In an ever-changing world, being able to adapt can be the difference between being successful and falling behind, unable to keep up with other brands that are innovating at top speeds.

Pharmaceutical brands must be able to adapt to not only consumers and their changing needs, but to the growing complexity of labels and artwork for their packaging. Perhaps no other industry is held under stricter regulations when it comes to packaging than pharmaceutical—and for good reason. Pharmaceutical products, in many cases, are instrumental in the health of those who use them.

Pharmaceutical brands have to be extremely diligent when it comes to the information they put on their packaging, as people may have adverse reactions to specific ingredients. Additionally, the package must contain the necessary information the consumer needs to use the product safely.

However, with new regulations and guidelines continuously being introduced in the pharmaceutical industry for packaging and labeling requirements, brands have to be able to adapt fast.

Keep reading to learn the importance of being able to quickly update packaging artwork in today’s world—and how streamlined and clearly defined workflows can help brands get there.

The Importance of Versatility For Packaging in Pharmaceuticals

Increased Regulations

There is a high number of regulations, guidelines, and laws that pharmaceutical packaging must adhere to.

One of these is the medical device regulation (MDR). Essentially, this set of regulations from the European Union is all about ensuring that products are effective throughout their lifecycle. One new regulation within the set involves new symbols on the packaging, such as an umbrella with raindrops, which represents the need to keep the package dry.

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MDR is just the tip of the iceberg, however. The list of guidelines and rules that pharmaceutical and other life science brands must follow is lengthy.

There are CFR part 11 and Annex 11, both of which cover the importance of electronic forms, documents, and signatures. While Annex 11 isn’t legally required—unlike CFR part 11—it would be difficult to find a pharmaceutical brand that isn’t adhering to it.

The list goes on and on, including GAMP 5 Guidance, GS1 Standards, and of course, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which can order recalls for failure to comply. Read more about these regulations here.

Because there are so many different rules that pharmaceutical brands have to comply with, being able to adapt their packaging process is of the utmost importance. For example, if another new set of regulations comes out—like those of MDR—brands with more versatile packaging processes will have less of an issue and can get their products to market faster while still being compliant.

This leads directly to another reason why being able to adapt fast is so important.

Get Ahead of the Competition

A very wise man by the name of Ricky Bobby once said, “If you ain’t first, you’re last,” in the movie “Talladega Nights.”

While there are some obvious gaps in this logic (second, third, fourth, and even fifth place are all possible without finishing last), the point remains: getting somewhere first can be everything.

This is especially true for pharmaceutical companies. To illustrate this, let’s imagine a new regulation has been put forward that affects pharmaceutical packaging. This new set of regulations states that the “instructions” on bottles and packaging must be a certain font size to accommodate older consumers who may have a hard time reading smaller prints.

Brand A has all their ducks in a row when it comes to their packaging process and can update their packaging to meet these new regulations seamlessly. Therefore, they can get their new packaging on the market by the time the regulation comes into effect.

Brand B, on the other hand, uses outdated packaging processes and isn’t able to make the changes until after Brand A has been on the shelves for several days. Because of this, they lose out on a lot of potential business.

In short, brands that have to spend copious amounts of time reconfiguring their entire process to meet new regulations will be left in the dust.

Lengthy Changes Cost Money

There are essentially two routes pharmaceutical companies can take when it comes to their packaging processes.

First, they can be reactive. In other words, they stick with their current processes until a regulation or guideline comes out that forces them to change. This can be extremely time-consuming, as we just saw in the last section. But, it can also cost a lot of money because it forces companies to make potentially huge changes with very little turn-around time.

Or, brands can be proactive. They can invest the time, energy, and resources ahead of time so that when new regulations come their way, adapting is a cinch.

One way that pharmaceutical companies can take proactive measures in their packaging is by implementing workflow management tools, like WebCenter to help automate and manage their packaging processes

Why Pharmaceutical Companies Use WebCenter For Their Artwork Management

For keeping up with changing regulatory standards, pharmaceutical companies turn to the comprehensive workflow management tool from Esko, WebCenter.

WebCenter’s dynamic capabilities and defined workflows make it easy for pharmaceutical companies to quickly respond to the complex nature of their industry and the need for continuously updating their labels and artwork.

Not only does WebCenter centralize all packaging products in one source, but this tool can generate efficiencies in the content creation process, allowing brands to keep up with new regulations as they are introduced.

WebCenter will allow brands to do more with less time, simplify the overall scope of project information, and enable cross-functional teams to deliver content on time, every time.

To learn more, contact Esko today!

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