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Gareth Carpenter
21 Dec 2020

WEBINAR: Early stage considerations for the manufacture and delivery of vaccines: Watch Now!

Watch this recent webinar exploring the challenges of distributing COVID-19 vaccines to a global population and the role the packaging sector is playing to ensure safe and speedy distribution of shots

The COVID-19 pandemic has placed a spotlight on the readiness and requirements of pharma packaging companies to support the distribution and delivery of a potential vaccine and selecting the most suitable primary packaging options for drug products is one of the most crucial considerations in the drug development process, according to industry experts speaking in this CPhI China Virtual Expo Connect Webinar, sponsored by Stevanato Group.

“We are at the start of the true impact” of the COVID-19 pandemic, argued Yasemin Karanis, Senior Consultant, IQVIA, adding that the world was actually facing three unfolding crises rather than just one.

“First we have the pandemic crisis which is drawing funds that are already under pressure, and this is leading to payer and patient out-of-pocket constraints as well as creating public investment challenges that delay capital spend on healthcare systems,” she said.

She said that in addition, a healthcare systems crisis was unravelling, mainly driven by a non-COVID patient backlog as a result of the major disruptions observed.

“And last but not least we have the disruption to the general economy – the magnitude of the impact brought by this pandemic has been greater than the great recession of 2008 and it is not certain how long it will last due to factors such as new waves and their extent, the timing and success of vaccines and deployment,” she concluded.

According to Kristopher Howard, Managing Director, NRL Enterprise Solutions, the industry is facing new near-term challenges due to COVID-19 such as a lack of “available expertise to do all this vaccines work and technology transfers; there is a finite number of people able to do those in the past and that hasn’t kept track with all the changes that are going on in the world and trying to find technology transfer partners is still a very big challenge for most organizations.”

Daniel Martinez, Product Manager, Stevanato Group pointed out that speed to market is a primary consideration for vaccine developers, particularly in the current pandemic environment, and keeping the same type of container is essential to reaching this target.

“The advantage of using a vial is that it is a pretty versatile container – it’s good for liquids, it’s good for lyophilized products, powders and cryogenic,” he told the audience, noting that some of the COVID-19 vaccines being developed need to be stored at -70 degrees.

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Stevanato Group SPA
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Pharmaceutical Packaging
Gareth Carpenter

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