Why speed to market, service and flexibility should top every pharma brand’s packaging wish list

John Forsyth, Senior Product Manager in Amcor's Healthcare team, examines the changing packaging needs of pharma customers and explains why flexibility should be a top priority.

23 October, 2017
If you are sitting anywhere along the complex and unwieldy pharma value chain, you are bound to recognise at least one of the following challenges: continued cost pressure on healthcare systems; growing complexity; multiple rounds of testing; ever-challenging regulatory requirements; and increasingly demanding customers. 

Over my 18 years in the world of packaging, I have seen such issues create big roadblocks to pharma packaging success. However, there are remedies to your supply-chain-related woes. Short-run printing, for example, is one solution. And luckily for those working in the blister foil and sachet laminate application markets, its popularity is on the rise. 

Short-run printing has benefits for the customer and end consumer, and should be one of the first things to look for when deciding on a packaging supplier. Here are some of the reasons why:


Responsiveness to market need is a critical differentiator in the pharma landscape, and short-run printing jobs allow you to respond swiftly to demand fluctuations – with lead times as short as 48 hours.



Not only does short-run printing reduce your carbon footprint, but it also means you avoid over-ordering and risking a build-up of obsolete stock. In addition, there is no need for a minimum order quantity.


The ebbs and flows of market demand can be impossible to predict, and with smaller lots you are able to more effectively manage production schedules. As pharmaceutical companies face an increasing need to get closer to their end market, there is a constant squeeze on all points of the supply chain. This results in suppliers having to increase flexibility and shorten lead times to keep up with last-minute schedule changes. 


Going for a supplier that can deliver on short-run print lots saves pharma brands significant sums in the long term.

Our team is committed to meeting the challenge of changing customer requirements, and our recent investments in digital and UV flexo printing machinery at plants across Europe demonstrate just how seriously we take the necessity to be flexible to customers’ needs.

Our investment in the state-of-the-art digital printing press at our Cramlington, UK plant will be up and running in the next few weeks, giving Amcor customers the first opportunity to take advantage of the technology. This investment will be followed by a UV flexo press in Kreuzlingen, Switzerland in February 2018, and another UV flexo machine in Alzira, Spain in March 2018. Our comprehensive short-run print strategy intends to provide similar services all over Europe and globally.

Having responsive and flexible packaging expertise on hand is crucial for every pharma brand, and customers across Europe will reap the rewards from these recent investments. For us at Amcor, it has always been about responding to customer needs and delivering when it matters. 

Amcor’s pharma team will be sharing insights on new packaging innovation and design trends at CPhI Worldwide in Frankfurt, Germany from 24–26 October. Swing by stand number 42K10 to learn more.  

To find out how this new technology could benefit your pharma business, visit us at CPhI Worldwide or contact your sales manager. You can also read more about our global pharma offering here.

John Forsyth
Senior Product Manager - Healthcare