Posts Tagged ‘Braille’

Intro to Pharma Packaging Course – 6th November 2014

Posted in Anti-Counterfeiting, Design, Design Cognition News, Events, Government, Healthcare & Pharma, Innovation, Legal, Marketing, Materials, Medical Devices, Safety, Technology, Training on September 8th, 2014 by Chris Penfold – Be the first to comment

pharmacyWe are proud to announce and updated and improved one day intensive training course on pharma packaging for 2014!

Pharmaceutical packaging is a very specialised area with its own unique issues and problems. This introductory course will provide delegates with a good basic grounding and appreciation of what is required for the packaging of pharmaceutical and healthcare products – both Prescription Only Medicines (POM) and Over The Counter (OTC) and will have relevance in other affiliated areas such as Veterinary and, to some extent, Medical Devices too.

Whether you know nothing or have a basic understanding, this course will provide you with useful knowledge and insights from experts who have worked in the industry for over 25 years.

For more information – Follow this link to our Training Page to download a PDF flyer

New Season of Packaging Training Courses

Posted in Anti-Counterfeiting, Branding, Cosmetics & Toiletries, Design, Design Cognition News, Drinks Packaging, Environmental Issues, Events, Food Packaging, Gift Packaging, Healthcare & Pharma, Innovation, Marketing, Materials, Medical Devices, Safety, Technology, Training, Uncategorized, cost-optimisation on August 27th, 2014 by Chris Penfold – Be the first to comment
creative brain - opening

Open up your mind to new possibilities

By popular demand, we are pleased to announce a new season of packaging-related training courses starting in October.

The first will be Bar Coding & Mass Serialisation, which will take place on 14th October.

Other courses have been scheduled and are presently being developed, including Plastics Injection Moulding and the Packaging of Pharmaceuticals and you can find out about all of them and others on our Training page by following this link: Training Courses.

As always, all of these courses can be run as bespoke events at your own premises, if that would suit you better. As an international training provider, we are willing to consider running events anywhere in the world.

Why not give us a call (+44 115 846 1914) to talk through your own particular circumstances and needs, or drop an email to training@designcognition.com).

All of these courses can be run as bespoke events at your own premises – See more at: http://www.designcognition.com/training/#sthash.gMdIGbAF.dpuf
All of these courses can be run as bespoke events at your own premises – See more at: http://www.designcognition.com/training/#sthash.gMdIGbAF.dpuf

Pharmaceutcial Packaging Challenges – What are yours?

Posted in Business News, Design Cognition News, Government, Healthcare & Pharma, Medical Devices, Opinion, Technology on July 29th, 2014 by Chris Penfold – 9 Comments
New Challenges in Pharmaceutical Packaging sector

New Challenges in Pharmaceutical Packaging sector

With an ageing population and the growth of emerging economies across the world, the pharmaceutical sector is booming. Research business IMS predicts that the global pharmaceutical industry will reach sales of as much as $1.2tn by 2017 – representing annual growth of 3%-6% and, crucially, a growing market for pharmaceutical packaging suppliers and contract packers.

Yet it is a market that brings particular challenges, and particular opportunities, to those packaging suppliers and packers operating within it, not least the regulatory environment, which is complex and becoming more so. New regulations – notably the EU Falsified Medicines Directive, which requires every individual pack to carry a unique serial number – are posing new challenges to the supply chain both for product and packaging.

Chris Penfold, CEO of Design Cognition, along with a number of other industry experts recently took part in a Packaging News and Essentra roundtable discussion looking at the wide range of issues facing players in the pharmaceutical packaging segment.

You can find a Chris Penfold discusses pharmaceutical packagingmore in-depth transcript of the discussion here:

Packaging News – Tough Talking – Pharmaceutical Packaging

or a short video ‘taster’ by clicking on the photo of Chris to take you to the YouTube video.

If you would like help and advice on any of these or other issues further and would like to contact Chris, please send an email via enquiries@designcognition.com or via phone on +44 (0)115 846 1914.

Pharmaceutical packaging? don’t know? want to know? need to know?

Posted in Design Cognition News, Events, Healthcare & Pharma, Materials, Safety, Training, Uncategorized on August 4th, 2010 by Chris Penfold – Be the first to comment
Pharmaceutical packaging requirements can be a minefield

Pharmaceutical packaging requirements can be a minefield

Do you work in the pharmaceutical industry on the ‘periphery’ of packaging, working for example in Marketing, Purchasing, Design or QA etc , and have always wanted to find out more about packaging, but without having to attend a lengthy 3 day training course? Or perhaps you are a Packaging Technologist working on toiletries or cosmetics and want to gain a better understanding pharma issues and opportunities?

If so, then this ONE DAY TRAINING COURSE could be for you!

It’s being held on 14th October 2010 in Nottingham, UK

Pharmaceutical packaging is a very specialised area with its own unique issues & problems. This one day course will provide delegates with a good basic grounding & appreciation of what is required for the packaging of pharmaceutical & healthcare products. Whether you know nothing, have a basic understanding or are familiar with the area, this course will provide you with useful knowledge and insights from experts who have each worked in the industry for over 25 years.

What will be covered:

1.Packaging component & material selection Key product requirements (Consumer, Barrier, Shelf Life & Regulatory – Child resistance, Tamper evidence, Dosing & Stability. Marketing expectations.

2. Key properties of various materials / systems Main barriers & benefits of various packaging materials, Key drivers for pack performance, Supply chain implications on the packs

3. Pack testing & evaluation Mandatory requirements for Consumer testing & Transit testing.

4. Packaging component specifications Key requirements for a specification, Control of the documents.

5. Artwork generation & control Establishing processes suitable to your business needs – Wording & Templates, Creation, Version control & authorisation.

6.Regulatory requirements Packaging data for the MA , Braille, barcodes, Child Resistance, Tamper Evidence, Readability & others – including emerging requirements (e.g. 2D data matrix barcodes). Key packaging data for the MA/Dossier (Specifications & data, Supplier details). Key requirements for Braille etc.

7. Transit packaging Considerations of risk, Establishing test programmes, Specific requirements for palletisation etc.

8. Trade /supply chain requirements Understanding the various markets & their particular requirements, Understanding trade requirements (e.g. Barcodes, Shelf Ready Trays etc).

A full set of documentation will be provided.

You can find out more and register for this event by clicking: More information on Packaging of Pharmaceuticals – a One Day Introductory Course 14th October 2010

Chris Penfold

Building competitive advantage through packaging training & coaching

Posted in Design Cognition News, Events, Healthcare & Pharma, Opinion, Product News, Training, Uncategorized on August 2nd, 2010 by Chris Penfold – 1 Comment
As your training partners Design Cognition can provide all of your packaging-related training needs

As your training partners Design Cognition can provide all of your packaging-related training needs

We believe that the old adage that ‘your people are your most important asset’ is true. It’s fundamental that key members of staff keep pace with new technologies, best-practice processes and the continually evolving packaging regulations and standards – not an easy task for busy professionals, is it?

Additionally, it’s essential to keep a teams’ skills ‘honed’ to make sure that they are well-informed in order to help maintain competitive edge.

With that in mind, at Design Cognition, we have created a range of friendly, easy-to-learn and access courses to help you in two important areas:

1. Knowledge

To help you develop your own knowledge and experience, so that you are equipped to make better and more informed decisions.

2. Skills

To help you apply the information provided and learn through your own insights and experience.

The training sessions will be fairly interactive, providing plenty of opportunities for you to bring your current packaging problems along for review and discussion by the tutor, in confidence if necessary.

We guarantee to engage your interest and commitment on the courses and are confident our training will improve your effectiveness at work. In addition, you’ll receive a full set of course notes in a comprehensive ‘takeaway’ package for future reference.

We also encourage you to let us know what you think. We are always able to consider running a bespoke course for you, if that would suit you better, and most courses are available as in-house training programmes at your own premises.

You can find out more about our training events at: Design Cognition training programme

We have put together a range of courses, from areas as diverse as creative and technical disciplines and from processes ranging from artwork generation to cost-optimisation. Some of our initial topics include:

Pharmaceutical packaging, Branding and shelf impact, Introduction to packaging for non-packaging professionals, 2D Data Matrix barcodes, Braille and Sustainability.

Further information and dates will follow on our ‘Training’ page and we are continually adding to these events, so please pop back often to review additions, or ask to join our training mailing list (email: training@designcognition.com) or call +44 (0)115 846 1914.

Chris Penfold

Pharmaceutical packaging – celebration of success – foundation for the future

Posted in Associations, Design, Government, Healthcare & Pharma, Legal, Machinery, Materials, Opinion, Safety, Uncategorized, cost-optimisation on March 11th, 2010 by Chris Penfold – 11 Comments
Blister Packaging

Blister Packaging

The following article is one that I’ve recently written for the Packaging Professional magazine, which details a fascinating 25 year transformation in the way we work and do business in the pharmaceutical packaging industry. Over that period the industry itself has undergone huge change and with recent economic pressures and the rise of generic competition is likely to continue unabated.

Back in the 1980’s, before the days of email and the internet, working in packaging could sometimes be a lonely business, especially in an area like pharmaceuticals where regulatory requirements, standards and process were constantly being updated as authorities, such as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the UK Medicines Control Agency (MCA), evolved  increasing powers and rules. A situation where ‘fit for purpose’ packaging could be a matter of life and death.

Pharma companies are strictly regulated and need to work to tight and common standards and most companies were running similar, machinery, quality systems and packaging materials. So learnings from one company could greatly help another and save having to ‘reinvent the wheel’. It was also important for the industry to provide a collective view to positively influence proposed legislation and regulations, with a common and pragmatic ‘voice’.

So back in 1984, the ‘seed’ of an idea for a group was ‘sown’ by Alan Haskins of Roussel Laboratories and Roy Gray of ICI Pharmaceuticals, after Roy’s boss had visited the USA and seen a successful American group working in the same sector. This was a defining moment and the group would not have happened without their collective vision and proactive approach. The first Pharmaceutical Common Interest Group (PCIG) meeting took place on 16th October 1984 at Sysonby Lodge, which was the head office of The Institute of Packaging (IOP) at the time). The meeting was chaired by Alan Haskins, with Roy Gray as Secretary and an attendance of 18 people from 15 pharmaceutical companies from across the industry. There were 37 questions raised & discussed at that meeting on a range of topics, including: a New British Standard for aluminium flexible tubes, label adhesives, Tamper Evidence and EAN bar codes – themes that would arise again and again over the years.

It was agreed that there would be three meetings per year and venues would rotate across the various company sites, but over the years most were actually hosted by the IOP.

One of the original members, Mike Shorten, who worked for Boots Pharmaceuticals at the time and is now retired, recalls:

“The PCIG soon became my most important network. Forty pharmaceutical practitioners across all sectors of the industry provided a powerful resource that could offer practical experience about most issues and without any consultants’ fees! A great strength of the group was the willingness of its members to talk openly about issues and share best practice and then to collectively influence new regulations and standards”

How the CIG has changed over the years

I have myself have been a member of the group for over 18 years (since 1991) and over that time can recall a great deal of camaraderie, focused help for each other and pragmatism having helped us all deal with issues as diverse as use of high barrier blister materials, bar coding issues and leeching of preservative through polyethylene bottles.

As issues became apparent, some common themes evolved and a number of dedicated ‘sub groups’ were set up to focus on specific topics. Four of these were Working Groups for Digital Artwork & Reprographics (DAR), Validation, Child Resistance and Quality Standards. The DAR subgroup was set up at a time when ‘desktop publishing’ was a buzz word being used as artwork generation moved from ‘old fashioned’ layout board, to a digitised computerised system.  At the time there was no common standard. There was a range of hardware (PC & Mac based), a number of operating systems, and various artwork creative software packages on each platform. The ease by which artwork could be generated and manipulated raised its own issues in terms of artwork version control and (in the early days) data going ‘missing’ sometimes between approval and print – which had the potential to cause a catastrophic result. So the group played a critical role in sharing ‘best practice’ and setting appropriate standards.

The Validation subgroup was formed in 1992, the founding Chairman being Mike Harwood of The Wellcome Foundation, Dartford. A subsequent Chairman (1993-98) John Cooper (of Pfizer at the time) recalls “The original intent was to develop a set of guidelines for validating pharmaceutical packaging equipment and then issue to IOP members, but as the guideline developed and the information was shared informally with machine manufacturers it became obvious that it would be of a wider benefit to publish a ‘book’. As I was a member both of the PCIG and Institute of Quality Assurance Pharma Quality Group (IQA PQG), I suggested that this was published jointly as a monograph in the series which was already established by the PQG. The monograph was published in 1998 and launched at a joint meeting of PCIG and PQG at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society in Lambeth with over 200 people in attendance, including the MCA Head of Inspection and Enforcement, Gordon Munro!” That was another defining moment in the ‘life’ of the PCIG and evidence of the esteem with which the group was held within the pharmaceutical industry. The third edition of that monograph is presently due for print.

It was not uncommon in the early days for PCIG meeting attendance to be around 35-40 people, with standing room only. Questions would be collated by the Secretary and shared at each meeting. It would sometimes take 3 or 4 hours to go through them all, one-by-one. As the years have gone by and we have moved in to a digital age, email has enabled members to converse more easily and questions can be asked and answered sometimes within minutes. So the focus and frequency of face-to-face meetings changed to providing more of an opportunity for discussing in more depth, processes, procedures, technology and impending legislation, and to keep in touch with old colleagues and friends. Together with the myriad of mergers among the pharma companies, this has meant attendances have dropped.

Where we are going with it in future
The PCIG (now called the Pharmaceutical Packaging Forum – PPF) is still active, with a core of ‘stalwart’ members and a new voluntary Secretary, David Pethick, former Director of Packaging Development at GSK. David is upbeat about future for the group and says “the pharma landscape, increasing demands and changing regulations on packaging present as much, if not more of, a challenge as when the PCIG was first established. I see both a need and role for a vibrant PCIG to help the pharma packaging professional meet those challenges, whether that be from simply providing networking among its members, to wider influencing, technical leadership, training needs or whatever”.

Pharma packaging legislation/regulation has changed enormously, and the Society recently received an enquiry about training courses on this. Feedback from PCIG members showed a high level of similar interest. Whether or not such a course could be developed is still a work in progress, but both David (for PPF) and Ian Morris, Training Manager at IOM3, would be interested in readers’ feedback.

Ultimately, the future and utility of PCIG, as over its past history, is reliant on the members who actively value and contribute to it.

Chris Penfold

If you work in Pharma and are interested in knowing more or in joining the PPF group, you can contact David Pethick (the Secretary) at dppk@btinternet .

On my own part (Chris), as well as continuing to be an active member of the PPF and a consultant, I am also the External Relations Officer of the East Midlands Packaging Society, for which you can find more information at: East Midlands Packaging Society.

You can find more help and advice on various aspects of pharmaceutical packaging at our sister site: The Pharma Gateway

FREE advisory sessions – numbers limited

Posted in Design Cognition News, Events, Exhibitions on February 15th, 2010 by Chris Penfold – 11 Comments

Design Cognition are offering a limited number of FREE product and packaging advisory sessions.  Are you worried about the non-compliance of any of your products?  Do you know what regulations your products need to comply to? – Why not book yourself one of these limited sessions and come for a chat?

 If you are attending easyFairs Packaging Innovations show at the NEC (UK 24-25 Feb) then why not take advantage of this fantastic FREE offer?  To book one of the limited 15 minute sessions simply email packagingsurgery@designcognition.com

 Places are limited though, so if you aren’t quick enough to book one, why not visit us on STAND 582 – right by the main entrance – to leave us your details and arrange a follow-up chat after the show.

If you’ve not already registered for the show why not do it now by following this link and becoming a Design Cognition visitor.

The clock is ticking – is your pharma packaging compliant?

Posted in Business News, Healthcare & Pharma, Legal, Opinion, Safety on January 28th, 2010 by Chris Penfold – 8 Comments

As we hurtle towards the end of January (already you say????) it is time to focus the mind again on packaging legislation.

We are routinely coming across pharma companies (small & large) who just don’t keep up with or monitor changes in packaging legislation, that will have a major impact on their businesses.

A good example is Braille legislation which is now MANDATORY for ALL pharma packs sold in Europe and has to be in place (i.e. on packs on the market) within the next 7 MONTHS.

As a consequence of non-compliance, an estimated 20% of pharma companies could have their products de-listed and taken off the market. So why do companies ignore it?

The following link will take you to a very interesting and comprehensive article on the European Pharmaceutical Manufacturer (EPM) magazine website: Braille labelling on medicines packaging

This article will give you some good tips on how to ensure that you comply and a summary of it has been printed in the latest version of the EPM printed magazine. Chris Penfold

So you thought implementation of Braille packaging standards was easy?

Posted in Healthcare & Pharma, Legal, Opinion on January 19th, 2010 by Jane Bear – 4 Comments

The development of both the BSI & CEN standards for Braille on Pharmaceutical Packaging have taken years of dedication from the Working Groups with clear commendation coming from the RNIB for the support they have received from the Packaging Industry.

The following article provides an interesting insight into the issues encountered from the RNIB perspective. It clearly demonstrates the amount of work and angst that has taken place over the past few years to make this happen and reach this breakthrough milestone. Three years ago many people thought that this initiative would never happen. It demonstrates what can be achieved by a common focus and working as a team to overcome all of the hurdles and we at Design Cognition Ltd (DCL) are proud to have been involved in these Working Groups at ‘the cutting edge’ and having been personally involved myself, wish to offer my thanks to all involved for their support and mutual respect.

 As I’m sure you will appreciate, to implement successful Braille packaging solutions for the client there is a lot of work involved from a technical & aesthetic point of view, requiring much ‘horse-trading’ to ensure that the needs of all stakeholders are met. Luckily at DCL we have the skills to understand & empathise with these juxtaposed issues and for many of our clients have delivered Braille solutions inclusive of artworks in a timely, efficient and sympathetic manner that delighted them. If you’d like any further information on Braille or ‘hands on’ help from people that have practical experience and have been through the loop, check out: www.thepharmagateway.com/about and get in touch. (Anne Dallison)

 braille on a pack
The needs of partially sighted and blind people are being heard. By October 2010, the majority of secondary medicinal packaging in the EU is set to become more accessible by accommodating braille. Getting the process right, however, has taken six long years. Rupal Mehta investigates.  Read the full Packaging Professional article here http://ow.ly/XMmo