It is important that packaging providers and medical device R&D executives collaborate for a better understanding of where and under what conditions products will be used to design packaging that performs well, say Rich Partlow, General Manager, and Dave Rosten, Sales Manager, Brentwood Industries. With costs escalating constantly, packaging can play a significant role in a product’s overall success.
What are some of the challenges facing medical device R&D and product development executives?
Rich Partlow: “With medical service costs escalating around the world, the industry is going to have to find ways to slow that down with low-cost solutions to result-orientated products and services. New products are scrutinized by the FDA and other regulatory agencies a lot more than in the past, with the FDA also examining the cost-benefit to consumers.
We are approaching this challenge with new package designs to keep the deliverables at their highest efficacy. Changes to the US healthcare system and economic growth in Asia will bring exciting new opportunities. Closer cooperation with government agencies is needed to improve our ability to work together.”
Dave Rosten: “The industry should also collaborate with companies to understand their processes, engineering and how packaging is used. We are constantly looking for opportunities to save money by substituting materials; we have broadened our supply base and opened our eyes to what is available in the market to provide customers with the latest and the best solutions.”
How does packaging contribute to the success of the product?
Rich Partlow: “When our customers produce medical devices, they have to maintain safety and efficacy, and our packaging has to do that along with their products. The package design improves the use of the product. It is important that we have a good understanding of where and under what type of conditions it will be used in order to design packaging that performs well.”
How is environmental consciousness impacting the industry?
Rich Partlow: “The footprint of the package is very important; the smaller it is the better. However, it should not compromise the product in any way.
Many countries have a waste tax, therefore we try to use as little material as possible and whenever possible, recyclable materials. Reducing the thickness of gauge by 10 per cent can reduce its tax obligation and waste footprint by the same percentage. This plays a role when trying to reduce costs.
Demands to increase product shelf life are a challenge. There may be materials to extend the lifecycle, but we have to be careful that it does not add to the cost. After a certain point, costly packaging negates the potential savings of lengthening the product’s life.”
How can medical device companies accelerate the time to market of their products?
Dave Rosten: “Medical device companies need to select their packaging supplier early on in the product design and development process. The sooner they involve the packaging supplier, the sooner they can design a solution that works. This would give the supplier more time and flexibility to build a quality design for the package, evaluate the materials and give the customer a choice of designs and materials.”
SOURCE: Brentwood Industries