At CPhI Worldwide in Madrid in a briefing held by FEVE – the European Container Glass Federation, Laurent Zuber – CCO of SGD Pharma & Chairman of the FEVE Flaconnage Board, and Frédéric Jailloux – Managing Director of Val-U Advisory shared their perspectives on the dynamics of these two important market segments, and how the packaging suppliers, glass in primis, should adapt to best match their needs.

The OTC (over the counter) pharma market is driven by the shift from a passive and uninformed patient to an eco-conscious and educated consumer. On the Biotech side, the value chain is engaged to shape a new business model integrating a very high level of process capabilities, a full control of product/packaging interaction, and cost-effectiveness.

“Both segments are destined to grow in the coming years, and both will represent major opportunities for the packaging sector mainly driven by the ability to meet new market trends, but also to answer to increasingly demanding compliance rules,” commented Frédéric Jailloux.

Mr Jailloux observed that in the OTC market, packaging will have an increasing central role as a marketing differentiator in the launch of new products, but also by providing key functionalities in terms of safety, anti-counterfeiting and convenience, which is crucial for an ageing population. Glass has always been the packaging of choice for OTC for the well-known virtues of strength, weight, purity and transparency, stated Mr Zuber.

Its further usage will rely on its capacity to adapt to new market needs and to redefine itself as premium packaging material at very competitive market conditions, he continued.

In the biotech sector, the market is expected to meet high growth. The capacity to maintain drug integrity from production to final delivery, the ability to meet low volumes with very high-quality packaging, ensure flexibility to pharma companies and to prove process capabilities through the entire supply chain are the main challenges that packaging will have to respond to. Mr Zuber pointed out that “The high-quality level expected by Biotech companies associated with the need to reduce capex and maintenance cost at Pharma companies will shape many new products and services in the future. Pharma moulded glass manufacturers are heavily investing to optimize the production technologies and to innovate the moulded glass flacon solutions for the segment. These combined with the unique inherent properties of the material will make of moulded glass the packaging of choice for the sector, added Mr Zuber.

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