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Packaging combination product 'solutions'

The term "solutions" is spreading through press releases and e-mails I receive, much like a case of influenza. This marketing buzzword seems contagious. At least one recent release I received didn't even mention the product or service it was promoting. Instead, it offered "the" solution. Summit, publishers of HCP, recently publicized an upcoming event using the phrase "delivers packaging solutions."

A heart stent coated with a time-released drug that keeps open an artery in a heart is a solution. The drug-eluting stent is probably the most well-known combination product. Marrying two or more drug/medical device/biological products into a combination product could helprevolutionize patient care, and reshape the healthcare business landscape as device companies partner with larger pharmaceutical partners.

The use of combination products for healthcare applications appears to be on the verge of unprecedented growth. It has certainly been a hot topic at recent conferences.

Packaging these products presents our business with opportunities—and challenges. Among the stories in this special issue, we'll explore this topic with a packaging pro from Cordis, and talk about combination product regulatory matters via an exclusive interview with Mark Kramer, director of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Office of Combination Products. As always, we welcome your input. [HCP]

By Jim Butschli, Editor
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