SCHOTT solutions no. 1/2015 > Pharmaceutical Packaging

SCHOTT 100 percent responsibility

”100 percent responsibility”– this is the motto of SCHOTT’s campaign for ­pharmaceutical packaging production. Photo: SCHOTT/A. Sell

Living Quality every day

SCHOTT has launched an internal campaign to strengthen quality awareness and employee accountability in the manufacture of pharmaceutical packaging.

Dr. Haike Frank

SCHOTT manufactures approximately nine billion syringes, vials, ampoules and cartridges each year. Each of these types of primary packaging comes into direct contact with a drug that is administered to a patient at a later point in time. Any type of impurity in these containers thus poses potential healthcare risks. For this reason, strict regulations on quality assurance apply to the manufacture of pharmaceutical packaging. They are based on the GMP guidelines (Good Manufacturing Practice) that are becoming a legal requirement in more and more countries.

SCHOTT’s quality philosophy is also based on this high standard. As a manufacturer of packaging, the company is required to supply pharmaceutical companies with high-quality products at the beginning of the supply chain. And its responsibilities continue to grow; for instance, pharmaceutical packaging is often pre-sterilized before it is shipped to customers. Product mix-ups, impurities and container closure failures are among the worst possible errors in the production of pharmaceutical packaging. Container closure failures result from barely visible gaps between the stopper and the container through which air or microorganisms can enter and contaminate the product. Small cracks in the glass that were caused by a faulty production process or careless handling can also result in the container no longer being sterile. When a mix-up occurs, containers of different sizes or types might be delivered to the pharmaceutical company in the same shipment. This can result in the patient receiving the wrong dose or, even worse, the wrong drug altogether.

For this reason, utmost care and attention and a disciplined way of working in manufacturing are important every day. SCHOTT has introduced the ”100 percent responsibility” campaign in order to reinforce this consciousness with its employees. This includes not only all-day events and personal messages from managers to employees, but also an image video and photo shoots. Posters, banners and stand-up displays at the plants use emotional imagery to appeal to employees’ sense of responsibility, and signs remind them of the most important GMP rules. SCHOTT has already successfully rolled out the campaign at more than half of its pharmaceutical packaging plants. ”Customers who have visited us since the launch of this campaign have given us very positive feedback. By the end of 2015, compliance with GMP rules will be top priority at all of our sites,” says Dr. Stefan Bauer, Director Global Quality. <