Advances in data, environmental factors driving device innovation

Pharmapack Report 2021, an industry report released ahead of Pharmapack Europe in Paris on October 13-14, features an in-depth review of the industry led by Team Consulting and Cambridge Design Partnership. According to the organizers, the report includes a positive assessment of the pharmaceutical drug delivery devices market for the next year and beyond.

In the short term, according to the report, COVID-19 vaccines are expected to continue to support significant demand for syringes and needles. Going forward, however, innovation in new devices should focus on patient experience and connectivity, and exploring how this can improve data democratization and improve adherence.

A crucial challenge identified by Pharmapack experts in the report is “how developers will adapt to both changing data retention regulationsAs well as how the trend interacts with the global interest in increasing the sustainability of production – a notable concern regarding ‘smart’ packaging and connected devices, which frequently incorporate virgin materials, plastics disposable and involve a higher level of life cycle complexity, CO2 impact and recycling.

Peter Matthewson, head of electronics engineering at Team Consulting, said environmental concerns about waste could lead to a decline in consumers or “reputational damage” to companies perceived to be less than environmentally friendly.

The additional connectivity also has a significant impact on carbon production during the development phase, as well as at the end of life, meaning developers will need to carefully weigh the benefits against the environmental costs.Matthewson said. “It could be argued that adding connectivity could help offset environmental costs to some extent, as it could potentially improve patient adherence and lead to less expensive hospital interventions due to patients not taking their medication. treatment as prescribed; however, there is insufficient data to accurately understand this impact at this time.

The way consumers experience and perceive device use, adoption incentives and packaging should be a central tenet to offset the impacts of new devices as innovation catches sustainability issues, according to the report. . Uri Baruch, head of drug administration at Cambridge Design Partnership, predicts that pharmaceutical companies and device developers will increasingly look directly to successful consumer brands for lessons on how to improve adoption, suggesting that smart packaging with an integrated digital experience could provide a solution.

A patient who has a question when unboxing their medication can scan the box with their phone to access frequently asked questions, an interactive user guide, or even augmented reality training.Baruch suggested. “In addition, the experience could be hyper-personalized via digital; for example, a patient might find suggestions for the best time of the week to take their medication, based on data from other patients with similar lifestyles.

The side effects of the drugs themselves, respondents suggest, should also be evaluated in terms of device design, since a drug that has unpleasant side effects is much more likely to lower patient compliance as they fall. often feel worse after taking the treatment. A senior consultant in medical innovation and research at Cambridge Design Partnership suggested that “although adhesion issues are usually not device-related, an injection path that carefully considers user experience can go a long way in reducing friction and may even result in a less effective molecule. the advantage. “

From a data ownership and use perspective, Matthewson suggested that patients would need to be convinced of the benefits of using connected devices and sharing their data before they can expect more adoption. large. He added, “Consumers themselves are also much more aware of the choices they make when it comes to sharing their data, which means device developers will have to work hard to convince their users to commit to through their design and marketing. “

While the past 18 months have focused on the challenges created by the pandemic, the report suggests, the delivery of new drugs could potentially see significant progress over the next few years, especially when it comes to treatments that improve the disease. patient experience (such as oral and ocular delivery in oncology).

Brennan Miles, management consultant for drug administration at Team Consulting, said: “Ocular administration is an area where we may see more innovation in the near future, focusing on drug delivery. through the blood brain barrier to improve the speed with which it enters the system. Such an approach would be particularly useful in chemotherapy, for example, because when these drugs are given orally or by injection, they can be harmful because they affect more than the targeted area.

Miles added that direct intra-tumor delivery would be a “brilliant breakthrough“In the field of cancer treatment, but faces a number of obstacles before it comes to fruition.

Sherma Ellis-Daal, brand manager for Pharmapack Europe, said that overall, the experts contributing to the Pharmapack report expect a significant level of prosperity and innovation for drug delivery devices over the course of the next few years.

We’re really excited to help foster this creative environment with our two online sessions on trends, but also the in-person Innovation Center; Most importantly, of course, growth and innovation are supported by partnerships and collaborations and that is why we are delighted to welcome back the pharmaceutical packaging and drug delivery device community,” she says. “I encourage executives in attendance and those using our virtual platform to take full advantage of this vital opportunity to learn, meet and network.. “

The full Pharmapack 2021 report and the innovation index are available for download here. For more information on the Pharmapack event, visit