Never did we imagine that a mere virus would someday be able to overthrow the global economy and would turn deadly, more than the World War or any other epidemic that we have ever faced since the past few decades. It all started in December 2019 when an unknown infectious respiratory disease emerged in Wuhan, China.
It was soon named the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) by the World Health Organization (WHO). A completely new class of virus called severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, commonly known as SARS-CoV-2 was found to be solely responsible for this disease.
The healthcare sector is considered to be the epicenter of this unprecedented challenge and hence, it is receiving immense support from the government. Right from deploying staff & equipment in hospitals and preparing isolation beds for patients, to delivering testing kits and other resources whenever required- this sector is fully prepared for every eventuality.
Sterilization is playing a vital role in preventing the transmission of this life-threatening disease. Several prominent companies are thus persistently manufacturing sterile medical packaging, such as containers, pouches, and wraps to prevent the products from unintended transmissions.
The global sterile medical packaging market size was 31.38 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 47.89 billion by 2027, exhibiting a CAGR of 5.5% during the forec
Placon Expands Production Capacity To Fulfil Growing Demand For Medical Packaging
In June 2020, Placon, a designer and manufacturer of unique injection moulded and thermoformed plastic packaging products, headquartered in Wisconsin, declared that it is planning to expand its thermoforming production capacity in Elkhart, Indiana.
This will be done to meet the increasing demand for medical packaging. The expansion would include four technologically advanced thermoforming presses. These would also deliver office, warehouse, and cleanroom manufacturing space. As per the company officials, the first two presses will be operational by June 2021.
Placon’s Elkhart facility is dedicated to manufacturing customized plastic packaging for the healthcare and medical industries. It is ISO 13485 certified and produces the bestseller BargerGard protective packaging made out of thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) material, as well as thermoformed clamshells and trays. This site will soon turn into the company’s flagship medical packaging facility.
Sharp Invests $1.24 Million To Broaden Its Rhymney Facility, U.K.
Sharp, a renowned provider of pharmaceutical packaging announced the investment of USD 1.24 million in the expansion of its site in the U.K in June 2020. Its Rhymney facility first opened in late-2019 and since then, the company had been receiving multiple queries for commercial packaging services.
It will now be able to fulfil the growing demand for commercial primary and secondary packaging of numerous drug formats, such as thermoform medical device kitting, syringes, capsules, bottles, and blisters.
According to one of the company officials, “We are planning to unveil new authentication, aggregation, and serialization equipment with further investments to strengthen our position in the industry.
The new investment will enable us to provide complementary services to all our new and existing clients. Besides, it will expand Sharp’s footprints in Europe.”
Vireo Joins Hands With eBottles420 To Distribute Terpene-Preserving Packaging System
Vireo Health International Inc., a multi-state cannabis company based in Vancouver, signed an agreement with eBottles420 in July 2020. The main aim of Vireo is to produce and distribute its terpene-preserving packaging system. This patent-pending unique packaging system is capable of preserving cannabis flower by halting the loss of terpene and similar other compounds occurring right after the harvest.
Is The Medical Sector Benefitting From Smart Packaging?
Smart or intelligence packaging offers plenty of opportunities to increase customer loyalty and brand identity. They not only offer marketing functions and protection, but also provide concerning medicinal ingredients. Below are a few of their significant functions:
- Time-Temperature Indicator: There are some medicines that are to be stored at certain temperatures to prevent spoilage. Smart packaging helps in developing labels informing the medicine’s temperature during its storage and shipping process. This helps patients, pharmacists, and clinicians to determine whether the medicines are safe or not.
- Near-Field Communication Tags: In today’s monotonous world, nobody actually spends time to read the information written in drug packages. In addition to this, patients often forget to take their medicines or they fail to adhere to prescriptions. Hence, they must have complete knowledge about a particular drug that they are intended to consume. Near-field communication or NFC offers this information on the patient’s smartphones in an interactive way.
- Integrated Loudspeakers: To help patients in dealing with the burdens of tiny print and excessive information, various companies are experimenting with the idea of replacing such data with integrated loudspeakers. The information written in tiny texts can be easily customized with patient-specific instructions associated with the medication.
Jones Healthcare Group Invests in Uhlmann Blister Packaging Line
In July 2020, Jones Healthcare Group, a manufacturer of medical packaging and containers based in London invested in a new Uhlmann blister packaging line. This highly automated and fully integrated two-lane equipment would improve the company’s production capacity to meet the high demand for unique blister combinations.
As per the company officials, “Our new line delivers the highest flexibility and productivity for blister packaging, including a full aggregation and serialization solution for medicines. The demand for such packaging is surging day by day because of the constant evolution of complex pharmaceutical regimes and dosage forms.”
Working Towards Green Environment: Amcor Launches PET Containers For Ritual Multivitamins
In February 2020, Amcor, a producer of specialty cartons, rigid containers, and flexible packaging headquartered in Australia, introduced the first polyethylene terephthalate (PET) containers for multivitamins. The new containers are made out of 100% post-consumer recycled content (PCR) resin and are available in two sizes, namely, 150 cubic centimetres and 100 cubic centimetres.
They were developed for Ritual, a vitamin supplement company based in California. PET was mainly chosen because of its reusable, resealable, shatterproof, and lightweight properties. At the same time, it would reflect the brand’s commitment towards protecting nature, thereby maintaining its premium-quality standards.
What Does The Future Hold?
The sterile medical packaging industry would showcase an exponential growth in the near future backed by the increasing prevalence of infectious diseases. At present, the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the demand for such packaging to prevent transmission.
Once a vaccine is discovered, people are still likely to continue demanding for these products to protect medications from harmful microorganisms. However, the authorities are putting forward regulatory standards to ensure sterility of the packed content. As maintenance of these standards is strenuous, this may act as a barrier to growth in the coming years.