New Quality Dimensions for Pharmaceutics: Gerresheimer Highlights Drug Delivery Products Made of Glass and Plastic

Tubular glass, moulded glass, plastic, intelligent syringe systems, high-quality vials and bottles, smart safety and application solutions: the whole world of pharma packaging was united in the Gerresheimer Group at Pharmtech Moscow, which was held at the Crocus Expo Center 24–27 November 2009. Gerresheimer offered not only a varied and informative display but also a specialist lecture on trends in glass primary packaging.

One of the most important recent developments is without doubt PharmaPlus™. This highly innovative glass forming concept has created a new and outstanding quality category for tubular glass products, whether it be syringes or cartridges, vials or ampoules.

“PharmaPlus stands for the most precise and gentle production process known today,” says Burkhard Lingenberg, director of marketing and communication for the Gerresheimer Group. “With this process chain we have succeeded in achieving a decisive breakthrough since the requirements of modern pharmacy and biotechnology are increasing in many areas and will continue to increase in the future.”

The background and outlook in this area were elucidated by Nicolas Alexis, sales director Europe for Gerresheimer Tubular Glass, in an informative lecture on 26 November: ‘Glass Primary Packaging Trends – Quality, Ease of Use, Materials’. In the course of the Pharmtechprom forum he outlined strong international market trends towards perfected safety and convenience in the delivery of medicines, examined growing demands in terms of the dimensional and cosmetic attributes of glass primary packaging, and provided deep insights into the PharmaPlus technologies on the basis of the excellent example of syringe production. Information about this is provided by a new short video, which is available from our website.

Sterile syringes

Syringe systems, particularly the top category of RTF® sterile syringes, were one of the most important areas of product focus in Moscow. In particular, the ready-to-fill glass systems which are supplied to the pharma industry siliconised, pre-assembled and sterilised, comprehensively document the progress achieved today across the field of syringes.

Baked-On RTF™ is one of the results of such progress: this baked-on siliconisation process developed particularly for biopharmaceutics can significantly increase the stability of sensitive active substances in the syringe. Another result is a tiny matrix data field deposited in the glass of the finger flange: scanner-readable identification by means of laser coding reliably documents the type and origin of each and every syringe. Heat transfer printing furthermore allows calibrations, product information, barcodes and brand logos to be clearly distinguished from each other (i.e. in different colours), making them much easier to take in than with the usual monochrome printing.

Tailor-made accessories complete the practical safety features: TELC, the tamper-evident Luerlock syringe closure; TERNS, the perfect needle shield with a stable shell and a flexible core made of thermoplastic elastomer; the backstop with an enlarged finger flange and safety stop for the plunger head; and the needle trap acting as a functional label in which the needle can at the same time be secured simply and permanently after use.

Durable plastic syringes

Over and above the range of all-glass syringes, Gerresheimer exhibited plastic systems under the Clearject® brand name. The extremely durable syringes with an inert surface consist of crystal-clear cyclic olefin polymer (COP) and are particularly suitable for demanding application areas such as cytostatics and biopharmaceutics. Last but not least, the range was rounded off by up-to-the-minute glass-and-plastic combinations for all aspects of injections. As one of just a few manufacturers in the world Gerresheimer is able in individual customer orders to realise pen systems from A to Z completely in-house – including the fully functional plastic systems and the specific glass cartridge perfectly matched in each case.

Plastic system packaging for liquid and solid medicines

In addition, a comprehensive range of high-calibre plastic system packaging was presented by Gerresheimer for other liquid and solid medicines. This wide field ranges from eye droppers to nasal spray bottles and tablet containers and includes a wide spectrum of PET bottles. It is of additional interest because of its outstandingly diverse range of closure solutions, dosage systems and application aids, which mean that not only the plastic range but also glass packaging are increasingly independent of external suppliers. This year the new products with cross-system functionality included a series of PP28 caps with dosing cups. These tamper-evident closures with click-on dosing cups fit bottles and vials made of PE or PET as well as many which are made of moulded glass.

Pharmaceutical moulded-glass packaging

The display was rounded off by the most complete special range of pharmaceutical moulded-glass packaging that could be imagined. In addition to the widest possible variety of medicine vials, this comprised syrup and dropper bottles, tablet jars, wide-necked jars and technical/chemical glass containers in all relevant shapes and sizes. The range offers flint and amber glass as well as coloured and even opal glass, and ranges right up to the chemically most neutral resistance class, glass type I. As in the case of tubular glass, Gerresheimer offers here numerous options for high-quality surface-treatment and finishing.

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