Hapa’s BlisterJet installed at Almac Pharma Services in Northern Ireland

Serialize this – For CMOs, late-stage customization as a service can be a key differentiator 

In some ways, times have become significantly more difficult for contract manufacturing organizations (CMOs) and contract packaging organizations (CPOs). Tough challenges include strong competition, high cost pressure, the general consolidation of the industry and accelerating technological change due to digitalization. On the other hand, those who position themselves well may find that right now great opportunities are opening up. The outsourcing trend in the pharmaceutical industry continues unabated. Big pharma is currently focusing even more on scientific research and marketing. By using CMOs or CPOs, they continue to expect a variety of benefits, for example to reduce time-to-market as well as costs and complexity in their own production and to utilize internal resources more profitably. Opportunities are also generated due to an increasing number of small and medium-sized pharmaceutical companies. They boast a growing share in approvals for new drugs, but they often lack production capacities, let alone packaging. And right now, many markets and regulators come with new packaging and labeling requirements. It is bound to pay off for CMOs and CPOs to be even more agile, flexible and responsive.

This is by no means just about using state-of-the-art technologies to make one’s own production processes more efficient and reduce waste. Any CMO that can specifically support a pharmaceutical company in its postponement strategy should also find themselves in an advantageous position. For example, the technical prerequisite for the late-stage customization of blister packs is a strategic enabler that makes CMOs more attractive to pharmaceutical companies. “The ability of a contractor to offer this as a service can be a key differentiator in getting business,” says Hapa’s Sales Director. This can include, for example, unit dose coding and serialization of blister packs. And what’s quite important in this context: Solid dosage forms remain a profitable and growing segment. “They continue to be the most common dosage form for newly approved drugs due to high patient compliance,” according to PwC, a consulting firm, in a study on opportunities for CMOs.

Hapa’s BlisterJet installed at Almac Pharma Services in Northern Ireland

Hapa’s BlisterJet installed at Almac Pharma Services in Northern Ireland

In a postponement strategy, blister packaging lines produce only blank blisters at high speed. As soon as orders for smaller batches come in, blank blisters are released from inventory, printed on demand in the exact quantity required and rapidly delivered to where they are needed. The Hapa BlisterJet encompasses the technological requirements that are key to a postponement strategy. It is a blister printing system utilizing drop-on-demand inkjet technology and UV-curable inks. Thanks to highly flexible configuration it can accommodate extremely diverse production needs.

With over five decades of unique experience in printing solutions for the pharmaceutical industry, Hapa offers inline and offline solutions. Based in Switzerland, Hapa is the global technology leader in its field. It has installed over 10,000 flexo and digital printing systems in over 80 different countries. Printing on blister foil with UV-curable inks is extremely durable and abrasion-resistant and delivers a razor-sharp print image of even the smallest characters and codes. It is now the most efficient and safest method in a pharmaceutical environment to ensure validated printing, especially for systems integrated in a GMP-compliant environment.

Practically all leading pharmaceutical companies currently use Hapa technologies. "When a client sees a Hapa machine at a CMO’s production site, they know exactly that they can expect excellent efficiency and quality," says the Sales Director at Hapa. In short: New digital printing technologies allow for improved functionality and can help a CMO stand out from competition. The type of equipment plays a decisive role in this.

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