In an increasingly expanding market, pharmaceutical companies are coming to rely on contract services providers, such as B. Braun, which offer expertise, products and services.
In the global economy, extended supply chains mean that firms no longer have to manufacture every component of the products that they supply. Instead, they can access the expertise of specialist companies to source goods and services, often at less cost and with better quality. 'This is particularly useful in the healthcare sector where quality, safety and reliability are paramount,' says Dr Thilo Brinkmann, vice-president of OEM Europe and Asia Pacific at healthcare firm B. Braun.
B. Braun is one of the industry's leading healthcare companies. With over 170 years' experience, B. Braun supplies products and services to the specific areas of medicine: hospitals, surgery, private practices and extracorporal blood treatment. Through its OEM Division, it allows industrial customers to access this concentrated expertise. The OEM business specialises in three main areas:
'We offer B. Braun's products, capabilities and services to industrial customers so that anybody can take advantage of the experience we have in the field of infusion technology, either from the pharmacological side or from the medical devices/technical side,' says Brinkmann. 'They get products, expertise and additional services such as registration support, codevelopment, adjustments or specific customised changes in our product range as well as private label. The customer can use us as a workbench or as a contract manufacturer.'
The two main areas that the OEM business is involved in are contract manufacturing of infusion and injection solutions, and supplying secondary packaging material: everything that is needed to infuse or inject drugs, including products for drug withdrawal and admixture, infusion and transfusion accessories, IV administration and access, covering a portfolio of over 30,000 items.
B. Braun places a strong emphasis on quality, safety and reliability, an essential factor for industrial clients. 'Our quality standards meet all the necessary industry standards, and we try to exceed them whenever we can,' says Brinkmann. 'We have a sustainable approach to quality, meeting US FDA requirements wherever possible. Our team is experienced and has successfully dealt with many customer audits. We even have medical and pharmacological compound production experience for the Japanese market, one of the most demanding in the world.'
Quality makes a big difference even down to the smallest detail. 'For a high value and safe drug application, it is important to have a good quality medical device,' says Brinkmann. 'A pharmaceutical company with a high value drug needs adequate application devices to guarantee constant quality, safety and reliability.'
Safety for B. Braun means not only ensuring safety through higher production quality, but also continuously innovating and improving products regarding the safety aspect, focusing on patients as well as healthcare personnel. For example, the firm's latest IV catheter, the Vasofix Safety, incorporates a self-activating mechanism that automatically covers the tip of the steel cannula used to pierce the vein when the catheter is used. While this may seem like a small innovation, in Germany alone the associated costs to ensure those people who have needlestick injuries are tested for infection can reach over €10 million, covering 500,000 professional incidents a year. 'That is just those that are documented; many more go unreported,' explains Brinkmann. 'It does not cover the ongoing costs and personal distress for those people where a problem is picked up on testing.'
The firm's relentless focus on quality, safety and reliability is one of the reasons that, whether it is assisting with product variation and combination, common development, contract manufacturing, logistics, packaging, sterilisation, private labelling or quality control, B. Braun OEM is the partner of choice for the healthcare sector.
B. Braun supplies the global healthcare market with products for anaesthesia, intensive medicine, cardiology, extra corporeal blood treatment and surgery, as well as services for hospitals, general practitioners and the homecare sector.
Drugs alone do not cure people with illnesses: a holistic approach to patient health care is required, from medical devices and procedures to drug delivery and personal hygiene.
Today, there is a medication for nearly every disease. The pharmaceutical industry develops medicines that are meant to cure a patient. But it is not enough to develop an adequate drug; for a successful therapy, it is important that the steps from production to application are performed correctly and safely.
During the production of pharmaceutical items, quality control throughout the entire process is essential since any variations may have a direct effect on the patient's health and safety. Therefore, production should follow the Good Manufacturing Practice directive.
When it comes to drug application it is essential that the patient is receiving the right drug in the right dosage, that it is applied with the best application system, and that comprehensive hygiene protection measures have been taken. Well-functioning hygiene largely contributes to the success of the treatment. Many studies demonstrate the effects that lack of hygiene have on patients and nursing staff.
The failure of a therapy is often put down to the drug, but this is not always true; often the failure is due to medication errors. In Europe, medication errors harm up to seven of 100 patients in a hospital. As many as four out of 100 patients who need to be admitted to hospital suffer from medication error1. These errors may be related to professional practice, health care products, procedures and systems, including prescribing, order communication, product labelling, packaging, compounding, dispensing, administration, monitoring and use.
Medication errors, infections and therapy failure are most likely preventable by improvement of medication and health care systems, and by medicines designed for safe usage. The pharmaceutical industry can make a contribution by providing safe and exact application devices with their medicine. The solution is working with a reliable outsourcing partner.
B. Braun is an international health care provider with long-term expertise in the production of pharmaceutical and medical products. Based on this expertise, the OEM Division supplies system-built solutions to the pharmaceutical industry.
The product portfolio comprises pharmaceutical solutions, medical devices and products for disinfection and hygiene. Whether provided as standard or customised products, the B. Braun portfolio spans the whole health care value chain and provides high quality and product safety.
B. Braun OEM has expertise in medical sciences, pharmacy, product development, production, law, packaging and logistics. This provides complete outsourcing knowledge to the customers. The OEM project management teams are the experts for individual customer ideas. The principal activities within customer projects are product variation and combination, pharmaceutical contract manufacturing and common development. Along with the additional support such as analytical services, regulatory support and a professional customer and logistic service, B. Braun OEM is able to provide system-built solutions.
Companies in the health care market have a special responsibility for ensuring the best possible patient care and for supporting those who interact with patients. With the expertise of B. Braun, the pharmaceutical industry can provide not only the drug, but also the complete system to apply the drug exactly and safely - therapy safety from bottle to body.
1 The Council of Europe Expert Group on Safe Medication Practices.
B. Braun provides the global health care market with products for anaesthesia, intensive medicine, cardiology, extra corporeal blood treatment and surgery, as well as services for hospitals, general practitioners and the home-care sector. For more information, visit: www.bbraunoem.com