healthcare packaging manufacturing
Pharmaceutical & healthcare packaging manufacturing
Pharma industry

Pharmaceutical & healthcare packaging manufacturing

The primary function of medical packaging is to protect the pharmaceutical products and to ensure that is stored correctly. It also plays an essential role as an information medium (labelling, leaflet) to promote patient compliance and help fighting against medication errors. The choice of primary and secondary packaging is therefore a real strategic driver for pharmaceutical companies.

Various types of primary packaging

There is a lot of packaging solutions for medical products:

  • Blister packs are commonly used for tablets, capsules…
  • Sterile packaging, like pouches or wrappers, ensure drugs and medical devices safety
  • Vials and bottles can contain liquid, solid or powder dosage form
  • Syringes
  • Ampoules are small containers used for liquid formulations

The most common packaging materials are glass, plastics (flexible or rigid plastic), paperboard and metal (aluminium). Selecting the right packaging solution and material depends on different factors such as:

  • Compatibility of the formulation with the packaging material
  • Degree of protection required for the product
  • Dosage
  • Convenience for the patient
  • Cost and method of filling

Focus on ampoules: a quality primary liquid packaging

The ampoule is a perfectly sealed packaging which offers many advantages for drugs manufacturers.

The double-tip ampoule is perfectly hermetic and ensures the product’s stability and safety. Made of pharmaceutical glass, this protective packaging is highly resistant to high temperatures and to most chemicals. As an inert and non-polluting component, glass prevents the transfer of particles between the container and its content. It is also infinitely recyclable. Thus, glass packaging is considered less toxic than metal or plastic packaging.

Double-tip ampoules are an economical solution with a very competitive filling cost thanks to a vacuum suction process invented by SFAM. They are autoclavable which allows sterilization after filling and sealing.

As a unit-dose packaging, drinkable ampoule facilitates compliance with treatment by ensuring that the correct doses are taken and guarantees use without risk of contamination.

Initially intended for drinkable healthcare products, double-tip ampoules are now available in various sectors of activity such as food supplements, nutri-cosmetics, veterinary products and other industries.

SFAM, a leading glass packaging manufacturer

Packaging production can include different processes from extrusion to injection molding, blow molding or glass molding.

For more than 70 years, we have specialized in the manufacture of double-tip ampoules. The filling and heat-sealing processes are conducted by our customers.

Our ampoules are created from ILLAX® (Type III) or FIOLAX® (Type I) glass tubing. Those tubes are molded into double-tip ampoules on our automated production lines.

First, the carousels are filled with glass tubes. The burners shape the ampoule from tip to tip and heat-seal one side. The ampoules can then be printed according to customers’ request. Our silk-screening process only uses colours without heavy metals that are resistant to chemicals and solutions. The next step of the process is the vitrification.

Finally, the Double Ring Break is applied. DRB process was invented and patented by SFAM. It pre-determines the breaking point which considerably reduces the risk of glass particles being released on opening the ampoule.

The ampoules are packed on plastic boxes, stacked on pallets and delivered to customers in the pharmaceutical industry filling and heat-sealing.

To reduce our environmental-impact, and our customers’, the plastics trays are reusable: they can be collected and recycled.

We meet all the pharmaceutical packaging manufacturing requirements. Every single ampoule we manufacture is subject to quality-control and is automatically and visually checked. In addition to this, the typical statistical checks are carried out to ensure the highest level of quality. We are also certified ISO 15378 and ISO 9001.

To meet the specific demands of our customers, we carry out feasibility studies.


Poitou P. The role of the packaging in terms of safety and good use of medicines. Ann Pharm Fr. 2003;61(5):300-3. French. PMID: 13130287.

Pharmaceutical Guidelines: – How to Make the Right Choice of Packaging Materials

Pharmaceutical Online – Packaging Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) For Medicinal Products: