Avery Dennison, a substrates and adhesives supplier based in Mentor, OH, USA, has engineered six portfolios specifically designed to support the healthcare industry. The portfolios include the ethical drugs and consumer healthcare portfolio; injectable devices/syringe; blood and IV bag labeling; low temperature or cryogenic; security; and medical device.
Avery Dennison features a semi-gloss paper with a low dirt count to ensure readability, and the adhesives are tested to withstand a wide range of environments and performance characteristics such as sterilization.
“I think overall, in the pressure sensitive industry, understanding the application is critical in order to find the right solution, and therefore, a good label,” explains Agata Kowalska, product manager, Specialty, Avery Dennison Label and Packaging Materials. “Pharmaceutical labels and applications have very unique requirements, and understanding how those requirements translate into solutions is very important. When we help our customers choose the right solution, we ask a number of questions around container type, sterilization requirements and environmental conditions to help find the best product.”
The Injectable Devices/Syringe portfolios feature critical products that ensure tight mandrel performance, sterilization and have flexible facestocks, and they are driven by the growth in biologics. Blood and IV bag labeling consists of specialized materials that withstand rigorous lifecycles and communicates critical information consistently and reliantly. Low temperature and cryogenic labels ensure theclear identification of biologic materials from collection to storage, transportation and delivery to the medical facility and patients.
Meanwhile, security labels help customers and brands authenticate and protect drugs through tamper evident and anti-counterfeit solutions. In the medical device range, Avery Dennison offers durable adhesives designed for medical device labeling that can stand up to harsh conditions for a long period of time.
When developing new substrates and adhesives, suppliers must develop products that meet certain guidelines. Avery Dennison’s materials comply with FDA regulations and sustainability checkmarks, as they are all intended to meet a specific pharmaceutical application. “For every new product, we test and follow FDA guidelines and requirements, along with pharma conditions, to create substrates specifically designed to meet pharma needs,” says Kowalska. “For key existing pharma products, we work with the FDA for Drug Master File Listings to support customers through their FDA approvals. Avery Dennison’s global compliance team is informed by the most current regulations around the globe and complemented by the careful review of our technical and compliance specialists.”
To handle changing regulations in a challenging field, Avery Dennison provides converters with an Application Consultant team and a Technical Solutions team. The teams are designed to help pick the right label materials for customers, as well as provide tailored solutions not supported by the current portfolios. In addition, regional technical managers are also in the field to provide technical assistance for on-press issues.
Unlike other applications, pharmaceutical labels face a litany of regulations and are subject to lengthy qualification periods. In order to mitigate risk, Avery Dennison offers change protection–from 3-12 months.
“Pharmaceuticals and the healthcare segment have a few key challenges that impact Avery Dennison as much as our customers and end users of our products,” says Kowalska. “Pharmaceutical products are often exposed to challenging environmental conditions, including sterilization via autoclave, radiation, or chemical exposure. In addition, we have seen a growth in drug products that must be stored within a cold chain environment, which presents a challenge for labeling. With constant changes in the label industry and potential supply shortages, it’s imperative that we offer our customers protection from constant changes.”
When looking to the future, Kowalska can envision a scenario where RFID plays prominently in this space. RFID can assist supply chain management, which is largely driven by efficiency and regulations. The Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) details the chain of custody in this industry, and RFID could help better manage costs, increase efficiencies, and ensure the well-being of patients. Smart technology can also fight against counterfeit healthcare products.
“Avery Dennison creates cost-effective RFID inlays and technologies that provide end-to-end inventory and item tracking solutions for increased accuracy, visibility, and security, starting at the point of manufacture,” she adds.