Clariant & Sicpa launch brand protection technology for medical devices in India

Tuesday, Nov 22, 2016

Swiss specialty chemicals firm Clariant and Sicpa SA, a trusted provider of global security solutions, have launched Plastiward, an integrated technology that is used for the protection of plastic pharmaceutical packaging and medical devices, in India, thus offering effective solution to tackle the problem of counterfeit products. Both the companies are participating in the pharmaceutical ingredients trade show CPhI India 2016, held in Mumbai from November 21-23, 2016, to highlight the benefits of Plastiward in protecting pharmaceutical brands and their patients.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 8 percent of the medical devices in circulation are counterfeit, and Interpol estimates $ 75 billion in counterfeit pharmaceuticals enter the market every year. Clearly, counterfeit medical devices pose a significant liability to their manufacturers and a risk of injury, permanent disability, or even death to both patients and healthcare providers. The mission of safe access to treatments remains a challenge to medical devices and pharmaceutical companies despite investments in fighting fakes. As it is well accepted that layers of security features are necessary, the unique features of Plastiward can help reinforce this approach.

The system works like this: proprietary covert taggant additives, produced by Sicpa, are delivered to one of Clariant’s ISO13485-certified plants where Mevopur brand controlled, consistent, compliant materials are produced. There, the taggants are incorporated into the various polymers used in medical devices and pharmaceutical packaging, either in a concentrated masterbatch form, or as a finished polymer compound. The taggants then become part of the eventual plastic product, where they are readily detectable using Sicpa’s proven deployment and monitoring platform.

Once the tagged product enters the supply stream, the Sicpa monitoring system is able to identify them at any point from factory to pharmacy. Products can be instantaneously authenticated at any point using a handheld detector. That data gets uploaded and aggregated on a secure inspection platform from Sicpa that facilitates real-time monitoring at global, regional or local levels so that action can be taken quickly if necessary.

“Plastiward offers medical-device and pharmaceutical-packaging companies a two-in-one approach. It combines Clariant’s track record in developing polymer compounds and masterbatches tailored to the unique requirements of clients in those sectors with Sicpa’s proven expertise in protecting brands and products,” explained Steve Duckworth, head of global segment healthcare polymer solutions at Clariant.

Today, chronic health conditions ranging from diabetes to asthma make use of portable plastic pharmaceutical packaging such as insulin pens or inhalers for targeted delivery of a treatment. Such medical devices enable millions of patients to lead active lives. An ageing population in developed economies and a rising middle class in developing economies will drive demand for pharma innovation in the foreseeable future. This in turn will drive growth in pharmaceutical packaging and plastic medical devices. One report projects a CAGR of 6.5 percent for the global medical devices market from 2014 to 2020, rising from an estimated $ 61 billion in 2014 to $ 89 billion in 2020.

However, this strong growth has also attracted counterfeiters who are often part of organised crime syndicates producing fakes which are often very difficult to differentiate from legitimate products, often escaping customs inspections. Such products represent a financial and reputational liability for legitimate companies, and they pose a health risk for the patients who rely on them to manage a life-threatening condition.

“At Clariant, our 3C approach (controlled, consistent, compliant) with our Mevopur products for the medical and pharmaceutical sectors is based on helping to control and minimise risks of potential changes and regulatory non-compliance- supply chain. Plastiward can add another element of risk reduction and protection, providing a robust, cost-effective, end-to-end, in-plastic system for protecting your brands worldwide,” explained Duckworth.

Yann Ischi, director of new channels and partnerships at Sicpa, added, “Pharmaceutical companies have taken steps to reduce this risk. But the rise of e-commerce and access to new technologies has accelerated counterfeiting and other forms of illicit trade. That makes fighting counterfeit medical products an ever-more urgent priority for pharma companies - both in terms of patient safety and brand reputation. In the fight against the counterfeiting epidemic, we have to stay ahead through innovation. For plastic medical devices, Sicpa combined innovation expertise with Clariant to develop Plastiward, so that our clients can focus on the needs of their patients and doctors.”


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