What has changed in the pharmaceutical glass bottle industry?

In recent years, with the improvement of  households’ living standards and health concepts and the increase in government funding for medical services, medical equipment sales market has entered a rapid improvement. In 2018, the market capacity in Chinese medicine equipment reached $16.714 billion, an increase of 10.6% compared to 19 years, and the overall growth rate was higher than that of the world.

Among them, the medicinal laminated glass is a vital component of the raw materials of medical equipment, which is commonly used in the packaging of injections, intravenous medicines, internal medicines, and health care products. In the past five years, the overall market capacity of China’s medicinal laminated glass has continued to increase, reaching $3.43 billion in 2018, accounting for about 20% of the medical equipment field.

Laminated glass for medicinal value is widely used in the medical equipment industry due to its high efficiency and safety. It has always been used as the first-choice packaging product for water injections and dry freeze powder medicines, and has an irreplaceable influence. According to the abrasion resistance from low to high, the medicinal laminated glass can be divided into soda, low borosilicate, and medium borosilicate.

At this stage, the application of laminated glass for medicinal purposes is still dominated by low borosilicate glass and soda glass. According to China’s medicinal glass packaging survey, the consumption of borosilicate in China’s medicinal laminated glass in 2018 only accounted for 7-8%. And because the United Kingdom, Europe, Japan, and Ukraine all compulsorily require the use of neutralized borosilicate glass for all injections of traditional Chinese medicine preparations and biological products, the overseas medical industry has widely used borosilicate glass.

In November 2017, the document published by CDE clearly stated that the packaging products and utensils used for injections that directly contact drugs should comply with the packaging material specifications implemented by the General Administration of Quality Supervision. It is not recommended to use low borosilicate glass and soda glass.

NMPA announced the evaluation again and clearly stated that the quality and characteristics of the packaging products and utensils used for injection should not be less than that of the reference preparation to ensure that the medicine’s safety is consistent with the reference preparation.

At this stage, the pharmaceutical industry outside China has widely selected neutralized borosilicate glass as the raw material for medicinal laminated glass. Except for a few Sino-foreign joint ventures, most of the glass bottles used for pharmaceutical packaging design are ordinary soda glass and low borosilicate glass. Promoting the consistent evaluation of injections will open the way to upgrade China’s medicinal laminated glass industry’s industrial structure and gradually transform and develop from soda glass and low borosilicate glass to medium borosilicate glass.

The packaging of medicinal glass fiber reinforced plastic bottles is closely related to medicinal glass bottles. There are two general packaging methods for medicinal glass bottles: one is the general packaging in a carton, the other is heat-shrinkable packaging with PVC or PE film. In addition, there is also a small amount of wooden box packaging. With a variety of packaging products pouring into the sales market, glassware has irreplaceable packaging properties.

From the perspective of the goods’ maintenance level and cleanliness regulations, the quality of heat shrink packaging and wooden box packaging is far better than ordinary packaging cartons. Nowadays, the development trend is that PE film is heat-shrink and placed in a cardboard box, which is clean and hygienic, and can ensure sterile testing and packaging. This is also the future development prospect of medicinal glass bottles.

At the present stage, most of the medicinal glass bottles use manual inspection methods. Under the direct sunlight of a robust light inspection platform, each glass bottle is estimated to remove unqualified products with appearance defects. The manual inspection is due to estimation and works Limited by various standards such as experience. The missed inspection rate is relatively high, and the labor efficiency is also tremendous. On the other hand, automatic inspection can detect the glass bottle’s specifications, appearance, and shortcomings. Therefore, the missed inspection rate is relatively low. It Is also a development prospect and a meaningful way to improve the quality level of medicinal glass bottles.

The basis of China’s medicinal glass bottles is to use the workforce to estimate the loading and heat shrinkable film packaging methods. The critical machinery and equipment are waste paper balers and infrared induction heat shrinking machines. The basis of similar products in other countries is based on automatic online identification and automatic packaging. In addition to maximizing the reduction of many human resources and reducing labor efficiency, the more important thing is that the automatic identification packaging production line can reasonably remove the unqualified products, ensure the products’ reliability and consistency, and significantly Improve labor efficiency and product quality.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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