Better integration of device development in the Pharma industry called for at the 2nd DDC Summit

Published on: 3rd May 2018

The thoughts of Matthew Jones of DCA’s Medical Sector team on the 2nd Drug/Device Combination Products Summit in Vienna on 19th – 20th April 2018.

The number of delegates at this young conference more than doubled the organiser’s expectations.  That alone is a big clue to one of the key themes drawn out in a number of papers: the importance and presence of drug/device combination products in the pharma landscape is increasing at an incredible rate.

Another key theme was that drug delivery systems are increasing in complexity, driven by the need to deliver new features, such as digital monitoring, and new formats and types of medication, such as biologics, gene therapies, controlled release formulations, etc.

The conclusion drawn was that pharma businesses can no longer look at devices just as packaging for their ‘real’ product.  A step change is required in the level of integration of device development throughout these companies, from the top to the bottom.

The two-day programme featured some really good papers, but it was the level of engagement of the delegates during the question and answer sessions that stood the conference apart from many others.  It seemed that many of the delegates had some very real and very specific challenges related to drug/device combination product developments and they needed advice from those in the group that had a track record of getting these products to market.