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SCHOTT solutions no. 1/2011 > Tubing

SCHOTT has been manufacturing high-quality Fiolax® special glass tubing for use in pharmaceutical packaging for a hundred years. Thanks to its unique properties, the borosilicate glass used is predestined for meeting the extremely high demands for quality in packaging innovative drugs. Photo: SCHOTT/Hauser & Eisenhut

25 Times Around the World Each Year

The SCHOTT Fiolax® brand of pharmaceutical glass tubing is celebrating its 100th anniversary, and getting even better with age.

Oliver Hahr

Pear-shaped glass containers with narrow necks for use in medicine used to be called phials a long time ago. A new word that can be traced back to this term has lived on even until today. Introduced to the market by the company’s founder Otto Schott in 1911, Fiolax® special glass tubes are still a well-known name in the industry – and the most commonly used standard glass product for high-quality primary pharmaceutical packaging all over the world. The tried and tested borosilicate glass has properties that are of great benefit to packaging manufacturers to start with: the high durability and cosmetic and geometric quality of Fiolax® allows for fast and efficient automated post-processing with stable processes and high yields in manufacturing high-quality syringes, cartridges, vials and ampoules. Inner values like high chemical resistance, excellent sterilizability and outstanding barrier properties with drugs are all very convincing arguments for applications. Because of its low alkali content and optional UV protection, it preserves a medicine’s effectiveness for many years – a huge advantage in the area of biotechnology. ”Quality is extremely important to both manufacturers of pharmaceutical packaging and pharmaceutical companies. Therefore, as the quality leader, we are constantly working to further improve the overall performance of our Fiolax® glass tubing. We also work very closely with our customers to achieve this,” explains Jürgen Achatz, Sales Director for Pharmaceutical Tubing.

This cannot only be seen in an information and tracking system that offers customers precise information on important manufacturing, material and quality parameters for a given batch, even over a period of ten years, starting with the date of manufacturing. With the Fiolax® Academy, SCHOTT also offers its partners in the pharmaceutical industry a complete technical/scientific customer advisory service along the value creation chain. In modular training programs, SCHOTT experts provide information on the composition, properties and production of pharmaceutical glass tubing.
The Fiolax® Academy provides customers with in-depth information on pharmaceutical glass tubing and how it is used in the pharmaceutical manufacturing process.
Photo: SCHOTT/Hauser & Eisenhut

For instance, 50 prospective employees of the pharma­ceutical industry from the University of Jaroslawl in Central Russia learned more about the basics of special glass tubing and how it is manufactured, drug-container interaction, and international regulations and standards for the pharmaceutical industry at the beginning of March, 2011. ”For us, the Fiolax® Academy is not only a source of expert knowledge on glass and practical experience from Western Europe, but also of strategic importance to our further development and cooperation as part of our pharmaceutical strategy 2020 on securing the future of Russia’s pharmaceutical industry,” emphasizes Alexander V. Sugak, Dean of the university’s Chemical Technology faculty.

300 participants have already been trained since the Fiolax® Academy was founded in the summer of 2010. 35 such training courses are scheduled to take place in 2011. And these will be held all over the world because pharmaceutical glass tubing’s activities literally take place around the globe. Not just because Fiolax® is sold all over the world and manufactured in Germany, Spain, Brazil and India, however, but also because the annual production volume of a million kilometers of pharmaceutical tubing is enough to orbit the earth 25 times.