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Serialize with the Help of Contract Packagers

Ian Parsonage Highlights Pci Serialization Readiness In New PMP News Article

By Daphne Allen, March 31st, 2015, Pharmaceutical and Medical Packaging News

Contract packagers are building in flexibility to handle the needs of a diverse group of pharmaceutical customers.

As pharmaceutical manufacturers around the world ready their operations and products for item-level serialization, another group of companies is getting ready, too: contract packagers. Known for their flexible operations and customizable menu of packaging support, these contractors have been increasingly serving as an extension of pharma companies’ operations (or in some cases, as their only source of production). And with pharmaceutical serialization activities scaling up, contract packagers are seeing even more demand for their help.

“While some of our clients are well on their way, many others are just at the ground floor and looking for guidance,” Ian Parsonage, director of global serialization, for Packaging Coordinators Inc. (PCI;, tells PMP News. “We expect a groundswell of activity in the market for serialization support because there is still such a lag in preparedness from entirety of pharmaceutical and biotech companies looking to meet the pending track and trace obligations. Many of these companies do not appreciate the impact to their resources in getting prepared for the serialization effort, with data management, artwork impact, documentation, logistical needs, etc.”

PCI has offered serialization services for many years, so Parsonage says that the company “is well positioned to support customers both for consultative support as well as having the operational flexibility globally to provide a solution to their needs. We believe the market will rely heavily on expert contract packagers to help meet the requirements and are ready to assist.”

Most pharmaceutical manufacturers are looking to serialize at the saleable-unit level. “Most markets and their regulatory requirements call for serialized codes on the saleable unit, be it a bottle, carton, etc.,” says Parsonage. “Conceptually, you could apply serialized codes down to the unit dose for blister packaging, pouches, or single-use injectables, for example. For the established and emerging markets we are currently supplying, the demand has been primarily for the saleable unit and the associated tertiary packaging. Most companies are seeing value in aggregating their data from the saleable unit to the tertiary packaging and then to case and pallet, despite the fact that many of the country-specific legislations do not mandate that requirement at this stage.”

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