From vials to pre-filled syringes, the success factors in the development of subcutaneous injection formulations compared to intravenous injections.

LT-SJJ100Prefilled Syringe Rotary Bar Machine (9)

Compared to vials, pre-filled syringes (PFS) are becoming the preferred choice for new injectable biopharmaceuticals. In comparison to single-dose and multi-dose vial packaging, PFS is the ideal choice for subcutaneous injection. Subcutaneous injections typically result in less pain than intravenous (IV) administration, mainly because they require fewer preparation steps. Therefore, using PFS for drug administration benefits both healthcare professionals and patients, especially in the treatment of chronic diseases that require long-term drug administration.

By transitioning from IV administration based on vials to subcutaneous administration based on PFS, the burden and risk of medical errors for healthcare professionals can be reduced, while improving patients’ quality of life. However, there are still many challenges in transitioning from vials to PFS and from infusion to subcutaneous injections.

From Intravenous to Subcutaneous Injection

Intravenous administration involves delivering drugs directly into the patient’s bloodstream and is the default and fastest method of injection. For certain drugs, intravenous administration remains the primary route of administration. However, subcutaneous administration offers a healthier and more cost-effective injection option, benefiting patient safety and comfort.

For instance, in hospitals or clinics, intravenous drug administration often requires healthcare resources and time, as well as leads to drug wastage due to overfilling. Additionally, intravenous administration adds inconvenience to patients, requiring long infusion times and travel to healthcare facilities. Switching to subcutaneous injection can simplify complex therapies as it offers faster administration, a relatively easier administration method, and potential for self-administration. These factors make subcutaneous administration more favorable compared to intravenous administration in many aspects, including compliance and quality of life, as patients experience more convenience, fewer visits, and less pain.


Advantages of Pre-filled Syringes (PFS)

Over the past two decades, there has been a growing adoption of pre-filled syringes (PFS) for approved drugs. In fact, many biopharmaceuticals, especially monoclonal antibodies, tend to use PFS for drug administration. The general consensus from clinical experience is that switching to pre-filled syringes helps reduce the steps required for preparation, potentially lowering the risk of medical errors and microbial contamination by healthcare professionals.


Furthermore, the use of PFS allows better patient adherence to treatment, particularly for chronic diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis, while also helping to reduce overall treatment costs. PFS ensures accurate drug doses for individual patients, avoiding drug loss and wastage, which is crucial for cost control of expensive medications and increasing the yield of PFS units per batch of raw materials.