As a leading provider of speciality pharmaceutical packaging and solutions, Gerresheimer also specializes in manufacturing pharmaceutical containers made from type II glass. Special internal surface treatment processes allow extremely small injection bottles as well as typical infusion bottles with larger volumes to be produced. Guaranteeing the quality and hydrolytic resistance of type II glass is the top priority here. The company will present type II glass packaging solutions at Pharmapack in Paris in October and at CphI Worldwide in Milan in November.
“Our customers want safe, flawless products from us. So, we need to make sure that we have the best possible production process, even before treating the inside of the type II glass, by monitoring the situation constantly and intervening where required,” says Silvio Carriço, Senior Product Manager Pharma, Food, & Beverage.
Center of Excellence specializing in making type II glass
For many years now, Gerresheimer has produced pharmaceutical bottles made from type II glass for drugs administered parenterally by injection or infusion. After overhauling and upgrading its clear-glass furnace in Essen, two new production lines were opened that will mainly be used to make type II glass and link directly to the newly expanded cleanroom. As a Center of Excellence for type II glass for the whole of the Gerresheimer Group, the site will focus on further increasing its capacity and expertise, supplemented by sizable investment in state-of-the-art self-learning testing lines, among other things. Gerresheimer is thus reinforcing its position as an innovative provider of parenteral solutions.
Type II glass – perfect for parenteral applications
Type II glass is a form of soda-lime glass, also called soda-lime-silica glass, by far the most common kind produced industrially. As the name suggests, its main ingredients besides sand are soda (sodium carbonate) and lime (calcium oxide). Type II glass is subject to a special internal surface treatment process that makes its surface less prone to leaching caused by alkaline solutions (known as ‘dealkalization’. It is the best option for most parenteral drugs.
Special internal surface treatment
Primary packaging made from moulded glass has always been the go-to container for liquid and solid drugs. Type II glass is soda-lime glass that has been subject to a special internal surface treatment, which significantly increases its hydrolytic resistance. Primary packaging for applications of this kind thus must fulfil especially tough requirements in terms of the glass and how it is treated.
Prevention is better than cure
At Gerresheimer, the emphasis is on preventing errors – rather than picking up on them later. The specific requirements are considered at an early stage, right when the glass is melted. Special materials are used for this process, such as fused-cast alumina blocks. Among other things, these ensure that the stringent quality requirements made of the glass can be met reliably. The automated monitoring of drop (gob) formation, insertion into the controlled tool and ensuring end-to-end control of the glassmaking process.
Additional safety and improved restitution
An improved restitution rate of the filled product can be further supported by an internal coating. Gerresheimer developed a process to coat the inner wall of the glass bottles with a fine silicone layer after washing. The silicone is fixed to the glass by heat, passing an annealing lehr. The silicone supports a reduced variability of the hydrolytic resistance, as well as provides an additional protection layer for the product-to-glass contact. Hereby the filled medicine can be further safeguarded throughout its lifecycle.