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Healthcare Packaging's Fantastic Voyage

Remember the classic science fiction movie Fantastic Voyage? Technological advances in medical science are bringing our society ever closer to that. Sound "Star Trekky"? Not so, according to Michael Drues, Ph.D., a speaker at Medical Design & Manufacturing East, acknowledging that it may be years before nano-medical devices are injected into a patient's bloodstream armed with powerful biologics and drugs to repair damaged cells and tissues or destroy disease at its source. The healthcare implications of these products could be profound. So too their packaging requirements.

Less futuristic are what Drues referred to as "multiple combination products."

These might incorporate two biologics, as well as a drug or two attached to a biologic-based medical device that would eventually break down in a patient's system once the attached drugs and biologics are completely released. As he suggests on screen 1 of this issue, today's drug-eluting stents are primitive compared with what we'll have in the future.

Those in the packaging community would be wise to be ready to meet these challenging opportunities—but how? After Drues's presentation, I realized brighter minds than my own will need to determine how to package these sensitive combination products. A good start would be the Food and Drug Administration's Office of Combination Products. [HCP]
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