Tech Innovation in Packaging Can Compete with Insourcing, says Frazier
Last week, in a deal worth $308m (€235m) Frazier Healthcare bought AndersonBrecon from AmerisourceBergen, signaling the exit from the contract packaging industry by the pharma logistics and distribution company.
Coupled with last year’s purchase of Catalent’s US packaging business and the formation of subsidiary Packaging Coordinators Inc. (PCI), Frazier Healthcare has shown its intention to acquire its way into a sector where increased insourcing threatens profits.
Speaking to Outsourcing-Pharma.com, General Partner at Frazier Dr. Nathan Every said: “In buying PCI from Catalent, we could form a standalone company which could offer better service and value to the pharma industry at a time when the industry is looking for value for money.”
Though acknowledging the “largest competition is from insourcing,” Every was positive Frazier could compete against it.
“Both companies - PCI and AndersonBrecon - have previously sat within larger parent bodies and have maybe struggled to have stayed innovated and entrepreneurial. We believe as a standalone company, and with a strong management team, we can stay ahead and offer better customer service free from restraints.”
US-based Anderson Packaging was a wholly owned subsidiary of AmerisourceBergen and merged last June with UK-based Brecon, acquired in 2007 for $49m. However, the parent company said it has chosen to concentrate on its distribution and manufacturing services business as it sold AndersonBrecon and its 12 facilities to Frazier.
The trans-Atlantic nature of AndersonBrecon was a further boost to Frazier’s global ambitions, according to Every, and furthermore subsequent purchases may be on the books as the company is “always looking to add complimentary acquisitions to [its] offerings.”
Thinking Outside of the Box
The changing nature of contract packaging was another subject discussed with Every, who explained how PCI and AndersonBrecon would have to lead innovation in order to stay ahead, with technology being “an important part of the packaging business going forwards” and a factor in any future acquisitions.
“The business has changed. 30 years ago it was largely Big Pharma with long runs of blockbuster drugs. Now there is a whole new range of packaging services for all types of products including clinical services which require more specialised packaging and batch size.”
One area Every said Frazier is keen to capitalize on is serialization which “is becoming more and more a worldwide requirement and a key part of the packaging industry,” affecting all areas of the pharma industry.
“We’re not clear what is going to be the technology that leads the way in serialization but we are going to have to be nimble at PCI as there will be a lot of regulatory requirements and a lot of voices to listen to.”