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Pharmaceutical Manufacturing and Packing Sourcer

Safe and Sound

The growing need for safety devices that meet both medical and pharmaceutical requirements results in innovative developments in prefilled syringes, argues Patrice Lewko at Rexam Pharma

Prefilled syringes have undergone dramatic development in the last 20 years, bringing more convenience and added safety. However, with the rising concern about blood borne contamination by needlesticks, the market now needs better protection for the device users. This has triggered the development of new safety systems.

Since the introduction of prefilled syringes in Europe in the 1980s, the market has enjoyed continuous growth. This trend has also been reinforced in the 1990s by the move towards injections at home by the patient.

Today, the market continues to grow by 10-20 per cent per year, depending on the geographical area, resulting in over two billion prefilled syringes sold worldwide. Their use, which was limited to heparin (Sanofi and Rhône-Poulenc) and a few other vaccines, has expanded to a whole range of new applications, such as oncology, insulin, human growth hormone, treatments for multiple sclerosis, fertility, osteoporosis, hepatitis, rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, anemia and hemophilia.


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Patrice Lewko is Marketing Director for Rexam Pharma. He graduated from the Edhec Business School, France, after which he gained experience in purchasing and plastic packaging sales with Alcan (formerly Pechiney). He has been with Rexam since 1994, working in packaging solutions in both the US and Europe. Patrice is in charge of identifying the needs of the pharmaceutical industry, defining requirements and promoting the development of the corresponding products.
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