Growth of Injectables and Implications
Infusion is still one of the largest segments within Injectables today and has the biggest impact on hospital capacity constraints as they are timely and require preparation and HCPs for administration. In a post-COVID environment, alternative delivery sites and taking the patient out of the hospital setting where possible has become increasingly important and again infusions and certain vials etc. that need preparation are some of the more challenging products to do this with.
Within injectables, Pre-Filled Syringes and Cartridges/Pens are some of the fastest growing segments. (Figure 1) The strong growth of Pre-Filled Syringes and Auto-Injectors as types of injectables may be attributed to the convenience these delivery systems provide in the administration process. In comparison to intravenous infusions, they are quicker to prepare and administer as well as more convenient and comfortable for patients. Fixed dose pre-filled syringes have the potential to alleviate pressures on hospitals that are increasingly struggling with infusion capacity.
Therapy Area Trends for Pre-Filled Syringes and Auto-Injectors
Self-Administration is trending wherever possible and it’s certainly most developed in diabetes where we see the highest share of Auto-Injectors providing significant benefits to patients with easy to use dosing mechanisms and safe handling. (Figure 2)
Oncology which is a disease area where complex biologics and injectables make up a big segment, is slower in comparison on the uptake in Pre-Filled Syringe and Auto Injector delivery mechanisms. Figure 2 shows the Pre-Filled Syringe and Autoinjector segments as a part of overall injectables in these therapy areas. Even though Oncology has the largest injectables segment, a much smaller proportion comes from Pre-Filled Syringes.
However, we are certainly seeing a movement towards PFS in Oncology. Not only as life-cycle management such as Roche’s HER2 franchise or Darzelex this year being approved in its Sub-cutaneous Pre-Filled Syringe formulation but there are also a number of assets being developed as sub-cut injections from the start. There is certainly room for growth for Pre-Filled Syringes in Oncology as their value is increasingly recognized.
Innovation in PFS and AI
Pre-Filled Syringes and Autoinjectors certainly provide value to Hospitals and HCPs through quicker and easier drug administration process but maybe most importantly they provide value to patients. The importance of focusing on the patient is increasingly recognised by companies and other stakeholders, something that is in the heart of Auto-injectors and innovation in this segment.
Biggest promise technologies or products that are patient centric can provide sit within adherence. Connectivity and improving patient experience through easy to use auto-injectors and devices, for example with discreet needle systems and designs, could help reduce this burden non-adherence has on the global healthcare system. Drug delivery device companies with impressive technologies are increasingly collaborating with pharmaceutical and biotech companies to optimize patient experience.
As the sector is evolving, the packaging industry will play a pivotal role in bringing value to the healthcare system and most importantly to patients. And as the industry is shifting towards specialty medicines and injectables, Pre-Filled Syringes and Auto-injectors are at the heart of the pharmaceutical industry going forward.