The first of these new products is a ready-to-fill dosage system for dry medications intended for oral delivery, designed by Gerresheimer's Polish subsidiary Polfa for antibiotics in powder form.
Many antibiotics are stored in powder form as this extends their shelf life, with patients asked to reconstitute the powder with water at the time of the first dose. This system introduces a potential for human error, which can be overcome with the new system, according to Polfa.
It combines a plastic bottle with a measuring and dosing syringe that makes it easy to draw and take exactly the right quantity. It serves as packaging, mixing vessel and storage container all in one, coming filled with the powder and ready to be topped up with water by the patient to a clear mark. The finished liquid is then ready for multiple doses over the coming days, and the bottle can be closed with a cap that is both tamper-evident and child-resistant.
Polfa manufactures the dosage system in class C cleanrooms and supplies it to the customer ready-to-fill. The design could equally be used to deliver ready-mixed liquid formulations, according to the company.
Rigid Needle Shield
Gerresheimer pharmaSystems subsidiary Bunder Glas presented a new safety device for preventing needlestick injuries at Interpack that could have advantages over conventional soft elastic needle shields.
"No-one knows precisely how frequently doctors, nurses and disposal workers injure themselves on needles because a traditional needle protection part has been pierced. But that it frequently happens is beyond doubt," according to Gerresheimer.
Most cases occur when workers put a soft elastic shield - only really designed to protect unused needles from damage - back on a needle that has become crooked.
Gerresheimer's Rigid Needle Shield combines a hard, semi-transparent plastic shell around a core of thermoplastic elastomer. The core keeps the needle safe until use and provides a sterile seal, and can be combined with customised rubber formulations so the new shield can be used without mew stability tests.
Backstop makes injections simpler
In addition to the new safety shield, Bunder Glas has developed an add-on component which makes it easier for injections to be delivered properly. The product - called Backstop - clips onto the existing finger flange of a glass syringe, simultaneously reducing the aperture diameter and enlarging the finger support.
This design "solves two problems which often disrupt the smooth delivery of an injection," said Burkhard Lingenberg, director of corporate communications and marketing at Gerresheimer.
Firstly, it prevents the plunger stopper being withdrawn from the syringe altogether, which can be a problem for example when dessicated medicines are dissolved with the help of solvent syringes. Secondly, the additional support for the middle and index finger makes it easier to administer the injection, particularly for inexperienced users of patients with limited finger agility.
The Backstop will be launched later this year, with various colours available.
Finally, Gerresheimer has unveiled a new range of ultra lightweight syringe needles that make use of thin-walled steel, long bevel tips and a silicone coating to help the needle glide through the skin.
While most needles are covered with liquid silicon oil, Gerresheimer has developed a way of coating the needles during the needle-mounting process for ready-to-fill syringes, which ensures that the silicon is evenly distributed and remains permanently after drying in the heat channel.
Prototypes of the new generation have already gone through patient tests, according to the company.