Is it Time to Start Thinking about Packaging?

April 07, 2022 by Chris Howell (2 minute read)

If this headline caught your eye, it may be because you’ve received promising pre-clinical results (Congratulations!) and you’re starting to think about planning your next steps.

Packaging is a key element in a successful product development plan. So regardless of whether you have product development experience or this will be your debut launch, you’ll be dealing with many of the same questions and decisions.

  • When should I begin developing a packaging strategy?

    Participants in a recent webinar were split in their response to this question, with varying answers across the range of development milestones.

    Packaging experts say drug makers should actually be thinking about packaging throughout the development process—or, as they put it, early and often.

  • Whom and what do I need to support a packaging plan?

    Regardless of the product, building a robust packaging strategy prior to launch requires a packaging plan that addresses both technical considerations and strategic decisions.

    • Technical considerations include packaging design, stability and shipping studies, serialization, artwork creation and development, and packaging line trials and validation.
    • Strategic decisions reflect supply chain continuity, distribution plans, and launch readiness.

    Since most drug developers don’t have all of these capabilities in-house, it’s important to identify and select your support needs—and outsourcing partners—with care.

  • What options should I consider in launch planning?

    It would be difficult to include the many technical and strategic options that are on the table here. Instead of trying to mention all of them (it would take a longer blog post than we’re capable of writing!), we’ll call out one of the most critical areas to address—that of supply chain continuity. Here are some questions to ask yourself:

    • Will product be packaged in-house or will there be a packaging contractor?
    • Will packaging be conducted at the manufacturing site or in a separate location?
    • What are the redundancy options – multiple locations within the same vendor or multiple vendors?
    • Which partners can bring both multi-site redundancy and continuity within the organization?