Are Pre Filled Syringes the Way of the Future?
Until a decade or two ago, pre filled syringe pharmaceutical packaging was not a thing. Syringes were made of glass and arrived at the hospital empty, to be carefully filled by a medical professional. This got the job done, but there were a number of problems with this setup.
First of all, even though the syringes were prepared by doctors or nurses who dedicated their entire careers to medicine, any time you introduce a human element to the equation, you are introducing the opportunity for error. A mistake with a syringe preparation could be a life-threatening mistake. Secondly, sometimes people need syringes administers on a daily basis. Before pre filled syringe pharmaceutical packaging was available, this meant they either had to go to a medical facility every single day for their medication, or the task of filling the syringe with the proper dosage was put on the shoulders of a person without a medical background. Best case scenario, this resulted in the unnecessary waste of medication. In the worst case scenario, this could be extremely dangerous to the patient. Third of all, when medications are manufactured, the bottle packaging services are able to treat the sealed bottle to preserve the contents for as long as possible. However, as the bottle is opened and reopened to fill syringes, the medication is exposed to air and contaminants that sharply reduce the shelf life of the medication.
Pre filled syringe pharmaceutical packaging addresses these issues in several ways. Below, we’ll talk about the benefits and challenges of pre filled syringe pharmaceutical packaging.
Benefits of Pre Filled Syringes
- Safety. When the syringe is provided with a perfect dosage amount that is prepared by a machine, there is a far lower margin of error. Pre filled syringes is one of the medical packaging techniques that ensures the patient consistently gets the exact amount they are supposed to get.
- Reduced Waste. Analytical and research services show that when a bottle of medicine is used to fill a syringe, they are regularly overfilled by the slightest amount. This might be incidental on a smallest amount, but on a grand scale, it costs medical providers a lot of money. Auto-filled syringes prevent this waste.
- Extended Shelf Life. As we mentioned initially, opening and reopening a bottle of medication sharply reduces the shelf life of it. On the other hand, the pre filled syringe medical packaging design gives the contents of the syringes a far longer life. The syringes are disinfected with the contents in them, and they are not exposed to air again until they are used. This prevents them from being contaminated and increases the length of time after packaging that they can be used.
Challenges of Pre Filled Syringes
- Rigorous Testing. Every medication has its own set of extractable and leachables. Some medication cannot be packaged by certain materials because it reacts with the active ingredients within the medication and renders it less effective. In the traditional ampoules system, the medication is only in contact with glass. Even if the drug is stored in a vial, it is in only in contact with glass and the rubber seal. With a syringe, there are multiple materials that the medication is in contact with, and all of these materials could have an impact on the safety and usefulness of the medication. This requires more rigorous testing before going to market.
- Hurdles with Development. When medication is stored in a bottle or vial, there are few factors that must be considered when a change is made to the medication or the packaging. However, the factors relating to syringes, as well as the factors relating to the medication and how they interact with the drugs are endless. If a change is made to a syringe design or any of the materials used in the syringe, there is far more testing and investigation needed to ensure it won’t have a negative reaction with the medication that is going to be stored in it. Essentially, since the syringe will be used for both administration of the drug and the storage of it, making changes are a little more difficult.
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