polyester, aluminium, polyethylene) structure and is intended to protect the test kits from light and moisture in particular.

 

Flexibility in packaging production is considered essential when supporting the medical industry. Photo: Mondi Group

 

SUPPLYING PHARMACEUTICAL CONTAINERS
In the fight against COVID-19, the Stevanato Group also invested in its capacity to supply packaging products urgently needed for medical purposes. According to CEO Franco Stevanato, the manufacturer of primary glass packaging and provider of integrated drug delivery systems expertise has “made all available inventory available to (...) safeguard deliveries to pharmaceutical companies” since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. In order to meet the demand for mass vaccination campaigns and to support the start-up phase for the industrialisation of corresponding vaccines, Stevanato has invested in the production capacity for vials made of borosilicate glass in particular. Type I borosilicate glass is the most trusted and widely used material used for storage and administration of vaccines throughout the world.


Type I borosilicate glass is the most trusted and widely used material for filling vaccines. Photo: Stevanato

 

The Stevanato Twist-Off Closure System SG ITC (Integrated Tip Cap) also ensures increased safety and user-friendliness when filling vaccines, hyaluronic acid, biotech drugs and other viscous products.

 

The integrated tip-cap closure consists of two components, with which the elastomer component is inserted into the plastic cap and pre-assembled on the syringe with a Luer lock adapter. Compared to conventional Luer cone systems, this solution is designed to achieve greater stability and to better protect the medication.

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