Building Barriers: Protect Sensitive Drugs with Advanced Packaging Options

19 mins read

Building Stronger Barriers

Barrier resins in traditional white round bottles from Amcor Rigid Plastics (Booth S-8287) are drawing interest from pharmaceutical packagers looking to replace glass with plastic in packaging oral solid dose drugs.

[wp_ad_camp_4]“Barrier has been the hottest topic for us by far in the past six months. The drug companies are looking to prolong the shelf life of often complex formulations that are more sensitive to oxygen and moisture,” says Greg Rosati, marketing director, diversified products, Amcor Rigid Plastics North America.

Amcor has a second pharmaceutical customer preparing to commercialize product in a wide mouth packer (bottle) featuring ethylene vinyl alcohol (EVOH), a resin used for years in food packaging and now drawing interest from drug makers. High-density polyethylene (HDPE) sandwiches the EVOH layer.

Favored for its clarity, toughness, moisture barrier and resistance to drug actives and preservatives in applications such as blisters, prefilled syringes and device components, cyclic olefin copolymer (COC) is gaining traction for bottles. General Nutrition has adopted an Amcor bottle with COC fixed between layers of polyethylene terephthalate (PET). “Moisture barrier is the driver, but COC is also a strong material, with excellent PET-clear properties,” Rosati says.

Amcor has also been evaluating Milliken & Co. nucleating agents and material blends for providing incremental barrier improvement at a lower cost than multi-laminates. Injection blow-molded HDPE bottles with Milliken’s Hyperform HPN-20E additive have exhibited about a 30 percent higher oxygen and moisture barrier. “We’ve proven this out with bottles that we believe could extend product shelf and are now looking for commercial applications,” Rosati says.

In protective cartoning solutions, Rondo-Pak, the subsidiary of the Rondo AG division of Korber Medipak Systems, will showcase the Rondo Safepack at Pharma EXPO (Booth N-705). The Rondo Safepack is a folding carton that provides extra protection in packaging of syringes, vials and ampoules.

Made from 100 percent recyclable paperboard, the Rondo Safepack features auto-actuating cushion flaps on the top and bottom that buffer against severe shock and vibration, and a double-walled construction for higher crush resistance than with standard cartons. An integrated partition supports manual assembly or automated assembly on a wide range of cartoning machines.

Rondo Safepack

“The Rondo Safepack dramatically reduces breakage potential for glass or other contents. It is an easy-to-incorporate, easy-to-use solution that exemplifies our commitment to solving packaging problems creatively and cost-effectively,” says Victor Dixon, Rondo-Pak president and COO.

Rondo-Pak’s tamper-evident carton design can be incorporated, as a production-efficient alternative to glue- and label-based tamper evident features. In this system, when opening the package, pieces of the carton end flap are torn off at perforated edges and left in the dust flaps. The folding box then remains reclosable.

See it All Up Close at Pharma EXPO and PACK EXPO Las Vegas

As the growth of biologics drives change in pharmaceutical packaging, materials and containers providers have responded with solutions that meet evolving industry demands, enhance the convenience of drug delivery formats, provide Barex alternatives and offer enhanced barrier properties. Pharmaceutical, biopharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers can see these technologies up close at Pharma EXPO and PACK EXPO Las Vegas this September, where exhibitors will feature advanced primary and secondary packaging solutions designed to safeguard the potency and sterility of sensitive therapies and prolong product shelf life.

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