Living Longer Extends Lifetime Consumption of Medicines: Can Pharma Meet the Challenge by Making Drugs More Efficiently?

Wilmington, MA, Watson-Marlow Fluid Technology Group (WMFTG): The pharmaceutical industry is facing a challenge partly of its own making. So effective have the industry’s products been at extending people’s lives that the total cost of medicine consumption is stretching the limits of affordability around the world. To consider how pharmaceutical companies can respond, WMFTG has collaborated with leading industry experts to discuss different ways in which pharmaceutical manufacturing can supply new medicines more quickly and at lower costs to meet the ever-increasing needs of an ageing population and tighter healthcare budgets.

The new report, launched today, has been co-authored by the National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training, O’Hara Technologies, and Watson-Marlow Fluid Technology Group.

As global life expectancies increase, more people are suffering from chronic diseases. In the US, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease and Type II diabetes are some of the most common causes of death, with millions more patients living with these diseases. By 2050, the number of Americans aged 85 years and over will triple due to improved life expectancy. US health expenditures are projected to increase by $3.5 trillion between 2010 and 2040, putting pressure on healthcare systems which in turn forces pharmaceutical companies to provide medicines ever more efficiently. The burden falls most heavily on all stages of the drug development and manufacturing process to minimise costs.

The production of new medicines has relied on recent advances in manufacturing technology, but further innovation is needed. The paper, co-authored by industry leaders John Milne, Training Director at the National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training; Jim Marjeram, Technology Director at O’Hara Technologies; and Dr Chris Palmer, Tubing Product Manager at WMFTG, discusses the growth of continuous processing and the impact this has on pharmaceutical manufacturing.

“Continuous processing is not a new concept” comments Jim Marjeram. “The pharmaceutical industry was relatively slow to take it up, partly due to regulatory concerns. After all these years, people in the pharmaceutical industry now understand the business advantages of continuous processing, and we’re starting to get some traction.”

John Milne added, “There are a wide range of engineering challenges to implementing continuous processing, including integration of different process systems and meeting regulatory requirements. This should not put us off adoption of new techniques but does require careful consideration when designing the best options for individual processes.”

Download the article to find out more from these experts as they provide their unique perspectives on continuous manufacturing in the pharmaceutical industry.

About Watson-Marlow Fluid Technology Group
Watson-Marlow Fluid Technology Group is part of Spirax-Sarco Engineering plc, a FTSE 100 company. The company is an award-winning, global leader in fluid management technology and for over 60 years has engineered components and systems for customers in a wide range of pharmaceutical and industrial markets. Learn more at or @WMFTG_news.

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