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Vivian Xie
16 Feb 2023

100 years of pharmaceutical packaging excellence - Pharmapack 2023 Premium Partner interview

West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc. speaks to CPHI Online about celebrating their 100-year anniversary as an industry leader, and how they plan to continue driving innovation after the challenges posed from global disruptions in the last few years.

We caught up with Chris Ryan, Senior Vice President, Containment and Glass Systems at West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc. post-Pharmapack 2023 to discuss the challenges facing the pharmaceutical packaging sector, the innovative products West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc. have developed, and how sustainability remains a top priority for the pharma industry as a whole.

1. As a global manufacturer in containment and delivery systems for injectables, what have been some of the challenges of the last few years with regards to pharmaceutical packaging? 

Over the last few years, we faced several challenges which we have also recognised as opportunities: the importance of leveraging the capabilities of our global supply chain; maintaining and strengthening our partnerships with customers and our suppliers; and navigating the ever-changing regulatory landscape. West has maintained operational effectiveness by leveraging our global scale and core competencies, executing on manufacturing strategies, and continuing to expand our global supply chain capabilities to ensure continued supply of high-quality products 

With the challenges of supply and demand exacerbated by the COVID pandemic, we see a shift to longer term supply agreements with a focus on continuity, while also supporting an increased level of transparency with our customers’ demand needs. All of this was necessary to ensure we addressed the market demand.  

Increasingly stringent regulatory requirements pose a challenge to our customers, particularly as they consider a contamination control strategy. With the advent of changes to the EU GMP Annex 1, West is poised to help its pharma partners prepare for what lies ahead. The evolving regulatory landscape requires pharma and biotech companies to partner with a true expert who can help them navigate the new regulations successfully. Producing high-quality, ready-to-use components has been a strength of West, and our customers are leveraging our capabilities. 

2. Sustainability is a recurring topic for all players within the pharmaceutical industry – how is the pharma packaging sector addressing concerns with regards to ESG manufacturing practices?  

Sustainability and corporate responsibility remain a continued focus for West, including our ESG goals. West’s ESG Goals lie under several priorities of focus that directly link to our mission, vision, and values. The responsibilities are: Responsible Supply Chain; Talent Attraction; Retention and Engagement; Waste in Operation processes; and R&D for Environmental and Climate Strategy. We plan to further enhance and refine our strategy to address these areas of focus, including a new set of key performance indicators targeted to impact these priorities. Although we have identified our priority areas, we have not lost focus of all other material ESG topics. While these other material topics have not been classified as priority topics, we will continue to focus and report on all ESG topics. As we celebrate our 100-year anniversary, we realise that we must continue to evolve our ESG strategy, and be ambitious innovative leaders in this area, enabling West to provide a better world for further generations and look forward to our next 100 years in business.  

West maintains MSCI (Morgan Stanley Capital International)’s highest ESG fund rating of AAA, which places West as a leader within the top 5% of companies within their healthcare equipment and supplies industry. Our goal in 2023 is to improve energy efficiency by 15%, reduce emissions and water consumption each by 10%, and reduce waste-to-landfill by 90%.  

3. West is celebrating their 100-year anniversary in 2023. As the company moves towards the future, what are some emerging trends you are seeing in the pharmaceutical packaging sector? 

Customers are looking to us to be more than a component supplier – they need a complete containment and delivery solution. West can help customers in early-stage development with selecting the right system for their sensitive molecules and support the analytical testing necessary to meet regulatory requirements. As pharma and biotech companies advance their molecules from discovery to commercialization, they seek a partner to help them innovate drug delivery while navigating ever-changing regulations and ultimately deliver a safe and effective treatment to patients.  

In recent years the industry has witnessed a shift of treatment location from hospital to home, driven by patient demand for more convenient treatment options. One consequence of this sustainable shift is the evolution of on-body delivery systems (OBDS). West’s SmartDose® OBDS helps to provide patients with confidence in their therapy as it is designed to reduce the need for frequent visits to infusion centres.   

West has forged strategic partnerships and investments with companies that both complement our offering and provide our customers with a complete solution. We have a long-standing partnership with Daikyo to innovate elastomer and polymer containment solutions. And more recently, we joined forces with Corning to build the next generation of leading elastomer-glass system solutions for containment and delivery of injectable medicines. 

4. Could you elaborate on any innovations West has developed recently for manufacturing pharmaceutical packaging and solutions? 

At this year’s Pharmapack Europe, West reached a significant milestone in our recently announced landmark collaboration with Corning with the launch of our first product, West Ready Pack™ with Corning Valor® RTU Vials utilizing Stevanato Group’s EZ-fill® Technology. Valor® RTU Vials with SG EZ-fill® technology helps to enhance the storage and delivery of drugs, provide more reliable access to medicines essential to public health, and optimize production efficiency. This purpose-built pharmaceutical glass is specifically designed to address the challenges of today's manufacturing operations. West celebrates 100 years as an industry leader and scientific innovator, and we are proud to celebrate this with the launch of our first of many products to come from this groundbreaking collaboration. 

In tandem with the growing market share of biologic formulations, where higher volumes may be required to deliver the desired effect, the door has been opened to the self-administration of a wider range of biologic therapies via subcutaneous injection for applications that would previously have required multiple injections or intravenous delivery within a clinical setting. To answer to the need for large volume injectors, West has expanded its Daikyo Crystal Zenith® (CZ) component portfolio to now include a 2.25 mL insert needle (IN) prefillable syringe (PFS) system. CZ is a cyclic olefin polymer (COP) that presents a sterile containment solution for silicone-oil-sensitive drug formulations. The elastomeric Flurotec™ plunger used in the CZ PFS system is coated with a barrier film, which reduces the risk of leachables from the elastomer and prevents absorption of the drug formulation. By supporting syringe functionality, the film also avoids the need for additional silicone oil to be used, dramatically reducing exposure to a key source of protein aggregation.  

In addition to the CZ 2.25mL IN PFS, and for companies working on lifecycle management, West also launched the FluroTec® 5-10 mL cartridge plunger that can help pharma and biotech companies simplify their lifecycle management strategy by selecting a common elastomeric formulation platform that spans multiple delivery options from vials to prefillable syringes and OBDS. The FluroTec® 5-10mL Cartridge Plunger contributes to the subcutaneous delivery of large volume-sensitive molecules and is designed to protect patients by reducing the risk of drug absorption.  

West also continues to innovate in our foundational elastomer business. Our 4040 LyoTec® stoppers were launched in 2021, using a state-of-the-art 4040 formulation developed with multi-dimensional elastomer expertise and a quality by design development approach. In doing so, we have achieved a broad range of improvements and optimized benefits required for manufacturing performance, functionality, quality, and safety.  Our newest elastomer formulation 4040 enables our customers to confidently deliver their drug product to patients in the safest and most effective way possible. To further advance vial containment technology, West is pleased to offer PLASCAP®, an innovative no-crimp cap with an integrated stopper that enables customers to eliminate the crimping step and streamline manufacturing.  

Important product and safety information and warnings available at: and 

Ready Pack, FluroTec, and LyoTec are trademarks or registered trademarks of West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc. in the United States and other jurisdictions. SmartDose is a registered trademark of West Pharma. Services IL, Ltd, a subsidiary of West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc. 

Crystal Zenith, Flurotec, and PLASCAP are trademarks or registered trademarks of Daikyo Seiko, Ltd. 

EZ-fill® is a registered trademark of Stevanato Group. 

Valor is a registered trademark of Corning Incorporated. 

Crystal Zenith and FluroTec technology is licensed from Daikyo Seiko, Ltd. 

Copyright © 2023. West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc. 

Vivian Xie
Editor - Custom Content

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