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Premiere at PDA: Prefilled Syringes with RFID-Labels

Pharma label expert Schreiner MediPharm and SCHOTT Pharma, the specialist in drug containment and delivery solutions for medications, have been engaged in a partnership for several years. Its objective is to develop new smart concepts that add functional value to prefilled syringes. At the PDA Universe of Pre-Filled Syringes and Injection Devices Conference in California, both companies have now for the first time presented a coordinated, newly developed solution to equip prefilled syringes with RFID. The combination of syringe and smart label opens up diverse opportunities to optimize hospital routines, among other things. 

The partnership between Schreiner MediPharm and SCHOTT Pharma has previously been focused primarily on equipping COC syringes with analog functional labels. Now the two pharmaceutical packaging experts are digitizing prefilled syringes. What makes the new RFID-Labels special is the combination of marking the syringe with its unique, digital identity. This enables optimized processes in hospital inventory management and patient care and documentation as well as the identification of a medication and a medical device. In addition, digital first-opening indication to protect the integrity of the syringe is possible.  

To successfully implement this innovation and to ensure impeccable RFID functionality in terms of good performance and adequate range, various characteristics of the prefilled syringe must be considered. Aside from the material such as COC, PP, or glass, which can affect range and trouble-free reading of the tag, syringe size and diameter play a decisive role: The smaller the syringe the less space for product marking and integration of the RFID chip. Plus, the smaller the tag the shorter usually its read range. In addition, the curvature may affect performance, especially in the case of small syringe diameters.  

The dielectric properties of the medications contained in the syringe play a role as well. Especially water-based active ingredients have a negative impact on the radio transmission performance of a tag. This requires precise positioning of the RFID-Label and integrated inlay according to the liquid and fill level. Additionally, special data standards for identification and tracking on unit level such as UnitVisID or GS1 must be considered, which enable all relevant stakeholders to interpret and use the data, as well as integration in the respective infrastructure.
Schreiner MediPharm and SCHOTT Pharma adapt the solution to the customer’s specific requirements to ensure optimal functionality from production to final use. This helps enhance product safety and avoid potential medication errors.  
The new solution from Schreiner MediPharm and SCHOTT Pharma was presented for the first time at the “PDA Universe of Pre-filled Syringes and Injection Devices Conference” from October 18 to 19, 2022 in the United States. Arne Rehm, Senior Product Manager RFID/NFC Solutions at Schreiner MediPharm, and Tom van Ginneken, Head of Global Product Management for SCHOTT TOPPAC®, delivered a joint presentation under the motto “Making Pre-filled Syringes Smart” at the event.