Prefilled syringes: An innovation in parenteral packaging

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Update time : 2015-03-11 21:17:08

There are over 20 pharmaceutical companies manufacturing prefilled syringes as preferred delivery device for at least 50 injectables drugs and vaccines that have total combined annual sales of approx. US $500. Prefilled syringes are now used across a wide array of therapeutics sectors outside of the traditional domains of anticoagulants and vaccines. The use of prefilled syringes is expected to accelerate over the coming decades. For the pharmaceutical company, the advantages of prefilled syringes are minimizing drug waste; increasing product life span and enhancing level of market share are some of driving market demand. For healthcare workers, prefilled syringes are recognized as an efficient, reliable and convenient method for drug administration. Furthermore, the ease at which patient can self-administer many types of injectables drugs make prefilled syringes of healthcare treatment out of hospital and into home. So, in future emerging challenge in the pharmaceutical market for prefilled syringes will be there. This broad acceptance of prefilled syringes is not surprising because of the range of compelling benefits including simplicity, suitability for home use, reduction in wasted products, and greater dose precision. Prefilled are convenient and help ease the administration process. Patient does not have to worry about the transfer of a drug from a vial to a syringe and therefore do not have to worry about leaving a small percentage of dose behind.

Prefilled provide greater patient safety by reducing the potential for inadvertent needle sticks and exposure to toxic products that can occur while drawing medication from vials. Prefilled syringes, with their pre measures dosage, can reduce dosing errors and increase patient compliance. Prefilled syringes can virtually reduce the manufactures need to overfill unlike vials those are overfill by as much 20-30% to account for potential waste. This is particularly important where manufacturing and product costs are high and bulk manufacturing capacity is low. Overall, this compilation of paper is not covering energy aspects of the field of prefilled syringes, but aims to provide the reader with a better understanding of this dynamically growing field of parenteral application system. Prefilled Syringes assures delivery of particulate free solution and accommodate volumes that typically range from 0.25 to 5.0 ml. They are therefore best suited to products administered by subcutaneous or intramuscular injection. Three categories account for the bulk of PFS: anti-thrombotics, vaccines, and biotech drugs.

Prefilled syringe cartridges are designed to fit into syringes, which are used to administer various fluid medications. These are used in the position of standard syringes, which practitioners must fill manually before each does is administered. The first prefilled syringe cartridges were made of polypropylene. The advantages of prefilled syringe cartridges are their convenience, affordability, accuracy, sterility, and safety.


During an emergency (an allergic reaction), filling of standard syringes can be a time-consuming and complicated process, so that requires a quick injection syringes. Prefilled syringe cartridges can save time, and sequentially save lives. Prefilled cartridges allow injections to be administered more quickly specially in a busy hospital. They can diminish overcrowding in emergency rooms and other treatment areas.[]


Standard syringes feature cylindrical glass barrels and tightly fitting glass rods, which are much more expensive to manufacture in comparison to plastic-base prefilled cartridges and their corresponding syringes. Additionally, prefilled cartridges are much less prone to crack or break in comparison to their standard, glass counterparts.


Prefilled syringe cartridges assure that patients receive accurate dosages. This is especially advantageous for patients who need to self-inject medication, but have no medical training. According to, with standard syringes it is possible to overfill (or under fill) the barrel, which could negatively impact the efficacy of the treatment.


Once a standard syringe is filled with a medication, it will remain optimally effective, or sterile, for approximately 12 hours. In comparison, a medication stored inside of a prefilled syringe cartridge will remain sterile for approximately two to three years (this is also referred to as a “shelf life” of two to three years).


Prefilled syringe have a high level of accuracy, which makes them safer to use. Some cartridges are designed to fit into self-aspirating syringes, which essentially pierce the skin and inject medications without having to push on a plunger. This ensures that injections reach the appropriate depth, and that dosages are administered smoothly.

Medical advantages

Healthcare professionals benefit from accurate, pre-measured doses, reduced dosing and medication errors, and reduced risk of microbial contamination. Prefills are convenient for emergency use and have potential for duplicate peel-off labels, which facilitate patient charting. Single-use prefilled syringes typically do not require preservatives. In fact, in studies conducted recently, nine out of ten healthcare professionals preferred prefills to conventional needles and syringes.

Manufacturing advantages

Another key advantage is that prefills require less overfill. For example, for a 0.5 ml vial, the USP recommends 20-25% overfill. In contrast, for a 0.5 ml, required overfills is less than 2%. As a result, potentially 18-23% more doses can be produced. Simple and flexible processing formats make prefills easier to incorporate into a pharmaceutical company manufacturing line.

Marketing advantages

Not only do healthcare providers prefer prefills, but healthcare products are also accepted and well known globally. Products can be found in virtually every hospital in the US and overseas. This real-time exposure gives us a unique opportunity to develop products for customers that will be well accepted by their ultimate recipients – end-users, doctors, and other healthcare professionals.

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