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cooling equipment and homogenizing equipment for semi-solid dose production Those manufacturing liquid dose forms indicated they’re most interested in filtration technologies, likely seeking technologies that speed this critical quality control measure.

Packaging Matters

The leading new equipment purchases in the primary packaging category were aseptic filling and sealing/capping equipment for vials, syringes, ampoules and other parenteral drug delivery devices. Buyers were also interested in purchasing aseptic blow/fill/seal equipment for eye drops, blood and intravenous liquids by approximately one third, across the board. This is also true for unit-dose blow/fill/seal equipment, high-speed inspection systems and packaging/assembly lines for inhalers and patches.

When it comes to secondary packaging, close to half indicated they are purchasing labelers and printers. According to the study, another third are specifying tamper-evident solutions, serialization equipment, bulk packaging equipment and end packaging.

Resource Recovery

Industry consolidation, evolving processing and manufacturing techniques, and shifting global market forces are prompting drug manufacturers to rethink their overall equipment acquisition and disposition strategies. Much of this equipment is far from obsolete and possesses years of remaining service life. Disposing of equipment that is no longer in service is fast becoming an effective way to recover some of the capital spent on acquisitions, depending on the type and condition of the machine, as well as the cost of removing it. Many companies and contract service providers are turning to highly reputable, reliable used equipment brokers to help them determine the best strategies for acquiring or selling idle, but serviceable equipment and systems.

Such activity apparently is popular; with 69% indicating their organization is pursuing an equipment investment recovery strategy. According to the study the top two reasons equipment becomes surplus is either the machine’s become outdated or an upgrade is desired; however equipment that’s become redundant or idle (for most any reason associated with operational changes) round out the list of reasons to attempt the recovery of some of the capital spent on those machines.

What’s being placed on the used equipment market? According to Nice Insight’s study, fill/ finish and packaging machines (41%) and liquid processing systems (35%) were the most popular, followed by solid dose processing and semi-solid dose processing equipment at 29% respectively.

Increase in Outsourcing

To meet the changing requirements of drug owners and the industry’s response to market forces and competitive dynamics, contract service

providers have been busy remaking and realigning their operations to win Pharma’s business. Consolidation is increasing as companies acquire and merge their way to competitive advantage. The industry’s leaders are seeking contract service providers with advanced technical capabilities and equipment, best-in-class automation and informatics as well as the ability to process highly potent compounds and highly controlled substances. Nice Insight’s 2016 CDMO Outsourcing Survey2 revealed a significant increase in spending for contract services. A majority indicated they annually spend $51 million to $100 million on outsourcing, while another 28% spend more than $100 million. During the year prior, Nice Insight’s study revealed the majority spent $10 million to $50 million for outsourcing services.

What Lies Ahead

There is a growing interest in the continuous manufacturing of APIs and finished pharmaceutical products. The benefits include simplified scale-up and production runs that more closely match or respond to demand. In a continuous manufacturing scheme for example, equipment scale remains constant, it’s the supply of inputs and the length of running time that dictates production volume. Other major advantages of continuous manufacturing include assured product quality (as it mitigates process variability) and a more efficient consumption of resources and labor. The FDA’s approval of Janssen’s continuous manufacturing-based production of Prezista is a shining example of how this manufacturing technique is being adopted by Pharma and supported by regulators.

Overall, Nice Insight’s survey results reveal Pharma’s equipment specifiers and purchasers are responding to the Pharma sector’s major strategic imperatives, seeking advantage by increasing capital spending on equipment and operations. Some 15 years ago regulators recognized that the road to safer more effective and affordable medicines is directly related to how well they are made. What followed, the doctrine of current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) has been guiding the industry ever since and recent purchasing and specifying behavior continues to support the industry’s ongoing effort to achieve the overarching goals of the FDA’s quality initiative.


1. The 2016 Nice Insight Pharmaceutical Equipment Survey. 2. The 2016 Nice Insight Contract Development & Manufacturing Survey

To learn more about Nice Insight contact Emilie Branch, Scientific Research Manager, at or visit and the annual study websites: clinical services at, contract development and manufacturing at, pharmaceutical excipients suppliers at and pharmaceutical equipment (products, systems and services) at | | 57


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