Chronic health conditions ranging from diabetes to asthma make use of portable plastic pharmaceutical packaging such as insulin pens or inhalators for targeted delivery of a treatment. An aging population in developed economies and a rising middle class in developing economies will drive demand for pharma innovation in the foreseeable future.
This in turn will drive growth in pharmaceutical packaging, including plastic medical devices. One report projects a CAGR of 6.5% for the global medical devices market from 2014 to 2020, rising from an estimated USD $61 billion in 2014 to USD $89 billion in 2020.
However, this strong growth has also attracted counterfeiters and others dealing in illicit trade. The WHO estimates that 8% of medical devices in circulation are counterfeits. In one case, in 2009, over two million fake insulin pen needles were seized in three European countries. Such products represent a financial and reputational liability for legitimate companies, and they pose a health risk for the patients who rely on them to manage a life-threatening condition.
“The counterfeiting of pharmaceutical products, including medical devices, is a silent and deadly epidemic. It attacks strong pharmaceutical brands, while sapping the trust of patients and doctors. It poses a risk for all of us,” said Fabienne Le Tadic, executive president of Product and Brand Protection at SICPA.
PLASTIWARD offers a unique end-to-end solution integrating exclusive, proprietary security features from SICPA into polymer compounds or concentrates (known as masterbatches) from Clariant. Data gathered from instantaneous authentication using a handheld detector can be uploaded and aggregated on a secure inspection platform from SICPA that facilitates real-time monitoring at global, regional or local levels. This enables pharmaceutical companies to monitor their products from factory to pharmacy, identify emerging trends and improve response times if action is required.
PLASTIWARD offers pharmaceutical clients a two-in-one approach that combines Clariant’s track record in developing polymer compounds and masterbatches for the needs of the pharmaceutical sector and SICPA’s expertise in protecting brands and products.
“Pharmaceutical companies have taken steps to reduce this risk. But the rise of e-commerce and access to new technologies has accelerated counterfeiting and other forms of illicit trade. That makes fighting counterfeit medical products an ever-more urgent priority for pharma companies – both in terms of patient safety and brand reputation,” said Yann Ischi, director of new channels and partnerships at SICPA. “In the fight against the counterfeiting epidemic, we have to stay ahead through innovation. For plastic medical devices, SICPA combined innovation expertise with Clariant to develop PLASTIWARD, so that our clients can focus on the needs of their patients and doctors.”