At the recently concluded CPhI India organized by UBM at Greater Noida in the Delhi-NCR, Uflex showed its latest films and foils for the fast-growing Indian pharma industry. The company exhibited fast tear strip foil, PET-based cold form blister, child-resistant, and senior-friendly foils. These were accompanied by several branding solutions for pharmaceutical packaging.
“Uflex has been offering new solutions to its customers in every packaging segment that it operates in. We entered the pharma packaging segment because even though the packaging equipment is different from, let us say, in FMCG and food, the processes are more or less similar to those in various other packaging segments. The pharmaceutical industry is a growth sector. It will continue to grow. The growth range may differ from 12 to 14% year-over-year. We have entered the segment with a product named cold form blister,” says Amit Ray, executive director of Uflex.
Usually, pharma companies use 30 to 40-micron soft tempered strip foil pack laminate but Uflex has developed a soft tempered 20-micron foil which it says increases the yield gain by 36% leading to cost savings for pharma companies. The foil offers to print on matte with better readability through multi-color reverse printing of designs on PET film in PET, foil or PE laminate. The value addition of the holography solution with Latentogram imparts brand protection of the pack and maintains the same barrier properties compared to conventional strip pack laminates.
“We first tried to establish ourselves in the pharma area technically and commercially and over time, we started moving ahead. Sooner or later we realized, we have to come up with new products in the pharmaceutical packaging sector as it has been showing consistent growth over the last few years. We decided to continue the cold form blister but in that area, firstly, this laminate has a biaxially oriented nylon layer, then there is an aluminum foil and in the sealing area, we have PVC. Now, all these are imported and we thought of developing something that substitutes these imported inputs.
“We don’t use the biaxially oriented nylon (BON) and we must get rid of PVC because it is being discarded by the public due to its carcinogenic effects. That was when we researched over a long period of time and ultimately developed a polyester film which would replace the nylon film and another polyester film which would replace the PVC film. It was not easy because you see companies use two types of machines for packaging pharmaceutical tablets and capsules. The new ones worked well for us, but the problem lied with the old ones. We had to make some amends in order to make it a viable product for both new and old machines. It took some time but we finally managed to come up with it,” Ray explains.
The child-resistant, senior-friendly foils developed by Uflex are available in two variants – ‘Push Through’ and ‘Peel Push.’ These require some amount of pressure for a child to open them. This feature of the product protects the medicine from unintentional damage to the foil resulting in wear and tear, a common fault in conventional blister foils.
Pharmaceutical packaging also faces the problem of counterfeiting and medication non-adherence in case of chronic therapies. Hence, keeping the Indian market in mind, Uflex has come up with tailor-made Consumer Discernible Packaging Solutions offering brand identity and medication adherence information.