Rethinking pharma packaging to better model shelf life 16th March 2020
By Kori Anderson, General Manager, Healthcare Packaging at Honeywell
Kori Anderson, General Manager, Healthcare Packaging at Honeywell, explains how a new collaboration between Honeywell and FreeThin
Kori Anderson, General Manager, Healthcare Packaging at Honeywell, explains how a new collaboration between Honeywell and FreeThink Technologies combines the companies’ respective expertise in packaging technologies and stability studies to provide a new generation of packaging that results in longer shelf lives for medicinal products.
Last year Honeywell established a collaboration with FreeThink Technologies, a specialist in the science and technology of stability studies, to add FreeThink’s predictive shelf life modeling to its existing suite of Healthcare Packaging services, combining Honeywell’s expertise in managing thermoformable, moisture barrier film with FreeThink Technologies’ know-how of chemical and physical stability and accelerated shelf-life modeling for a wide range of products, including medicines. The pharmaceutical and related industries can benefit from the alliance through selecting the optimal blister packaging, including, where appropriate, the suitable grade of Aclar film for solid oral drugs based upon accelerated degradation data, comprehensive kinetic modeling and robust statistical analysis carried out by FreeThink Technologies. Honeywell and FreeThink’s combined service offering now supports pharmaceutical customers, including originator, generics, OTC and adjacent industries in all phases of development with an accurate model for a product’s shelf-life and stability in as little as four weeks.
Improved packaging: Aclar films
Honeywell’s Healthcare Packaging business includes the production of Aclar and Aclar Accel barrier films, which help pharmaceutical packaging companies lower total packaging costs, improve the flexibility of operations, and increase overall profitability. Aclar films are based on polychlorotrifluoroethylene (PCTFE) fluoropolymer technology. They are crystal clear, biochemically inert, chemical-resistant, nonflammable, and plasticizer- and stabilizer-free. The films can facilitate increased patient compliance with doctor prescriptions with see-through, portable and patient-friendly pack presentations. Aclar thermoformable films are used in a broad range of markets including originator and generic pharmaceuticals, and OTC pharmaceutical and animal health packaging.
In comparison to packages made of cold form foil, Aclar enables smaller blister pack sizes that reduce shelf space and usage of raw materials, and lower transport costs. Available in many thickness grades and a wide range of moisture barriers, Aclar provides flexibility for pharmaceutical companies to optimize moisture protection for medicines across different climate conditions.
Modelling shelf life and stability
Honeywell says its partnership with Freethink will enable its customers to select the optimal blister packaging, including where appropriate, the suitable grade of Aclar film for solid oral drugs based upon accelerated degradation data, comprehensive kinetic modelling and robust statistical analysis carried out by FreeThink Technologies. The combined service will support pharmaceutical customers, including originator, generics, OTC and adjacent industries, in all phases of development with an accurate model for a product’s shelf-life and stability in time periods as short as four weeks. The company says the collaboration will provide its customers with reduced packaging cost, shorter time to market and greater confidence when making primary packaging decisions.
FreeThink’s predictive modeling service was founded on the peer-reviewed and widely adopted Accelerated Stability Assessment Program (ASAP) which provides credible product expiration dating based on confidence levels derived from experimental design and statistical data analysis, while the company’s laboratories apply their extensive expertise in rapid product shelf-life determination with the proprietary software, ASAPprime, which provides statistical modelling from experimental data.
A typical example of how Honeywell’s and FreeThink’s combined service can assist pharmaceutical companies that are very mindful about packaging costs is in avoiding overpackaging by providing a prediction of the barrier level (Aclar grade) needed to achieve the target shelf-life of a generic product under development. Another example of the applicability of this new offering is the assessment of the impact of protective barrier packaging on product shelf-life for planned launches, including site transfers of the same product in different climatic zones. This often requires an upgrade in protective barrier, and the extent can be effectively predicted using the experimental data gathered during a four-week ASAP study. According to Honeywell, this service enhancement is aligned with its end customers’ evolving need for optimized packaging solutions and is in line with its efforts and commitment to improving the user experience with its products.
Market expansion: conforming to different regulations
With the increased focus on innovation in packaging in the pharmaceutical industry, pharmaceutical companies have made rapid strides in developing new molecules and new production techniques to conform with global regulatory standards and as local and multinational pharmaceutical companies continue to expand into highly regulated markets such as the US and Europe, organizations seek to provide the highest-quality products in a rapidly evolving regulatory landscape. Given the expected growth of the pharmaceutical packaging market by 2023, companies will require new packaging technologies that allow them to launch drugs faster while reducing operational costs. Honeywell’s technology is designed to provide a better shelf life for medicines and support companies in meeting new regulatory requirements.
Aclar and Aclar Accel barrier films: helping pharmaceutical packaging companies lower total packaging costs, improve their flexibility of operations, and increase their overall profitability.
(Photo: Honeywell Healthcare Packaging)