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A Washington perspective on healthcare packaging

Visits to PDA, USP, RAPS, and CPSC reveal what works "Inside the Beltway."

What comes to mind when you think of Washington, DC? Gridlock? Politicians? Bureaucracy? Regulations?

From March 24-26, Healthcare Packaging visited the capital to learn more about the role of packaging within some key organizations. A primary takeaway: These organizations are actively addressing hot-button issues affecting their pharmaceutical, biologic, and medical device members. These organizations are providing educational guidance and they welcome the input of their members.

Healthcare Packaging spoke with the following organizations during this particular visit:

Parenteral Drug Assn.

U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention

Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

Among the recurring themes we heard were the growing global influence on manufacturing and packaging operations. Track and trace and controlled-temperature distribution and supply chain issues were common points of interest. As combination products evolve, the packaging needs of pharmaceuticals, biologics, and medical devices are becoming more similar. Monitoring and controlling temperature-sensitive therapeutic products from point of manufacture through to the patient continue as both a challenge and a focus.

Even issues regarding workforce development are driving change as countries like Singapore offer tax advantages to manufacturers, but lack enough regulatory professionals to fill the ranks.

Regulatory issues, product shortages and recalls, and counterfeits remain vexing to varying degrees within the healthcare packaging community. These organizations continue to work with manufacturer members to address these matters, with patient safety the overriding goal.

The lingering cold and snow in early Spring was a little discouraging on this particular visit, but the Healthcare Packaging team couldn’t help but feel patriotic and better educated as a result of these meetings. We thank PDA, USP, RAPS, and CPSC for welcoming and informing us.

Stay tuned for a more detailed report on Washington-related news in the May/June print issue. The issue will also include editorial team coverage from an FDA meeting at Xavier University in Cincinnati, and EU events from Brussels, France, and Luxembourg.

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