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SCHOTT solutions no. 1/2016 > Pharmaceutical packaging

Pharmaceutical packaging
”Double chamber cartridges offer more safety and convenience for the patient.” Andrea Wesp, SCHOTT Product manager. Photo: SCHOTT

A Double Chamber with a Fourfold Advantage

Modern drugs often consist of combined active ingredients. Now these can be stored separately in a double chamber cartridge and yet be administered very easily.

Alexander Lopez

For the organizers of Good Days, July 10 could be their day. This non-profit association from the United States is committed to proclaiming a ”Chronic Disease Awareness Day,” an anni-versary for all those who are permanently dependent on medications due to chronic diseases. ”For chronic patients, easy access to medication means being able to lead an independent life,” the organization notes. The pharmaceutical industry has made great progress in developing increasingly effective medicines for the chronically ill. These usually have to be injected, some on a weekly basis, others several times a day. That places a burden on patients as well as healthcare systems. It therefore makes sense to have the patients perform the injections themselves.
Pharmaceutical packaging
Active despite a chronic illness – modern pharmaceutical agents make this possible. Many of these agents must be liquefied prior to injection. SCHOTT has developed a solution for easier handling: innovative double chamber cartridges (right). Photo: SCHOTT
This in itself is not a problem; however, many new drugs can only be stored stably in freeze-dried form. Prior to injection, they must be liquefied by using water for injection (WFI) or another diluent. The patient needs two vials with different contents and a syringe. First, the diluent must be drawn into the syringe and injected into the second vial. After shaking it, the drug can be drawn into the syringe again and administered. The risk of error, such as a possible contamination of the substances, increases with the number of steps. In addition, there is the risk that the patient could miss the right mixing ratio or inject the wrong dosage.

SCHOTT has developed a solution for these forms of administration: a double chamber cartridge for pen systems. It contains the two drug components in two consecutive chambers that are separated by a plunger. When the pen lock is turned, the plunger will be pushed to the level of the bypass, and the liquid will flow into the anterior chamber through the nearly 0.1 millimeter narrow opening. It will then mix with the second component. The final drug can then be injected without any risk of contamination and in the exact dosage by simply triggering the pen.

SCHOTT cartridges are compatible with the most commonly used pen systems and can be adapted to meet the specific needs of pharma companies. The position of the bypass can be changed or the edges can be modified, for example. ”This is important if a customer wants to fill the drug directly in powder form,” says SCHOTT Product Manager Andrea Wesp. Alternatively, the active ingredient can also be filled in liquid form and then be lyophilized inside a freeze dryer.
SCHOTT cartridges
The system is convenient for the patient and of great benefit to pharmaceutical manufacturers. ”Many new drugs are initially made available as lyophilisates because manufacturers are still looking for a way to store the active ingredients in a stable manner,” says Wesp. ”If they opt for a double chamber, they don’t have to accept any compromises because the components can be stored and protected, reconstituted quite easily and then administered in the safest and most convenient way – four advantages at once.” <
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Convenient for the patient – benefical for manufacturers

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