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Michael Benevento
CEO, Oliver Healthcare Packaging
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regulations and standards Articles

Cracking the Age Old Dilemma: Compliance or Quality?

September 7, 2021

I recently read an article from Medtech Insights on how device giants Stryker and Baxter embrace a quality first culture – and yield positive results. In the article, Stryker’s Medha Trivedi, the company’s senior director of global quality and operations said something that resonated.

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Power to the PDUFA

August 31, 2021

The Prescription Drug User Fee Act was passed into law by Congress in 1992. The PDUFA implemented a fee-based framework for New Drug Applications and Biologics License Applications. One of its primary objectives was to provide funding to speed up the glacial pace of the FDA’s new drug review process. Specifically, the fees generated would allow expansion of staffing for FDA reviews, in addition to other performance goals. To further track its effectiveness and refine direction over time, the Act would require a reauthorization vote by Congress every five years. The FDA is currently operating under PDUFA VI. In 2022, Congress will hold a vote on PDUFA VII to govern fiscal years 2023-2027.

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Updates on China’s New Regulations for Medical Devices

June 15, 2021

In late March 2021, China’s National Medical Products Administration (NMPA, formerly CFDA) published the revised Regulations on the Supervision and Administration of Medical Devices. This version of regulations was postponed until March 2021 due to re-prioritization of tasks of NMPA in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The updated regulatory framework was slated to take effect on June 1, 2021.

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Country-by-Country: Asia’s Regulations on Medical Packaging

June 1, 2021

Asia is emerging as one of the fastest-growing regional markets in the East. A number of dynamics are driving growth, including expansive government expenditure, increasing healthcare needs of aging populations, and greater accessibility to healthcare overall.  As Asia opens these new dimensions, it is bringing economies, commerce, marketing and social issues such as healthcare, to the fore. The double-digit growth has highlighted the need for more standardized, precise medical device regulations, which have varied widely across APAC countries, until now. 

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MDR Starts on May 26; Read This to Get Ready

May 25, 2021

MDR has been a part of our vocabulary since 2017. It was postponed last year, but the time is finally here. On May 26, 2021, the European Union Medical Device Regulation (or, EU MDR) will finally be implemented. Since the announcement of this new regulation, all notified bodies and medical device manufacturers across Europe have been actively preparing. By now, stakeholders are aware of what must be done. But with that said, it is an extensive regulation, so we also know companies who are wondering if they’ve interpreted MDR correctly, and more importantly, if they comply or not.

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From Machine Operator to Head of Quality

March 30, 2021

I raise up my voice—not so I can shout, but so that those without a voice can be heard. We cannot succeed if half of us are held back.

- Malala Yousafzai, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize

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Improved Labelling for Sterile Barrier Systems

March 15, 2021

One key function of medical packaging is to inform the end user about the packaged device and how to use it safelyMost of us know the iconic symbols found in medical packaging such as “sterile” or CE that effectively communicate to healthcare professionals about the device. Additionally, packaging design cues like chevron pouches and thumb notches help healthcare professionals to use proper opening techniques required for aseptic presentation. Things get more complicated with double or triple barrier packages when the validated sterile barrier is not clearly identifiable at the point-of-use. Thankfully, new sterile barrier symbols from the Sterile Barrier Association (SBA) will help to indicate just that! 

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Unwritten Rules of ISO 11607

March 9, 2021

Many industry veterans know that parts of ISO 11607 are up for interpretation. There are portions you shall (must) follow, and there are areas that are left up to you and your organization to determine how they relate to your products. This is our quick, expert guide to the areas of ISO 11607 that are more open to interpretation than others. 

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Packaging 101: ISO 11607

February 2, 2021

When you first enter the medical packaging industry, you’ll frequently hear about ISO 11607. But what does it mean, and why do you need to know about it? Here, we share the top six things you need to know about ISO 11607. 

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ISO 11040-7: Packaging In-Process Pharma and Prefilled Syringe Tubs

January 13, 2021

For those in the medical device and healthcare packaging industries, whether you are just starting out or have been in the field for 30 years like me, we understand ISO 11607. We live and breathe it every day. Whether we are considering the device itself, the package design, making a material selection, or considering sterilization and transportation, ISO 11607 is our guide.

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MD&DI Interviews FDA Commissioner

November 3, 2020

How the FDA continues to generate the science and data of a pandemic, keep the public health on active duty, and serve innovation, in the year that upended the world.

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Out with the old? Changes to EO sterilization may help meet new challenges.

August 12, 2020

Ethylene oxide (EO) sterilization has remained largely unchanged for decades, but recent changes have shaken up the industry. Concerns with the carcinogenic nature of EO and the alleged levels of emissions from sterilization facilities led to subsequent closures of some contract sterilization facilities. EO is a highly effective sterilant with many advantages, but it is also toxic and classified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a known carcinogen.

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FDA Pilots Programs to Enhance Traceability

July 30, 2020

What is happening with FDA Title II Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA)?

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“They”

July 7, 2020

“They.”

An entity all its own:

“Why did THEY make it this way?”

“What were THEY thinking?”

How many times have I uttered those or similar phrases about “they” in my career?

Who are “they” anyway?

In my case, my “they” has often been the people who wrote the ISO 11607 or ASTM standards that we use to test our packages. 

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Global Medical Device Regulations & Harmonization Efforts of Sterile Medical ...

May 26, 2020

We are going through a global health crisis which is unprecedented in our lifetime. This is a global pandemic which requires an international response. As such, it becomes even more important to understand global harmonization of best practices in the healthcare industry. 

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ISO 11607 & EU MDR: Getting Clarity on Risk Management

April 29, 2020

A year after the publication of ISO 11607-1/2 revisions, seeking further harmony with 2020’s EU MDR, new changes are in the works.

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

March 13, 2020

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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Finding Clarity with Vision Systems

February 6, 2020

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?

January 31, 2020

“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

January 20, 2020

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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Med Tech Regulatory Bosses Around the World

November 14, 2019

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

November 7, 2019

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?

October 18, 2019

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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