Earlier this month in Denver, Plastic Ingenuity got the chance to attend HealthPack 2017 — one of the country’s leading conferences for medical device packaging professionals, from directors and managers to packaging engineers and R&D team members.
Alongside Gary Hawkins of Eastman Chemical Co., Plastic Ingenuity’s Medical Business Manager Jason Crosby presented an exciting case study at this year’s event: “How a New Packaging Material Improves Sterile Barrier Protection & More,” which covered the launch, validation, and adoption of a new copolyester packaging material that improves sterile barrier protection, safety, and sustainability while reducing total costs.
Jason was also part of the “2016 IoPP AmeriStar Medical Device Package Winners” panel discussion, along with Plastic Ingenuity’s Senior Design Engineer Steve Studee and other industry experts.
HealthPack 2017 Takeaways
Several recurring themes emerged as the conference progressed, serving as the focus for various panels and presentations. Three, in particular, stuck out as important trends to watch for this year.
1. Balancing Industry Compliance and Innovation
Healthcare packaging — in particular, medical device packaging and pharmaceutical packaging — is subject to some of the strictest regulations found in any industry. Healthcare companies are looking for a way to meet all these guidelines, while creating unique, and user friendly packaging.
At Plastic Ingenuity, we remain committed to meeting important industry standards while still providing the most cutting-edge packaging products on the market. We have long sought ways to innovate within the medical device packaging industry, and our team uses strict design control methods to maintain necessary quality and safety standards. Several other presenters at HealthPack 2017 echoed this sentiment, reiterating the importance of adhering to industry standards in order to ensure product reliability and patient health and safety.
2. Ensuring Sterility in End-to-End Supply Chain Scenarios
Product sterility is extremely important in the health and pharmaceutical industries, safeguarding end user health and wellbeing. As more focus is placed on the end-to-end supply chain process in order to ensure sterility standards are met, sterility assurance groups and packaging companies are collaborating to find innovative, reliable solutions for sterile packaging needs. Several HealthPack 2017 discussions centered on the topic of sterility, highlighting the ways packaging engineers and sterility assurance professionals can work together to achieve optimal results.
The January/February 2017 issue of “Healthcare Packaging Magazine” featured a piece highlighting the inner workings of the supply chain, focusing on Plastic Ingenuity’s work with Eastman Chemical Co. and Pacur, LLC in developing a styrene-free alternative — the copolyester that was discussed during the case study panel — to high-impact polystyrene (HIPS) for use in medical packaging.
3. User-Centric Design
Long an area of focus in the medical device packaging and pharmaceutical packaging sectors, user-friendly packaging design was another major topic at HealthPack 2017. Oftentimes, packaging that meets industry standards for protection, tamper evidence, and sterility is difficult for end users to open, and in the medical industry, it’s critical that packaging can be opened quickly and easily in emergency situations.
Healthcare packaging manufacturers are increasingly focusing on user-centric designs, as several factors drive this shift, including an increasingly global market, the rising complexity of care regimens, label space constraints, and increased reliance on ambulatory care.
Resources for the Pharmaceutical Packaging Industry
HealthPack 2017 was a huge success, and the team at Plastic Ingenuity is already looking forward to HealthPack 2018, scheduled for March 6-8 at the Kansas City Marriott Downtown in Kansas City, Mo.
As a custom thermoformer and plastic packaging manufacturer with years of experience in the medical and pharmaceutical packaging industry, we’re proud to offer a wide range of thermoforming, tooling, extrusion, and design services, working with customers from start to finish on every project.
To learn more about exciting new trends in medical packaging, download “How the Top Pharma Brands Are Effectively Using Automation,” our free eBook focusing on top pharmaceutical companies’ increasing use of packaging automation equipment.