Easyfairs announces that Tiffany McIntire, a Principal Human Factors Engineer at Roche, will be one of the keynote speakers at the inaugural Connect in Pharma conference taking place in Geneva on 14 & 15 September.
Connect in Pharma launches this year and is aiming to become Europe’s leading event driving innovation in pharmaceutical packaging, drug delivery and manufacturing. Its first edition in September will bring together 100 market-leading suppliers of innovative packaging, medical devices, CMO/CDMO services and processing technology with more than 3,000 buyers, packaging designers, product and device developers and manufacturing directors in the pharma and biotech industry.
In advance of the exhibition, McIntire spoke to organisers about the importance of putting patients at the heart of innovation in biopharmaceutical drug development.
While the packaging of medication has been traditionally focused on compliance and historical practice, more and more consideration is being given to how, when and why patients use and interact with medications.
Medications taken orally are ripe for reconsideration
Packaging decisions for oral tablets and capsules have tended to simply reflect what has come before. The challenge for Human Factors Engineers like McIntire is to get involved early enough in the drug development process for innovations to better reflect how, when and why patients are taking these drugs. “By the time packaging decisions are being made, it’s already too late. Budgets and timelines have already been built around those original decisions,” she notes.
In the US, pills are likely to come in a bottle, while the European market tends to produce blister packs. These types of products, which reflect historical assumptions about what patients want, are ripe for a rethink, says McIntire. “Orally-administered products are an under-developed area that can benefit from a systematic approach,” she says.
“We make mistakes when we make assumptions about what a patient needs or wants,” says McIntire. “We make the mistake of thinking patients act like us. But user-based testing can generate insights that can fast track research by years.”
In her Connect in Pharma talk, entitled “Developing patient-centric packaging solutions”, McIntire plans to discuss best practice within the sector, gaps in the market, and some quick ways drug developers and contract manufacturers can be sure to avoid pitfalls when bringing biopharmaceutical drugs to market.
McIntire brings a wealth of regulatory and scientific experience to her Connect in Pharma presentation. She has been in the pharmaceutical industry for eight years developing medical devices end to end, primarily in the combination product space. She has worked in all phases of development and excels at strategising organisational development, platforms, and pipelines.
The organisers of Connect in Pharma say McIntire was asked to give a plenary talk because she provides a fresh perspective on packaging design.
“Patient-centred design and human factors engineering is a topic that will only become more important, and it’s a topic that will help attendees think about the pharmaceutical Europe of tomorrow. Alongside a range of other key topics around packaging and device development and production, Tiffany’s talk will be part of a fantastic package of content that will really help drive innovation decisions across the pharma market,” says Josh Brooks, Marketing & Community Director of Packaging at Easyfairs, the events company behind Connect in Pharma and Europe’s leading network of events for the packaging supply chain.
Organized across four half-days, the plenary talks will address key themes related to the four main areas of the supply chain present in the exhibition area: pharmaceutical packaging (primary and secondary), medical devices, pharmaceutical sub-contracting and production line equipment.
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