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Key findings from 2012 PMMI industry report: drug delivery trends

Highlights on drug delivery trends from PMMI's 2012 industry report on pharmaceuticals and medical devices, presented at Pack Expo.

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The 2012 Pharma / Medical Device Segment Report from the Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute (PMMI) represents the first such industry report since 2008. Donna Ritson, president of DDR Communications, Lindenhurst, IL, presented key findings to attendees of the 2012 Pack Expo in Chicago.

Overall, the findings cover major trends and issues regarding the packaging and operations of pharmaceutical and medical device products. These include anti-counterfeiting, sustainability, serialization, as well as aspects of equipment procurement, validation and modularity.

Specifically pertaining to drug delivery trends, key Ritson cited PMMI research in delivering key findings, including the below:

  • Bottles vs. blister packs: In the United States, "oral drugs continue to remain dominant, and are mainly delivered in bottles in the U.S.," however, blister packs are gaining some market share, mainly overseas. For example, they remain more popular in Europe, while U.S. usage levels are flat, with 64% of companies reporting that usage levels are neither increasing nor decreasing.
  • Single-dose injectables: A trend moving the needle more--also at 64%--is the number of companies who manufacture intravenous drugs, and are moving towards increasing single-dose injectables, via both pre-dosed syringes and sterile pens. She noted that these require a "significant amount of special engineering."
  • Inhalation devices: 1 in 4 pharma companies who manufacture inhalation therapies continue to move toward developing inhalation products because they see it as the best delivery method for respiratory therapy. These are typically positioned for ease of use rather than to replace other dosage forms.
  • High-tech patches: Half of the pharma companies who manufacture skin absorption drug products predict growth potential for high tech patches. These have seen double digit growth in the past 10 years "and are still growing," Ritson said, citing PMMI research findings.

Topics also covered in the presentation, and research, include major trends that have shaped the industry in the last five years. These include expiring patents; innovative drug delivery methods; rising drug counterfeits; the offshoring and globalization of manufacturing; increasing spending in worldwide (emerging) markets; the growing, global influence of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration; and advances in automated, integrated, smart machinery.
In related news, PMMI research on equipment found that shipments of U.S. packaging machinery grew 19% in 2011, reaching US$7.7 billion, according to PMMI's 2012 Shipments Study. PMMI's annual research also shows total consumption in the U.S. climbing by 23% to $8.8 billion. This was reported in an October story at Packaging World.

The PMMI research was based on research with 50 industry professionals including eight of the top 10 ranked pharma companies; five of the top 10 ranked generic companies and eight of the top 10 ranked medical device companies.


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