SCHOTT solutions no. 1/2010 > Pharmaceutical Packaging
Photo: SCHOTT/T. Hauser
Ready for Growth
SCHOTT has strengthened its position in the growing North American pharmaceutical market by opening a production line for ready-to-fill syringe products at its U.S. site in Lebanon, Pennsylvania.
Each day, the 160 employees who work for SCHOTT in Lebanon, Pennsylvania, produce two million primary pharmaceutical packaging products. In the fall of 2009, the foundation was laid for continued growth. By opening a new production line for prefillable syringes, the site has not only expanded its existing capacities, but also its product portfolio that previously consisted of vials and cartridges. ”This production facility is now the first SCHOTT syringe manufacturing line located outside Europe. This clearly shows how important the American market is to us. Our local customers will now be able to benefit from greater security of supply and better service,” explained Ralf Bouffleur, Vice President of SCHOTT Pharmaceutical Packaging, on the occasion of the official opening that took place during a two-day symposium in October 2009.
”I offer my congratulations to SCHOTT on their success in Pennsylvania as well as their many accomplishments throughout the United States and abroad.”Tim Holden, Member of the 111 th U.S. House of Representatives, at the opening event
The more than 90 participants from the pharmaceutical industry and politicians who attended the event certainly appreciated hearing this. After all, the demand for syringes has continued to rise in the United States in recent years. And it is expected to continue to grow – for one, due to the increased incidence of chronic diseases, but also because of the advantages that these modern drug delivery systems offer over traditional packaging products. ”The market is growing the fastest in the biomolecular segment. Here, syringes are the best way of administration,” noted Renard Jackson, Vice President of SCHOTT Pharmaceutical Packaging North America.
Each day, the U.S. site in Lebanon manufactures two million units of pharmaceutical packaging made of glass. By opening a new production line for prefillable syringes in the fall of 2009, the site has not only expanded its existing capacities, but also its product portfolio. Photo: SCHOTT/T. Hauser
Analysis has revealed that the market for prefillable syringes should grow by eight to ten percent per year on a global basis. For good reason: these types of syringes lower the risk that users will administer the wrong doses. And for pharmaceutical manufacturers, ready-to-fill means the glass containers that they receive have already been siliconized and sterilized and are thus ready to be filled with the respective drugs. This reduces the number of tedious processing steps that pharmacists need to perform.
The symposium that was held to inaugurate the new syringe production facility in Lebanon focused mainly on the extensive expertise SCHOTT has in the area of primary pharmaceutical packaging. The presentations centered on how the pharma-ceutical market is developing and its prospects, current trends in pharmaceutical packaging, quality assurance and innovative solutions for proteinaceous medications, for example. The tour of the plant which focused mainly on the new syringe manufacturing facility was definitely one of the symposium highlights.
The production processes at the state-of-the-art production facility meet the current “Good Manufacturing Practices” (cGMP) specified by the FDA. Photos: SCHOTT (left), SCHOTT/B. Gruber (right)
Lebanon is now only the second SCHOTT forma vitrum plant to produce the sterile prefillable syringe set forma 3s®, after the Swiss site in St. Gallen. The production processes for this product satisfy the current ”Good Manufacturing Practices” (cGMP) specified by the U.S. Food and Drug Adminis-tration/FDA. Special cameras are used to inspect the dimensional aspects of the syringes at the state-of-the art production facility and final packaging takes place under clean room conditions.
”It is important that we demonstrate the kind of care and attention to even the most minute detail that we put into each and every piece that comes off of our lines, regardless of whether it is a syringe, vial, or cartridge,” Renard Jackson emphasized. Those who attended the symposium apparently agree that these efforts were quite convincing. After all, they were very impressed with the high manufacturing quality and technical engineering in Lebanon. ”Now there is a viable local alternative to our existing supplier of high-quality syringes in the U.S.,” noted one pharmaceutical industry representative.
Photo: SCHOTT/B. Gruber