Pharma and HPC Insights 02/2019

May 2019

Challenge Meets Solution: A Stick Pack Success Story

Our clients at Munich-based pharmaceutical company Hermes Arzneimittel pride themselves in delivering healthcare solutions to suit their customers’ lifestyles. Increasingly, that means providing convenient, easy-to-use single-dose packaging for key target groups like the elderly and consumers on the go. But what happens when the promise of convenience doesn’t match the process? Constantia Flexibles rose to the challenge and worked with Hermes to deliver Biolectra magnesium supplements in easy-to-use stick packs.

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There was a time when the average consumer was prepared to fill a glass of water, drop in an effervescent tablet and patiently wait for it to dissolve. Today’s consumers have places to go, people to see, and things to do – and they want to take their medicines and supplements with them. An early adopter of this trend, Hermes Arzneimittel introduced magnesium supplements in single-dose packaging back in 2003 and has continued to drive innovation in drug and supplement delivery systems. They are clearly on the right track, “We are seeing double-digit growth rates for portable single-dose packaging in Germany and abroad,” says Romy Bader, Senior Brand Manager at Hermes, “in the market for our Biolectra magnesium supplements as well as other products.”

In addition to embracing more mobility and convenience, today’s healthcare consumers are considerably more savvy. They are well-informed about OTC remedies and supplements like Biolectra and their benefits for health and well-being. They are also more likely to speak up when they feel a product is not living up to its potential. Over the past few years, it became clear that consumers were having trouble tearing open the laminated paper package of Biolectra stick packs, particularly among the elderly, a key market for magnesium. Hermes, thankfully, has a robust feedback network that is open to opinions expressed directly to Quality Control or via field sales agents and pharmacists. 

Acknowledging that the promise of convenience in the Biolectra single-dose stick pack didn’t live up to the reality, Hermes sprang into action. Romy Bader and her colleagues made a detailed study of the delivery systems being used by competitors and the market in general and ultimately chose PET/aluminum/PE foil stick packs from Constantia Flexibles for the Biolectra range. “It was a collective effort,” says Stefan Fischer, Director Purchasing at Hermes. “The purchasing experts from our plants in Germany and Austria met with Regional Sales Manager Elmar Maus, and we were impressed with the innovative projects at Constantia Flexibles.” 

The new stick packs are currently being phased into the Biolectra line, and the initial response has been very positive – from sales representatives and consumers as well as from the Hermes staff working directly with Constantia Flexibles. “When we recently needed to adapt the label slightly,” Bader reported, “Constantia Flexibles handled everything in a fast, uncomplicated manner.” It seems convenience is a selling point for both suppliers and consumers – especially when the promise lives up to the process.

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