Read through to know the current technologies and upcoming trends in the Pharma labels and packaging industries.
As new inventions and medicines evolve in the market of medicines, the need for pharmaceutical labels and packaging increases. According to Statista Research Development the estimated market value of pharma packaging grew from 68.75 billion US dollars in 2015 to 104.88 billion US dollars by 2022. This clearly indicates the growth rate of the industry.
For patients, the prescription or the instructions mentioned on the label/package will be the main source of knowledge as of how to take their medicines. Though the doctors give prior instruction during the consultation, it is these informative labels that help the patients take the medicine rightly for the number of days prescribed. The container holding the medicine should also be handy and comfortable to package and wrap it with the label in such a way that it preserves the medicine’s identity, quality and prevents any sort of damage.
Medical industry uses different types of labels for each purpose. When it’s for medical purpose, there’s no room for any low quality or the readability as the labels are the main source of information to the consumers. All labels used in these industries strictly follows FDA guidelines. The different types of labels involved in medical field includes
- Pharmaceutical Labels – Used on all the medicine containers and bottles
- Laboratory Labels – Used on pill bottles to sample collectors and these are color coded custom stickers with warnings and blank space.
- Medical Marijuana Labels – These labels should have high readability with no faded printing
- Nutraceutical Labels – Part of pharma, but these label contains QR codes and nutritional value details.
- Vitamin Labels – Type of nutraceutical labels, but these are multi-layer labels. When the consumer peels off the one layer, the next layer also provides additional information.
Need for Pharma Packaging and Labeling:
Pharma packaging and labeling not only plays an aesthetic role, but also acts as the main source of information as of how the medicine has to be taken. It is also these labeling that creates the first impression about the product and gives confidence to the buyer. So, in pharma industry, the labels and package drives the reliability and trust of the medicine towards the patients.
- To Improve Accuracy – Information shared on the label/package of pharmaceutical products are considered to be trust worthy by the buyers. An attractive label with valid instructions improves the importance of the product as a whole. So, the instructions printed must be valid and checked twice before mass printing.
- Strong Protection – It is very important to safeguard the medicine from any kind of damage or contamination. The packaging should be appropriate based on the medicine. Also, the label should communicate the dosage rightly to avoid any misconception of medicines.
- Dosage – It is quite common to forget the instructions mentioned by the Doctors on the day of prescription. So, the labels on the medicine must have clear guidance on the dosage of medicine along with the expiry dates.
- Create Convenience – Informative labels save time in gaining knowledge about the medicine. These packaging and labeling totally creates greater convenience. It gives access to information like ingredients, dosage, expiry dates and much more.
Pharma labels and packaging have been fast advancing with various trends and methods. Below discussed are some of the current trends set by the manufacturers:
|Cryogenic Labeling||Cryogenic labels are specially manufactured to withstand extreme temperatures and they are water-proof. They can adhere to wet surfaces and can bare extreme temperatures from zero to curing time. These labels can be exposed to harsh conditions. These labels recently got its spotlight when it played its role on Covid-19 vaccines.|
|Personalization||Trend has moved from factory production to smaller batches as the need for custom labels has increased since 2021. 31% of the medicines prescribed are not collected and 40% are not taken as directed. So, custom labels are included that features specific patient’s directions.|
|Ease of Accessibility||Self-medication has become yet another recent trend which calls in for clear instructions on the packaging labels. The printed information must be clear and prominent.|
|Eco-friendly & easy packaging||In recent days, pharma industry has been accused of using plastic containers. So currently Quality by Design(QbD) trend is picking-up and manufacturers choose environmental-friendly components for packaging. Also, another goal is to increase the lead time by increasing the ease of packaging. The pandemic set in 2019 has increased the demand for drugs and their speedy distribution.|
Future of the Industry
As the demand for pharma industry is rapidly increasing, new trends and innovations are being evolved in the pharmaceutical labeling and packaging. To increase the integrity of drug storage and shipment, quality of packaging must provide a better assurance to prevent any sort of product damage or contamination.
To achieve this, the packaging industry are coming up with various techniques in a way to improve the lead time as well as to achieve a sustainable method. Robots and animation devices are used to reduce the lead time and reduce man-power.
There is already an increased in self-medication. As this grows in the coming years, the need to clear and prompt labels on the product will be higher. Therefore this requires pharmacy research to formulate packages for self-administration rather than going around healthcare centers.
As these products will be distributed worldwide, “flexible packaging and labeling” will take up the market. Also, companies evolving with smaller lead times and accepting batch wise production will be the future leaders of the market.
The drive for cleanliness and purity will no doubt continue into the foreseeable future. Although predicting all the future scopes are problematic, one area that can be predicted with confidence is the advancements in material science and innovative designs. With advances in material science, the usage of BFS(Blow-fill-seal) technology for primary packaging will be increasing as it is a single continuous processing that can reduce the overall lead time.
Pharmaceutical industry is an ever evolving one. It is estimated that the healthcare packaging will reach a market value of about 145.9 billion US dollars by 2024(Source: Statista Research Department, 2022). Setting in new trends and innovations are what will keep the wheel revolving.
The need for new developments increase as new manufacturers come in and the competition sets-in. As the labeling and packaging gets better, the product quality improves and higher standards will be set for the industry. Manufacturers must know these recent trends and the upcoming challenges to survive in the market. A fore vision is what will help the company sustain in any market.