Not too long ago, if you had diabetes you went to the hospital to receive your regular insulin injection. But a lot has changed, since the first insulin pump was introduced in the 1970s and the first insulin pens in 1985. New device improvements have allowed patients to administer the insulin themselves, improving quality of life and driving down healthcare costs. Here the packaging plays a prominent role in maintaining product performance, conveying vital information, and keeping the product safe and secure until the point of usage.
When cheap becomes expensive
“Today, the market for prefilled pens, needles, pumps and related devices is exploding all over the world, especially in emerging markets with a growing middle class,” says Bengt Johansson, Key Account Manager at Iggesund Paperboard. “As production volumes and cost pressures increase, there is a parallel need to gain greater production efficiencies, while still maintaining product safety. But in their quest to drive down costs, manufacturers must be cautious when chasing savings in packaging materials, since production stops and slower speeds on the packaging line may end up being more expensive in the long run, when considering total cost of ownership.”
"From batch to batch, Invercote delivers the same thickness, grammage, stiffness and more to within the tightest of tolerances. This means that printers can keep running their lines at high speeds to meet the demands on volume without worrying about stoppages and unscheduled downtime."
Massimo Falcinelli, Account Manager Iggesund Paperboard
Safe and smart functionality
It’s a delicate balancing act that medtech manufacturers know all too well. They must weigh the needs for smart functionality, safety and ease of use in innovative new packaging concepts against the desire to optimize production-line efficiency. There is simply no room for line stoppages or safety issues. Iggesund Paperboard has supplied high-performing Invercote for more than 20 years to insulin producers in Europe and Asia, helping them to secure hasslefree packaging and risk minimization.
Innovative and cost-effective
One key customer challenge is to find a pure, white paperboard with good printability and the structural stability needed for numerous small folds and creases in the compartments enclosing the insulin needles and pens. Clear, accurate print reproduction is also essential since the packaging often includes both branding elements and vital instructions for users on the outer and inner surfaces of the box. At the same time, the packaging solutions need to be cost-effective, convenient and user-friendly.
No tearing and ripping
“Safety is of utmost importance,” emphasizes Massimo Falicinelli, Account Manager at Iggesund Paperboard. “These kits, pens and pumps are often kept in a refrigerator or near the patient where they are used many times a week. In other words, they need to have superior functionality to be opened and reclosed with no tearing – or be able to handle potential condensation buildup without deteriorating strength properties.”
The number of people with diabetes is expected to rise from 382 million today to 592 million by 2013.
Source: International Diabetes Federation
The choice was Invercote®
In evaluating different board materials, including folding box board (FBB) and recycled board, Iggesund's insulin customers have selected Invercote®, a solid bleached board (SBB) made from pure virgin fiber sourced from sustainably managed forests. For years, Invercote has been recognized as one of the world’s best-performing paperboards by independent sources, due to its quality consistency, design versatility, purity and longevity. Thanks to its multi-layer construction, with its long and strong bleached fibers, it is not only pure and white, but can also be bent and creased many times in all directions – without breaking.
Consistently high-performing board
According to Mr Falcinelli, while pliability and purity were key factors in initially selecting Invercote, another advantage that has emerged is its consistent high performance, with tight tolerances on all parameters. “From batch to batch, Invercote delivers the same thickness, grammage, stiffness and more to within the tightest of tolerances. This means that printers can keep running their lines at high speeds to meet the demands on volume without worrying about stoppages and unscheduled downtime. And since the product offers consistent dimensional stability, they do not need to constantly recalibrate their presses for new sheet stock.”