Active Packaging in Pharma: Simple Solutions to Complex Challenges
February Cover Story: Part 2 of 2
Advancements in active and intelligent packaging technologies are helping to ensure that oral solid dose (OSD) drug delivery — which comprises both capsules and tablets — remains the most popular delivery method in use today.
Due to challenging and potent active pharmaceutical ingredients, as well as modified release specifications, OSD drug delivery products present significant stability challenges, especially from moisture, oxygen, hydrocarbons and other gases, or a combination of these. This instability can also come from reactive impurities, such as formaldehyde and formic acid, which have been implicated in the degradation of drug products and cross-linking in gelatin capsules.
Market demand has been growing for solutions that not only protect products from unwanted moisture and oxygen ingress but also proactively remove moisture and gases within the package headspace, as well as reactive impurities and off-gassing from increasingly sophisticated — and, correspondingly, costly and valuable — OSD products.
Advanced protection solutions for blisters, outside of barrier technology, have been more challenging. Although the headspace within individual blisters may be small, it can still impact shelf life. To reduce ingress, aluminum foils and high-barrier thermoforms can be effective, but headspace moisture, gases and impurities persist, as does the moisture content of the dose.
Thanks to advancements in active and intelligent packaging technologies, new solutions have come to market. For instance, Aptar CSP Technologies (csptechnologies.com) has introduced a couple of solutions. For bottles, Activ-Seal closures feature gas- and moisture-scavenging technology built directly into an induction-sealed, tamper-evident screw cap. For blisters, Activ-Blister solutions control the internal atmosphere of each cavity, providing desiccant and scavenging capabilities to traditional and existing blistering films and design, negating the need for purging or secondary packaging.
The future is bright for active packaging in pharma, as the sector continues to innovate with medicines requiring elevated protection from moisture, oxygen and other gases.
Aptar CSP Technologies focuses on pioneering new packaging technologies and designs that ensure product protection and enhance brand recognition.
TempTrip (temptrip.com), a subsidiary of Sealed Air Corp. (sealedair.com), is a simple, reusable complete temperature monitoring system. The system monitors the temperature of time- and temperature-sensitive products, providing timely, cloud-based reporting. The temperature system combines the latest RFID, bar code and internet technologies to track the location and condition of products such as meats, fresh foods and other perishables for end-to-end cold chain management.
Unlike traditional data loggers, TempTrip captures and converts data into actionable intelligence:
Data can be accessed any time the tag is read by an antenna or reader in a physical location.