Blow-Fill-Seal has several potential cost advantages over traditional pharmaceutical filling lines both in the upstream fill and finish phase and the downstream transportation and delivery phase.
There are several notable areas for potential cost advantages in the upstream manufacturing phase.
The first is overhead. BFS requires a compact manufacturing footprint of as little as 5,000 sq ft for the filling suite. This, in part, results in less demand on the HVAC. And when combined with generally lower upfront capital expenditure on installing a BFS line as compared to a glass line of similar output capabilities, BFS has a favorable operating cost profile.
The second area of potential cost advantage is materials. BFS has only one primary manufacturing material – pharmaceutical-grade resin – which is relatively low-cost when compared to the acquisition, storage, testing, and sterilization of glass vials and ampoules.
BFS processes are also highly productive with yields generally in the upper 90% level meaning low wastage through rejects.
The last notable area of potential cost advantage for BFS during manufacturing is labor. A rotary BFS machine typically only needs two operators. One of those operators helps to prepare the next batch and enable a fast turnaround.
Downstream there are also additional potential cost advantages on a per-dose basis.
This includes potentially lower transportation costs due to the considerably lighter weight of the primary packaging on a unit-dose basis.
Second, single-dose formats typically have significantly lower wastage from unused or expired drug product as compared to multi-dose formats.
And third, BFS is breakage resistant at non-frozen temperatures, which supports reduced loss of product in transit.
There are other potential cost advantages depending on the drug product and scenario, but the cost advantages previously mentioned are more universal and easier to experience across BFS-approved drug products and markets.