Sponsored by Hapa

How Hapa is helping MSD to implement late stage customization of blisters

Pharma Tech Focus speaks to MSD about how Hapa’s BlisterJet has helped to cope with their strategy of delivering within 24 hours of receiving an order.

The World Health Organisation estimates 1 in 50 people worldwide suffer from chronic Hepatitis C. In 2016, MSD a subsidiary of Merck & co. launched Zepatier to combat this disease. MSD confirmed that the list price for Zepatier would be $54,600 for a 12 week course, and with the high-cost associated with Zepatier, MSD confirmed it would be not be produced on a mass-scale. Stijn Van Kelst Sr. Specialist, Packaging Technology & Manufacturing Automation at MSD explains why they chose Hapa’s BlisterJet to get Zepatier to market.

"In 2015 MSD Belgium was selected for the packaging of Zepatier for all markets worldwide, the big difference with other products was we needed to supply the market within 24 hours of receiving an order and the quantity could be anywhere from 10 up to 10,000. We normally pack on lines that produce thousands per hour but now we needed to be able to pack just 10 products for a specific market. That is why we chose Hapa, so we can print on every individual blister with market specific information and manage small volumes."

No margin for error

"The Zepatier is very very expensive so we could not waste any product, neither on site nor in the market. So if we receive an order for 20 packs we must supply 20 packs not 21 or 25. We hold no finished goods inventory of the product so we must supply the exact amount for an order and that was the solution we found with late stage customisation using Hapa’s BlisterJet."

Success breeds new opportunities 

Hapa’s technology allows easy changeover of formats which allows for different artworks depending on the country being supplied into. Such has been the impact of Hapa’s technology, MSD has adopted an identical process with other products.

"After the Zepatier concept we did an extension and relocation of the line which included more space for the BlisterJet so we could pack more blisters per hour. The Zepatier concept was so successful that our site in Heist was chosen for a selection of new similarly low-volume, high value products and the reason why the business came to our site was because we already had the late stage customization concept in place; At the moment we pack 5 different products on that line for markets worldwide."

Customer orientated solutions

Hapa prides itself on building long term key relationships with most of the biggest pharmaceutical companies in the world with a focus on customer service.

"Hapa’s customer service has been incredibly efficient with a very quick response time. For a big project we had some difficulty printing in 2 colors, however Hapa looked for a solution for us to be able to print these colors on a blister with a very quick turnaround, we will continue to work with Hapa for many years to come."

About MSD

We are committed to improving health and well-being around the world. This includes developing new therapies that treat and prevent diseases and helping people in need.

About Hapa

Our mission is to empower our customers to improve lean production with printing solutions that add value to packaging processes. We are a proud supplier to nearly all of the major pharmaceutical companies worldwide.