The Syensqo company, comprising the solutions, activities and markets represented in the article below, was spun off from Solvay group in December 2023.
Diofan® insulates pharmaceuticals from what could harm them
Labels on medicine packages often say “keep away from moisture”; but do you know why? Because the active molecules contained in pharmaceutical drugs tend to be sensitive to moisture – and often to oxygen as well. Protecting those molecules from both of these elements is therefore crucial to ensure that the pills we take will have the full effect they’re designed to. That’s why pharmaceutical companies are increasingly equipping their packaging with the only thing that provides a 100% reliable protective solution: high barrier films.
Ultra protective pharma packaging
High barrier films provide such protection by being applied on the plastic blisters of pharma packaging. Diofan® Super B is Solvay’s high barrier polymer that comes as a liquid, used to coat the film that’s ultimately part of the blister pack manufacturing process. Only it’s more than a high barrier; it’s an ultra-barrier: Diofan products are the only ones on the market that provide protection against both moisture and oxygen. “That makes them unique,” says Bernard Goffaux, Business Line Manager for High Barrier Polymers at Solvay. “Plus, it reduces cost and complexity for pharma packaging manufacturers compared to other polymeric barrier solutions, because they don’t need to combine several polymers in order to achieve full protection.”
That being said, this is a versatile product that can be applied in several superimposed coats if needed. “With Diofan®, you can basically achieve customized barrier protection according to the molecule you’re looking to protect,” sums up Bernard. This aspect is useful to adapt pharma packaging design to different climatic zones, for example.
Also, and even more importantly, by keeping drugs from being affected by air and water, Diofan® plays a crucial role in protecting their efficacy - particularly in the case of treatments for acute or chronic illnesses. “If in contact with moisture, and increasingly with oxygen too, the active molecules contained in medicines can lose their potency,” explains Bernard. “The protection Diofan® provides makes sure patients get the benefits for which the molecules were developed. In this way, we indirectly contribute to saving many lives.”
The protection Diofan® provides makes sure patients get the benefits for which pharmaceutical molecules were developed, therefore indirectly contributing to saving many lives.
Look inside your medicine cabinet
It is estimated that among all the materials used for the packaging of pharmaceutical products in the world, one in four blisters employ Diofan®. “We’re talking billions of blisters as they are essentially in everyone’s medicine cabinet,” says Bernard.
Beyond that, pharmaceuticals today are increasingly sensitive to moisture and oxygen because their actives are more and more frequently bio-based: naturally-derived molecules are less resistant than synthetic ones. Diofan® therefore helps the pharmaceutical industry answer a market trend towards more naturalness that concerns medicines as much as other domains such as food and personal care products.
But that’s not all…
Pharma packaging solution providers appreciate a few other benefits of using Diofan®. For example, it helps them make the switch to unit blister protection (which, in addition to better protection, offers many advantages in terms of safety and intake monitoring compared to pills in a bottle), and it does so while allowing transparency and optimal blister size (as opposed to aluminium-based packaging). All of this helps make certain that the drug is insulated from the outside world as effectively as possible until it’s time for the patient to ingest it.
With ultra-high polymer barriers, along with other materials and solutions for long-term implants, medical devices or hemodialysis membranes, Solvay is part of the fight for a brighter, healthier, tomorrow.