We offer ‘The complete pharmaceutical partnership’ and also expect this broad undertaking from our partners. Uhlmann meets this demand more than convincingly.
Walter Murbach, Head of Business Development, Ivers-Lee
“The complete pharmaceutical packaging partnership” is the principle on which the Swiss pharmaceutical packaging service provider Ivers-Lee works. The company is based in Burgdorf in the Emmental region. Its services are particularly in demand when customers have complex specifications, as was the case of a global pharmaceutical and biotechnical leader headquartered in California. In the future, tablets should be packaged in blisters instead of bottles – with desiccant in every blister pocket.
To solve this requirement, Ivers-Lee and Uhlmann developed a special desiccant feeder incorporating a punch and came up with an appropriate forming process. The desiccant, loosely placed on each tablet, adheres to the lid foil and remains there when the blister is opened. This ensures easy removal of the medicine. The two solutions for the desiccant blister, for which patents are pending, are integrated into an Uhlmann Blister machine B 1240.
The packaging of tablets in bottles is standard in many countries. Always included is desiccant to protect the products from humidity, oxygen, and reactive contamination. However, this protection is only effective prior to first opening. Even if the patient does not remove the desiccant, the solids are exposed every time the bottle is opened and the shelf life decreases. This is not an issue with low-priced medicines, but certainly when it comes to high-priced, high-potency drugs, such as offered by the Ivers-Lee customer: HIV prophylaxis and cancer therapy drugs, or medicines for the treatment of AIDS and hepatitis. Shelf life and patient safety are key criteria here.
Patents pending: two innovations with future potential
It is imperative that the products are taken correctly, which is not easy to track with loose tablets. Individual tablets in blisters, on the other hand, help to ensure compliance. But how is desiccant inserted into the blister pocket? How well is the blister sealed? How is an efficient packaging process achieved? A whole series of questions that Ivers-Lee and the specialists for customized projects in Laupheim have answered convincingly.
Well thought out in every detail: A SimTap feeder at the beginning of the process is responsible for the dedicated placement of the tablets in the blister pockets. The next station is new. It feeds a band with desiccant, from which the smallest of strips are punched. These are positioned directly on the tablets. To prevent slipping of the desiccant, the experts deepened and shaped the blister pockets appropriately. Patents are pending for this innovative pocket shaping, as well as the SimTap feeder and punch combination. Also integrated into the Blister machine B 1240 are three VisioRead inspection cameras. The first checks the tablets regarding shape, breakage, and color, and also verifies correct positioning in the blister. The second camera monitors the presence and position of the desiccant strip, and the third the printing applied inline to the lid foil. Is the blister correctly marked, sealed, and punched, it is transferred to the downstream process. Faulty blisters are removed from the process.
Greater patient safety and a longer shelf life: By developing the desiccant blister and the corresponding machine solution, we have initiated an innovation with great potential particularly for high-priced, high-potency products.
Roberto Zürcher, Managing Director, Uhlmann Höfliger Schweiz
Top blister quality through innovation: Similar processes apply desiccant to the lid foil in advance. It can then be that this fails to align accurately with the forming film, which leads to sealing problems, faulty blisters, and rejects. This is not the case with the new desiccant blister from Ivers-Lee and Uhlmann. It is the sealing heat that bonds the desiccant to the lid foil in exactly the right position. Nothing moves or warps, and the sealing process runs smoothly at an output of 70 blisters per minute. Equally accurate and productive are the following blister perforating and punching steps. Another benefit of the Uhlmann patent-pending solution becomes apparent when opening the child-resistant blister. The desiccant remains adhered to the lid foil when the blister is opened. The tablet can easily be removed and compliance is easy to track.
Win-win the Swiss way: The innovative desiccant blisters can be realized for a variety of solid dose products as well as a number of blister formats. Ideal, consistent product protection and high patient safety make them a convincing alternative to tablets in bottles.
Perfect product protection and high patient safety:
The child-resistant blister is based on the peel-push principle to prevent tablet removal and danger in the hands of children. The patient first peels back the top layer of the lid foil and then pushes the medicine through the second layer of foil in the customary manner. The desiccant remains adhered to the lid foil when the blister is opened, allowing easy removal of the product.