Pharma packaging is in transition. Companies are now pushing boundaries, furthering their offerings and innovating.
Entering diagnostics, medical devices, lab equipment and more, many are becoming true healthcare partners.
Here are five companies that are setting themselves apart by embracing this evolution quicker and more naturally than the rest:
A leading global partner to the pharma and healthcare industry, Gerresheimer, are a prime example of how major players in pharma packaging are looking to enter new spaces through their offerings.
Moving into plastics and drug delivery devices, they’ve come a long way since the days of glass packaging.
Manufacturing syringes, auto injectors, pen injectors, point of care tests and more, their range of complex devices is incredibly impressive. Their liquid drug delivery devices have seen them work with the top pharma/medical device companies around the world.
This expansion has been complimented by major investment to consolidate their position as a market leader in pharmaceutical glass – opening a Glass Innovation and Technology Center in the US this October.
This centre, based in New Jersey, is purpose-built to drive innovation in pharmaceutical glass, primary packaging glass products, technologies and digitized processes. This will help cement their status as a global power.
Gerresheimer’s dedication to innovation and ambition means that they remain one of the biggest and most influential pharma packaging companies in the world.
Due to the different areas Gerresheimer are now working in, there’s a constant need to add new talent from different areas of the healthcare industry and new regions to open new doors and expand their network.
Thanks to an incredibly diverse product portfolio, Aptar can claim a reputation comparable to Gerresheimer.
In the past they’ve been known for their products in food and cosmetic packaging, primarily closures and dispensing systems, however, they’ve made huge waves in the pharma packaging world in last few years.
Offering injectable components, nasal sprays, asthma pumps, dry powder inhalors, electronic e-devices, eye drop dispensers, inhaler valves and more – their manufacturing offering is starting to rival many CDMOs.
Their specialty company, Next Breath, are playing a major role in this transition, with its full-service cGMP compliant laboratory specializing in analytical testing of a range of drug delivery systems from early stage to commercialisation.
Next Breath provide comprehensive solutions for the product development process from formulation and CMC support, to finished batch release and post approval stability to regulatory agencies worldwide.
With this alongside the acquisitions of pharmaceuticals like Nanopharm and Gateway Analytical, plus potential investment in talent from CDMOs and CMOS, Aptar are set to become a major player in the pharma world very soon.
Competing with Aptar, especially when it comes to injectable components, West are a worthy adversary.
Their specialist sub-divisions within the company, mean that they can serve a diverse range of markets to the highest standards.
With specialist employees and products targeting different sub-markets including pharma, biotechnology, generic and medical devices; West can claim to be true specialist partners.
It will be interesting to see what direction West will move next. They are active in most healthcare markets and regions, which could force them to invest more in R&D to introduce new technologies and products. However, that’s yet to be seen.
While West claim to be specialists in several areas, it’s clear Schott are the masters in just one – glass.
Ironically, this means that they offer one of the broadest offerings in this article. Their services span across automotive, defence, aviation, consumer electrics, life sciences, pharma and more.
Experts in glass, they’re still able to compete with the likes of Gerresheimr, Nipro Pharma Packaging, SGD Pharma and others in the pharmaceutical market – despite not having a specialist, pharmaceutical background.
I’m not saying that Schott’s glass is better – because I’m no glass doyen - but due to the size and diversity of the company, quality will always be their USP against competitors.
Schott is a company always transforming and reacting to market trends. It’s no shock that they’ve now entered the world of plastics and medical devices too. It’s likely that this will see them invest in talent from healthcare industry, strengthening their market knowledge and network.
Schott are a huge name, as are all the other players I’ve mentioned. However, it’s important to talk about Nemera too.
In respect, they’re a much smaller company with more limited resources. Nonetheless, they’re a admired name on the market and providing strong competition.
Mainly specialising in plastics, Nemera have diverse and innovative product range. Manufacturing inhalation devices, nasal products, parenteral, dermal and opthalmics, you’d struggle to find a medium-sized pharma packaging company with this many products.
Willing to go into product development, expanding in the US and rife with talent, I can see this exciting French company becoming a major player in years to come.
More companies in pharma packaging are taking notice of this evolution and striving to make the transition to become healthcare partners. Product-wise, this is likely to drive innovation – which is an exciting prospect for all.
In the emerging talent market, we’re likely to see individuals with CDMO and CMO backgrounds become increasingly desirable, as packaging companies expand their offerings.
Returning from CPhI 2019, in Frankfurt, the words of Eric Langer, President of Bioplan Associates, have stuck with me. Forget the innovation, are biosimilars the real 'workhorse' carrying biopharma to bigger and better things?
Pharma packaging is in transition. Companies are now pushing boundaries, furthering their offerings and innovating to be seen as true healthcare partners.