PackTalk is a blog for the Healthcare Packaging Industry

PackTalk is our gathering place ... our community--a way for industry experts to connect about the latest news, innovations & trends in healthcare. Written by experts, for experts. Please enjoy our latest articles!

mike_benevento Oliver CEO
Michael Benevento
CEO, Oliver Healthcare Packaging
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Will the Coronavirus Halt Initiatives for Sustainable Packaging?

With people on high alert due to potential virus-spreading and cities all over the world implementing and/or rewarding the use of reusable packaging; will the trend toward sustainable packaging subside? This is an unprecedented time. While countries are doing all they can to minimize the spread, there is no doubt that our collective cultures will be changed by the impact of this pandemic.

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The War Against Novel Coronavirus

As 265 million Americans across 32 states live under stay-at-home orders, the US economic outlook also darkens in the wake of climbing COVID-19 cases and deaths. While Congress implements an unprecedented stimulus package to ease wage and business losses, both the private sector and government agencies at different levels face yet another Corona-era challenge: supply chain disruptions in vital sectors such as health care manufacturing. Armed with the Defense Production Act, the Trump administration aims to speed up production of items desperately needed by hospitals everywhere. But will this step succeed in addressing shortages in our interconnected, globalized manufacturing world?

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Packaging’s Part in Drive-Thru Testing

Among the hundreds of articles displaying COVID-19 headlines, you have probably noticed the high emphasis and discussion around testing for the virus. From every angle, significant funds are being invested in this critical effort. In addition to quarantining, social distancing, and working from home, testing availability plays a significant role in slowing the spread of COVID-19. Packaging, as it relates to testing, is equally vital by helping ensure product quality and performance, since the resulting data is the information on which policymakers and healthcare providers will go forward and treat.

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Pulling Together To Fight COVID-19

Thermo Fisher Scientific, Mayo Clinic, and Roche Get FDA Approval to Help in Fight Against COVID-19.

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COVID-19 Update

To Our Valued Customers:

First, let me begin by saying this: I hope you and your families, friends, and colleagues are safe and healthy during this challenging time. I recognize that many in the healthcare community are fighting COVID-19 from the front lines, and we appreciate everything that is being done to protect the health and well-being of people everywhere.

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Seal Strength Testing: Is 1 lb. Still the Go-To Metric? ASTM WK57656 Update

A few years ago, I started a journey on behalf of packaging professionals everywhere—to validate or debunk the 1 lb. standard for seal strength testing. For as long as I can remember, it has been a popular topic of conversation and debate in every gathering or get-together with veteran and beginning packaging engineers alike. We discuss where the 1 lb. standard came from, why 1 lb. became the go-to metric, and if 1 lb. is right for every package out there.

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Looking Ahead: The Future is Flexible

Recently, China decided to ban imports of foreign recyclable material. At the same time, the EU is waging its own war against plastic waste.  As a result of these major initiatives, manufacturers from all industries have started to feel the pressure to create more sustainable solutions. Among suppliers of plastics, the packaging industry is on the frontline to introduce innovations and smarter design alternatives that reduce plastic output. The EU has set a goal to make all packaging reusable or recyclable by 2030 (Boffey, 2018). It is noteworthy to mention that the recycling of any plastic is challenging and requires a good infrastructure. As the EU is pushing for a “circular economy” and China investing in more plastic recycling infrastructure, all global partners should be laying their own groundwork for sustainable plastics practices.

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Oliver Healthcare Packaging Strengthens Presence in Southeast Asia to Support ...

Trevose, Pennsylvania (USA) and Singapore – 26 February 2020 – Oliver Healthcare Packaging, a global leader in medical packaging, is proud to announce an expanded presence in Southeast Asia. With a larger team and a brand-new office & technical development center in Singapore’s Cintech 1 Science Park, Oliver is well positioned to support customers in the medical device, drug delivery, and diagnostics industries throughout Asia Pacific.

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Seal It with Quality

One day, I was talking with a colleague about the challenges in sealing. She works in application development, so she hears a lot about the different challenges medical device manufacturers are facing with packaging and sealing – from no-brainers to rocket-scientist-level conundrums. In many cases though, it turns out that an earlier focus on sealing process development, and package design in general, would have certainly helped.

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The Importance of Supplier Diversification

Innovations in medical device technology, materials and manufacturing capabilities continue to affect how we, as suppliers, work with our MDMs. Ever-tightening and deepening regulatory requirements and global markets also affect how MDMs must produce their packaged medical devices. Amid those opportunities and constraints, those in procurement must coordinate all the details involved across the entire span of the global supply chain. A dynamic environment, to say the least.

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Finding Clarity with Vision Systems

Are you using machine vision systems in your medical device or pharmaceutical inspection processes? The prospect of automated, consistent quality inspections is thrilling to every medical and pharmaceutical producer. Yet, if the concept is so great, why isn’t every health care manufacturer already on board?

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Treating Disease at the Speed of Life?

“It’s very much a change. In areas of high unmet need, FDA seems to be committed to getting medicines to these people as fast as possible.”

–Alethia Young, biotechnology analyst, Cantor Fitzgerald

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160 Years of EtO

Industry talk continues about a future with less or no EtO sterilization. It is a sea change, even though the controversy first appeared decades ago. It is a far cry from the buzz of a 1928 discovery that the gaseous compound was an effective insecticide. EtO quickly earned a prominent role in fumigating hospital rooms and treating WW II troop rations. These successes, no doubt, fueled the expansion of EtO use to the supply side of the medical field, sterilizing instruments.

 

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Get Smart! Pairing Technology with Health Condition Monitoring

It is common to see headlines that cite the aging population for one reason or another. It is almost as common to see news of medical or pharmaceutical breakthroughs offering new hope of improving quality of life or even extending life span altogether.

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When Innovation & Convenience Come Together: Prescription Delivery by Drone

I’ve never had such an appreciation for time, and how I spend it, as I do now as a working parent. There are so many things I try to squeeze into the few hours a day I get to spend with my son before his bedtime, and the last thing I want to do is spend that free time running errands (not to mention how much more difficult it is to run errands with an infant). I’ve found myself trying to simplify in as many ways as possible, avoiding the quick stops I would have made before.

 

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Blow-fill-seal Technology Innovates Pharmaceutical Manufacturing

As Blow-Fill-Seal (BFS) manufacturing technology grows in popularity, pharmaceutical and biologics companies are forced to consider new challenges around cleanliness.

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Is One-off Packaging Our Future?

Emerging standards of care increasingly focus on personalized treatment, even to the level of a single patient at a time. Genetic traits and other uniquely individual factors are becoming the foundation for disease management. These advancements present new challenges and layers of complexity to formulation, packaging, labeling, distribution channels and patient safety for drugmakers—and the packaging of those drugs.

Have we also mentioned the growing push for sustainable packaging practices?

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4 (and a half) Packaging Trends from Compamed 2019

Last week, I joined Oliver’s European team in Dusseldorf for Compamed 2019. The show is one of our largest of the year and is a subset of a greater exhibition called Medica. For me, a show this big is almost TOO big. But with that said, it was still interesting to walk the 17(!) different halls to decipher the latest trends in healthcare. Between the 25,000 steps walked, here were 4 trends that stood out to me:

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Appropriate Sterile Barrier Systems

Oliver Healthcare has achieved several milestones in sectors of Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals and a credible position. We would like you to share some views and ideas about your company, plans, future and your outlook on the industry?

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Tis the Season for Sustainability

It's hard to believe the term "sustainability" has been on the modern radar for more than 30 years. What did we know in 1987? Not as much as we know now, that's for sure. It's inspiring to be part of the growing awareness—and more importantly, taking actions—that help us move the needle toward the "green." Around the world, across industries and one person at a time, it's encouraging to see that we are all in this together.

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Design Thinking in the OR? Scrub in!

I began my career in IT, found my way to marketing, but since birth have been raised as the son of an engineer. Any engineer’s house is full of projects and the Pepe’s were no exception. The TV split open on the dining room table, the washing machine pulled apart to fix that darn wobble … and don’t even go near the garage.

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Med Tech Regulatory Bosses Around the World

There is no dispute about why the med-tech industry is highly regulated. No matter how robust the sterilization or disinfection process, if the packaging and seal closures of a medical pouch are compromised, there is a significant risk of product contamination during shipping and storage that could pose a danger to the end-user. Moreover, we all know that “end-user” ultimately means you, me or someone we love. 

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Sterilization and the FDA Innovation Challenge

By now, we are all familiar with the recent discussion around sterilization in the medical device industry. Ethylene oxide or EtO is the most popular sterilization modality in the industry accounting for approximately half of the market. EtO is a colorless gas, and long-term exposure can pose serious health risks. Some US communities located in and around EtO sterilization facilities have become increasingly concerned, ultimately forcing the FDA to take action. 

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Are You Ready For MDR?

If you are a medical device manufacturer (MDM) or work in a support industry to the global medical device market, you are probably familiar with the date May 15, 2020. It is then that the three-year transition to the Medical Device Regulations (MDR) governing document (adopted by European Parliament in 2017), comes to a close. Every MDM that markets products in the EU is impacted by the MDR.

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How to Beat the Odds: Avoid Packaging Pinholes

Packaging engineers are familiar with this common packaging failure: the dreaded pinhole. Having been through it myself as a medical device packaging engineer—and helping customers design and analyze their packaging as the Technical Director at Oliver Healthcare Packaging—I’ve learned how to reduce or avoid pinholes altogether. When packaging failures are discovered in the eleventh hour of a product launch, there can be a significant impact to the overall cost and speed of the project.

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A Welcome Message

As Oliver expands our services across the global healthcare packaging market, we are upgrading our digital presence to facilitate information sharing and better connections with the packaging community. For longtime industry colleagues and new acquaintances alike, it is my pleasure to say hello through this inaugural blog post. We look forward to creating an involved, interactive community of healthcare packaging professionals.

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World Pharma Today – New Independent Study Proves Coated Lidding Significantly ...

Coating technologies reduce particulate generation by up to 96% in pharmaceutical manufacturing.

As the demand for prefilled and prefillable syringe applications grow, one consideration for many pharmaceutical manufacturers is particulate; in particular, how particulate can be reduced in the manufacturing process.

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MD+DI – 3 Medical Device Packaging Tips for a Successful Outcome

Medical device packaging is an important part of delivering your device to market safely and securely, yet there is no doubt that navigating the process can be a bit confusing and complex for device manufacturers. With decades of experience in assisting device manufacturers with their packaging design solutions, we offer the following three tips for a successful packaging design as a way of avoiding costly and time-consuming mistakes.

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Oliver Healthcare Packaging Acquires CleanCut Technologies

TREVOSE, Pennsylvania and ANAHEIM, California (January 29, 2019) – Oliver Healthcare Packaging, a leading supplier of sterile barrier flexible packaging to the global healthcare market, today announced the acquisition of CleanCut Technologies, a medical packaging provider based in Anaheim, California.

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Oliver Healthcare Packaging Strengthens Presence in Asia To Support Growing ...

Grand Rapids, Michigan (USA) and Singapore – 7 August, 2018 – Oliver™ Healthcare Packaging, a leading provider of sterile barrier flexible packaging for the global healthcare industry, recently announced the opening of a new office in Singapore to support their growing customer base in the Asia Pacific market. 

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Packaging Digest – Why it Pays for Packaging Suppliers to be Local

Businesses of any kind find that, when doing business in China and other global locations, it helps to have facilities on the ground. Packaging is no exception.

Oliver Healthcare Packaging, based in Grand Rapids, Mich., provides sterile barrier flexible material and other packaging for pharmaceuticals, medical devices and related items. It recently opened a 68,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Suzhou, China, about 38 miles east of Shanghai.

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Oliver Healthcare Packaging Expands Global Footprint to Strengthen Local ...

Grand Rapids, Michigan and Suzhou, P.R. China - OliverHealthcare Packaging, a leading provider of sterile barrier flexible packaging for the global healthcare industry, today announced the opening of a new 68,000 square-foot manufacturing facility in Suzhou, P.R. China. 

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Oliver Announces Shared Company Name

Oliver-Tolas®Healthcare Packaging and Mangar Medical Packaging joined forces in May of last year and announce today that they will do business as Oliver. The new name and brand identity preserve the company’s legacy while reflecting its commitment to delivering the highest standards of Quality and Service for innovative healthcare packaging solutions.

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Mangar Medical Packaging Joins Oliver-Tolas

New Britain, Pennsylvania, USA – May 10, 2016 – Mangar Medical Packaging has been acquired by Oliver-Tolas® Healthcare Packaging parent company, Oliver Products, effective May 10, 2016.

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