3D printing will impact the traditional pharmaceutical value chain

The 3D Medicine & Pharmaceutics Printing Conference took place on February 01, 2017, at MECC Maastricht in The Netherlands.

The conference was part of a two-day event that included three other conferences and a dedicated exhibition. The conferences brought together over 230 attendees, who gathered to discuss the most disruptive applications of 3D printing in the medical world, and latest developments and applications in the field. They were not purely academic conferences, but innovative events bringing together brilliant minds and discoveries.

At the 3D Medicine & Pharmaceutics Printing Conference, speakers from TEVA ratiopharm, FabRx, Åbo Akademi University, Dewallens & Partners Law Firm, University of Hertfordshire, University of Sheffield, Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf, University of Central Lancashire, University of Copenhagen talked about the topics in focus.

The titles of the presentations included: Designing compartmental pharmaceutical products based on 3D printing; Emergence of 3D printed dosage forms: A focus on FDM 3D printing; From small scale to large scale – Pharma-grade filament manufacturing and thermal analysis of the printing process; Reactive Inkjet Printed 3D silk microrockets for micro-stirring, cargo transport and drug delivery applications; Potential of 3D printed medicines for paediatric and geriatric use; Legal Issues around 3D Printed Drugs; Fibrous scaffolds as carrier matrices for printed drug delivery systems; 3D Printing of medicines, current and future challenges.

Find more about the 2017 program. A photo impression of the event can be found here.

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Who should attend the next edition?
Pharmaceutical, biopharmaceutical and Biotech professionals, Regulators, Research Institutes, Compliance Officers, Pharmacists, Doctors, Laboratory Personnel, Consultants, Contractors/Subcontractors, 3D Printing suppliers, anyone responsible for medicine/drug: Development | Manufacturing | Preclinical | Quality Assurance | Quality Control | Operations.

Fast Facts about 3D Medicine Printing

The role of medicines in healthcare systems globally is becoming more important. Innovative treatments become available to address unmet clinical needs at the same time that economic development and the imperative of universal health coverage become drivers of expanded access.

In 2014 it is estimated that the global spending on medicines exceeded $1 trillion for the first time. The amount is projected to reach $1.2 trillion in 2017.

The traditional value chain of medicines involves three major components:

  • Manufacturing of the medicine
  • Distribution to the dispensing point
  • Dispensing to the end user (Providing the correct medicine dosage and form)

Now 3D Printing comes in. It will have a strong impact on the value chain as the industry can start with low-volume production and personalised medicine, but also produce a wide range of APIs (Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients) on demand for use in medicine R&D.

Going a step further, on-demand drug-printing facilities at clinics and pharmacies, or even in patients’ homes, could allow doctors to improve treatment by creating tailored dosing regimens. In addition to this, doses could be personalised with individual colours, flavours and shapes to appeal to individual patient which will boost their adherence.

As 3D printing capabilities develop further, safety and regulatory concerns are addressed and the cost of the technology falls, contract manufacturers and pharmaceutical companies that experiment with these 3D printing innovations are likely to gain a competitive edge.

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