Sterilization Packaging Council Meets
FPA’s Sterilization Packaging Manufacturers Council (SPMC) Executive Committee met in New York for its annual meeting on June 13, 2019. In addition to reviewing the progress made last year, the group focused on developing a plan for 2020 and beyond. The Executive Council consists of senior level executives from SPMC member companies including Technical and Marketing Committee chairs. The meeting opened with the antitrust reminder, self-introductions, and minutes of the previous meeting were reviewed and approved as written.
Following are the highlights of the meeting:
SPMC Technical Committee
Over the past year, in addition to other activities, the SPMC Technical Committee members have continued to participate in the important work of standards development with ASTM International and the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI). The group made significant contributions in revising ISO 11607 – Parts 1 & 2, a principal document for the packaging of terminally sterilized medical devices, setting out requirements for materials, design, and packaging process validation.
The committee also followed up on last year’s decision to develop “White Papers” on topics of interest to the medical device sterile packaging industry. Seal integrity and gels in packaging substrates were two subject areas in which white papers were completed. On September 11, 2019, the SPMC will conduct an hour-long webinar based on these white papers. PMPNews will host the webinar. These documents, to be used as technical reference guides by the industry, will be posted on the SPMC website, www.sterilizationpackaging.org, immediately after the webinar.
SPMC Marketing Committee
After last year’s Executive Council meeting, all member companies were surveyed to find out their views on the SPMC in order to form a communications strategy for the future. The survey results showed consistent themes throughout the responses that included collaboration, integrity, leadership, innovation, education, and protection of public interests and health when discussing the value of the SPMC. These themes will be used in updating the SPMC mission, which will feed into the communications strategic plan.
Members discussed potential future activities that included sponsoring a booth at MDM and HealthPack, outreach/educational panels at industry events, increased social media presence, and establishing a National Sterile Packaging Day to share new initiatives.
A redesigned website is scheduled to go live later this year. The new website features full-screen graphics and the responsive design is optimized for smartphone and tablet use. It features an engaging interactive design, an expanded and dynamic members only area, as well as easy access to online technical assistance.
Brainstorming on the Future Mission of SPMC
A task group was created at the meeting to update the SPMC mission as well as those of the Technical and Marketing Committees to better reflect the work currently being done and the strategic direction for the future. A change to the meeting schedule was also approved, whereby the Executive Council will meet two times a year and conduct a WebEx meeting to go over the annual Benchmarking Report. The suggested dates to meet are September/October 2019 in Chicago, IL, and MDM West in Anaheim, CA, in January/February 2020 timeframe.
The meeting concluded with the presentation of the annual Benchmarking Report, which provides an update on the industry based on SPMC members’ input.
FPA announced the results of the bi-annual elections held for the Executive, Marketing, and Technical Committee Chair positions. Dhuanne Dodrill, CEO, PAXXUS, Inc., was elected as the Executive Committee Chair; Don Alip, Senior Products Manager, Amcor Flexibles, was elected as the Marketing Committee Chair; and Henk Blom, VP Research/Technology PAXXUS, Inc., was elected as the Technical Committee Chair.
Members of the SPMC include Amcor Flexibles (which represents both Amcor and Bemis as a result of the merger); Beacon Converters, Inc.; PPC Flexible Packaging – Precision Clean Healthcare Packaging; Printpack Medical; PAXXUS – Global Flexible Healthcare Packaging; and Technipaq, Inc.
Sterilization Packaging Manufacturers Council
Formed in 1994 as a council of the Flexible Packaging Association, the Sterilization Packaging Manufacturers Council (SPMC) specializes in packaging for the medical device industry and is comprised of members of the Flexible Packaging Association. SPMC focuses on the unique requirements for sterilization packaging and is actively engaged in the development of test methods and guidance documents for medical packaging that can be adopted by FPA and subsequently by ASTM International. For more information about SPMC, please visit www.sterilizationpackaging.org.