Contract Packagers, 3PLs Vie for Pharma ‘Kitting’ Services
F. J. Quinn | October 16, 2011
Most pharmaceuticals are packaged in bulk bottles for delivery to pharmacies, or as dose-specific packages that are in turn packed in cartons and pallets. But nearly any pharmaceutical in the market also has a varied list of special packaging requirements, such as sample packages, combined drug and delivery components (such as syringes), along with promotional materials, medication guides and the like. The clinical trial world brings an order-of-magnitude increase in testing and component combinations. For these and other applications, a kit-assembly process, or “kitting” is the order of the day. And rather than adding to labor- and equipment-intensive processes, manufacturers are increasingly relying on contractors—primarily contract packagers and third-party logistics (3PLs) providers—to supply kitting services more efficiently.
“Utilizing logistics providers like ourselves is essentially one-stop shopping for our customers,” declares Jeff Luthman, VP, life sciences solutions at MD Logistics (Plainfield, IN). “Our service offerings improve repackaging cycle time and reduce overall costs.”
Kitting is said to offer drugmakers a convenient and cost-effective way to deliver products to market while making drug administration easier. Instead of receiving individual components from multiple suppliers required for a given therapy, caregivers receive a self-contained package offering all the necessary components for drug administration.