5 Pharma Trends and Their Impact on Packaging

By Andreas Mattern in Pharmaceutical Packaging on February 26, 2020

The pharmaceutical industry is changing at an unprecedented pace. New biological treatments for cancer, and a dramatic rise of widespread diseases such as diabetes, call for new processing and packaging solutions to fulfill the different needs all over the world. Keep your eye on these five main packaging trends for 2020 for the global pharmaceutical market.

Page 1. Production flexibility and output are critical.

Page 2. Self-medication is on the rise.

Page 3. Product and patient safety is non-negotiable.

Page 4. Serialization is just the first step towards “digital pharma.”

Page 5. Digital services help optimize processes.


Photo courtesy of Sytegon.


1. Production flexibility and output are critical.

While the demand for common medication such as pain killers and prescription drugs like antibiotics is increasing in the so-called pharmerging markets, completely new forms of treatment are appearing in industrialized countries thanks to the access to more complex substances. Ground-breaking changes are occurring in the area of biological therapies — for instance, regarding the treatment of cancer and autoimmune diseases, as well as rare illnesses that only affect a very small group of patients.

Consequently, many global drug manufacturers are currently focusing on the development of new formulations and have outsourced their filling, closing, and packaging operations of legacy products to contract manufacturers, which are often based in the pharmerging markets like China and India. All manufacturers require highly flexible equipment that can adapt to new products and packaging formats quickly.

The main difference? Many new biological developments are produced in ever smaller batches, while traditional contract manufacturers and generic producers are looking to achieve the highest possible output at the lowest possible costs. Other contract manufacturers have specialized in the advanced technologies required for the emerging treatments like gene and cell therapies where many pharmaceutical companies still lack production competence and capacity.



EastPack-2020 EastPack 2020: Automation. Design. Sustainability. June 9-11

Andreas Mattern

Andreas Mattern, Ph.D., is director, Product Management Pharma, for Syntegon Technology, a leading global process and packaging technology provider. Headquartered in Waiblingen, Germany, Syntegon Technology, formerly Bosch Packaging Technology, has provided standalone machines, as well as complete solutions, for the pharmaceutical and food industries for more than 50 years.

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