Pharmapack Report 2021: US leads on drug device innovation but trails Europe on sustainability


18 September 2021: Ahead of the first Pharmapack Europe to be held in nearly 18-months, Informa has released the results of its global drug delivery and packaging survey, with the USA once again leading ‘drug delivery and device innovation’, but lagging behind all major European nations on sustainability.

Pharmapack Europe, which will be held at Paris Expo, Porte de Versailles, 13-14 October (2021), is expected to welcome up to 5,000 people and 360 exhibiting companies. To enable access for those unable to attend in person, the event is being hosted in hybrid format, with online content and networking running from 27th September until 22nd October.

“We are incredibly eager to welcome back the pharma packaging, drug delivery and devices community after a year in which pharma’s innovation has never been more prescient. Yet, our research also shows the pandemic has accelerated a number of important existing trends in terms of connected devices, sustainable supply chains and remote patient administration. What’s exciting is that that with Pharmapack returning, we can provide the vital connections the industry relies upon to drive forward innovations and supply chains in 2022 and beyond.” Sherma Ellis-Daal, Brand Manager for Pharmapack Europe.

In fact, the Pharmapack Innovation Index (scored out of 10) – a market perception measure of each country’s drug delivery and device innovation shows that globally the industry increased its outlook with a near 2% overall rise since 2020. Significantly, while the USA (8.26) again tops the rankings – followed by Germany (7.69) and Japan (7.52) – India (6.62) was by far the biggest mover, gaining nearly 13% on its score from 2020. This is particularly impressive improvement as it follows on India’s 25% gain from its score in 2019.

Andy Fry, Founder, Team Consulting provided some context to the rapid improvements, adding “There has indeed been a lot of activity and interest from Indian and Chinese organisations focused on developing lookalike models of existing European or US devices, including DPIs and soft mist inhalers. Such developments could well morph into completely new devices.”

One of the key drivers for Pharmapack as an organisation, throughout its agenda, is to help the industry focus its attention on improving its CO2 impact and becoming more sustainable in its materials use and recycling. This year, Pharmapack launched its inaugural Sustainability Index (scored out of 10) – a measure of how far long each country is towards achieving optimal sustainability for devices and packaging with European nations Sweden (6.87), Germany (6.74), Switzerland (6.78), France (6.09) and the UK (6.04) perceived to leading the industry on sustainability initiatives. Crucially, leading European market were well ahead of the United States (5.78), China (4.22) and India (3.30) – the latter two of which were scored particularly poorly by the industry executives surveyed.