Successful cooperation in practice

Many patients can now alleviate the effects of lung disease even faster thanks to a new kind of inhaler. Boehringer Ingelheim has developed an eco- and patient-friendly system for this purpose and begun mass production in millions of units – supported by Excellence United.

According to Lungeninformationsdienst, a German information service about lung disease, over 330 million people worldwide suffer from asthma and roughly 210 million people live with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a disorder that mainly impairs oxygen exchange in the alveoli. Its symptoms are coughing, shortness of breath and sputum. If the condition continues, patients suffer from constant breathlessness.

Medicines can alleviate these symptoms by being directly inhaled using an inhaler. This improves patients’ breathing, enabling them to be active and enjoy life. One successful example here is Respimat® by Boehringer Ingelheim.
The inhaler is unique because it uses a mechanical pump to generate an aerosol cloud without environmentally harmful propellants and enables the active ingredient to be inhaled into the finest alveoli.

The Respimat® is so popular that Boehringer Ingelheim has now expanded its filling and packaging lines and completely redeveloped the production process with Harro Höfliger. The most important factor here was the specialized technology that Harro Höfliger offers as an expert for special machines.

  • Area for the final assembly of the inhalers

    Final assembly of Respimat® inhalers.

  • Quality assurance by means of operability tests on the device

    Quality assurance by means of operability tests on the device.

A production process consisting of six steps

Boehringer Ingelheim needed a partner that could provide the necessary human resources capacity for development and handling. “We didn’t want to buy machines, but processes,” explains Gerald Mathe, Head of Process Management Bulk Production at Boehringer Ingelheim. “So we developed specialized solutions with Harro Höfliger in the field of aseptic filling technology, for sealing and in the field of innovative drawing and crimping processes,” says Mathe.

Together they developed a production process consisting of six steps. First, the cartridges are filled with active pharmaceutical ingredients in a sterile environment. This involves enclosing a sealed reservoir in an aluminum case. The cover and case are crimped and then checked. It is only then that the cartridge and the inhaler are labeled. After the final assembly of the inhaler, the components are packaged and then sold worldwide.



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