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THE PHARMA REVIEW (MAY 2009)

Adverse Effects of Uncontrolled Humidity on the Packaging in
Pharma Industry

Dinesh Gupta and Manoj Bhatia

The Indian drug and pharmaceutical industry is seeing a rapid advancement in technology, and manufacturing processes with the transition from process research to discovering new products. Today, not only has it achieved global recognition as a “low cost producer of quality bulk drugs and formulations”; leading Indian companies have also established marketing and manufacturing activities in over 60 countries including USA and Western Europe.
 
However the more modern the pharmaceutical processes, the more stringent is the demand for a higher control of many parameters to ensure a quality final product with long shelf life. In this article, we will be focusing on two of the major parameters:
 
a) Adverse effects of humidity and the most effective ways to control humidity.
Humidity/moisture is a constant threat to production efficiency and product quality. Moisture causes problems like disintegration of tablets, decomposition of formulations, lumping, caking and agglomeration of chemical compounds, uneven coating on tablets, inability to compress tablets, retarded growth in organic cultures and a shorter shelf life to name just a few.
 
b) Need to treat fresh air in processing areas to ensure proper ventilation to maintain IAQ (Indoor Air Quality).
Large quantities of “conditioned” fresh air is needed for ventilation as well as process needs in many areas of pharmaceutical production. Since these areas are very large, conditioning such large volumes of air results in very high-energy cost. The cost effective solution is to use equipment to recover substantial part of energy from exhaust air to keep energy costs down as well as cater to the fresh air needs.

 
Thus, control of humidity as well as adequate conditioned fresh air becomes imperative for the Pharmaceutical Industry. 

 

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