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Voice of the Experts: PCI returns to packaging

Healthcare Packaging Publisher Jim Chrzan chats with Bill Mitchell, president and chief executive officer, Packaging Coordinators, Inc.

A few weeks ago Healthcare Packaging posted an article reporting Frazier Healthcare and Catalent Pharma Solutions, Inc., announced they have closed the purchase and sale of Catalent's U.S. commercial pharmaceutical packaging operations based in Philadelphia, PA, and Woodstock, IL, to Frazier.

Mitchell, who was president of the company from 2002 to 2006, is returning to run the resurrected company, Packaging Coordinators, Inc.

Healthcare Packaging (HCP): What have you been doing since 2006?

Mitchell: I was CEO for a division of the Clondalkin Group in Amsterdam. PCI has such a long history. We started back in the 70s, then became Cardinal Health, then Catalent, so in a sense this is a return to the focus we had on the business in the 70s. Bill Bolding (PCI's new COO) and I worked together back in 2002-2006 and we're working together again to offer a full range of contract packaging solutions to an industry that already know us-a reunion of sorts.

HCP: Are you affiliated with Catalent in any way?

Mitchell: No, we have two plants, one in Philadelphia and in Woodstock. We share space with Catalent's B/F/S operations. But that is the only connection remaining. We'll be leasing some space from them.

HCP: Did you inherit Catalent's sales network?

Mitchell: We did inherit a small, dedicated sales force. One of our first objectives is expanding the sales organization.

HCP: Quite a bit has changed since 2006 with mergers and acquisitions, a stagnant economy, etc. How are you prepared to take on these new challenges?

Mitchell: Overall our intent is to take the solid foundation of experience we built over the past 40 years continue to focus on biologics, biotech, pharmaceutical, and medical device.

We know a lot has changed, not only with mergers and acquisitions, but the patent cliff [that] so many of our customers are sliding down.

What hasn't changed is the way you grow a customer base-focusing on the customer, their mission-critical milestones, timeliness, and business needs.

Frazier, our private-equity sponsor, is also planning to use PCI as a platform to expand into adjacent areas I can't mention right at the moment.

HCP: What are some of your areas of expertise?
Mitchell: CPI is one of the largest providers of -2 to 8-degree packaging solutions, again not manufacturing the product, but offering cold chain contract packaging services. So, biotech and biologics remain a focus. And we are currently developing significant solutions for the e-pedigree/serialization issues facing the industry.

HCP: Who are your customers and how do you reach them?

Mitchell: After 40 years, we have a roster of more than 100 valued clients. We work primarily with engineers and quality people, and eventually with procurement. If it is a new product launch, marketing will get involved as well.
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