Oliver Healthcare Packaging to play an important role in patient safety and provide customers with the best material designs, a broad selection of products, and good technical support when launching their devices in the market.

01 October 2021 | Friday | Influencers

Dr. Aldin Velic is the General Manager, Southeast Asia for Oliver Healthcare Packaging – based in Singapore. Dr. Velic and his team look after customers in Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia, Australia, and New Zealand – within the Biologics, Pharmaceutical and Medical Device segments. In a conversation with BioPharma APAC , Dr. Aldin Velic sharing more details on the developments during COVID-19
 Dr. Aldin Velic  General Manager, Southeast Asia  Oliver Healthcare Packaging

Dr. Aldin Velic General Manager, Southeast Asia Oliver Healthcare Packaging


  1. What strategic changes have you brought about within the business due to COVID-19?


Oliver Healthcare Packaging (Oliver) focuses on the development of materials, specifically sterile barrier systems in the medical device, diagnostics, and pharmaceutical industries. Implications of Covid-19 have really affected our priorities – by shifting our capacity, production, and technical support from primarily new product launches for implants and other high-end medical devices, to protective equipment, diagnostics packaging, and products used in the later stages of Covid-19 testing and vaccination.


For Oliver, pre-fillable syringes are an area where we provide tremendous support to a large number of customers. Our coating technologies provide customers with low particulate, meeting some of the highest standards while being able to survive various sterilization modalities. During Covid-19, when vaccine manufacturing and ramp-up of capacity became critical to combating the virus, we shifted a large portion of our focus to ensure we were providing adequate technical knowhow and support to our customer base.


We have large technical centers across the world, so within each region – dependent on the regional regulating bodies – our technical teams leverage decades of material science to provide customers with the necessary regulatory expertise as it pertains to medical packaging. Strategically adjusting for these realities and emphasizing our technical team to support vaccine manufacturing has been an integral part of the development and distribution of devices that help mitigate the risks associated with Covid-19.


  1. What are the major plans/launches/investments in store for 2022?


Oliver is highly committed to the healthcare market; and in order to keep up with changing and stringent regulatory requirements for the various industries we serve, we continuously invest in all of our regions. 2022 is shaping up to be a large year for us in terms of expansion. In some cases, similar to the investments we’ve made over the past few years, we have expansion planned for our manufacturing sites and technical centers, and are continuing to hire aggressively to keep up with growing demands.


  1. Are you exploring new markets/regions as a part of your growth plan?


We’re committed to staying within the healthcare market. The product development and manufacturing processes we utilize  in the technical design and material selection process are all done with the healthcare market in mind. Many of our large competitors are in the food or automotive industries and we believe this takes focus away from what our customers consider to be of most importance. All of our global manufacturing sites are ISO-13458 compliant. Holding our operation to such stringent requirements and following Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) ensures that we supply our customers with the highest quality and best performing materials, while keeping patient safety in mind.



  1. What new/unique trends do you foresee within the healthcare packaging space in the coming years?


Healthcare packaging is evolving much faster in developing nations than it is in developed countries such as the United States. Themes such as sustainability are more profound in the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, and most of Europe. In other parts of the world, we are seeing different trends taking place. For example, in Malaysia, Vietnam, and Thailand, we see a much larger emphasis emerging in ensuring the sterile barrier remains in-tact from manufacturing, and throughout sterilization, distribution and storage. Even four years ago when I came to Singapore to establish our Asia-Pacific headquarters, we were already working with many of the multi-nationals that we were serving in this region. Over the past four years, we’ve seen customer thinking evolve; previously the focus was primarily on cost, now the focus is on meeting strict Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requirements and improving patient safety—all while meeting cost targets.


Many of the changes that are taking shape in some parts of Asia are due to the fact that medical device manufacturers understand the demographics of the Asia market and future opportunities. An aging population, with growing access to healthcare services, has poised this market for tremendous growth in the coming years. Working with a company like Oliver ensures customers that they utilize time-tested materials, which have a proven track record of minimizing risks and getting products to market faster.


The reduction of material waste, usage in hospitals, and general costs are all tied to the sustainability initiatives many multinational healthcare companies are now pursuing. The challenge with the sustainability trend is a bit more complex in the healthcare space, as risk to patient safety comes first. Bio-contaminated products cannot be recycled and are typically incinerated post-surgery. Oliver acquired CleanCut technologies and has since then been able to provide customers with materials and design that effectively reduce waste while, in many cases, improving patient safety.


The demographics of the markets in which we serve customers, along with the technologies we develop in-house or through acquisition, are only a few of the emerging trends that we are working to address and serve our customer base with.




  1. How is the medical device & diagnostic market evolving in ASIA post-pandemic?

Though parts of Europe and much of the United States seem to be in a state of post-pandemic, much of Asia is still under very strict lockdown going into October. We have seen an evolution in the medical device and diagnostics markets in terms of product launches and new product development initiatives; but there are still large markets, such as Japan and Korea, where much of what we saw pre-Covid has yet to really come back. There are really a few elements that have evolved during Covid-19 and we’ve yet to see which parts of the broader healthcare market are going to stay and which ones are transitory.


We see a larger emphasis on localized vaccine manufacturing and production within countries that did not necessarily focus on such segments before. One example would be Korea. Samsung Biologics is making billion-dollar investments in order to develop their own vaccine manufacturing and storage operation near Seoul. We have also observed governments making initiatives to attract foreign direct investments when they don’t have their own local companies. Throughout the Asia region, we see developments for diagnostics, both invasive and less invasive, more automated testing, as well as a vaccine manufacturing and expansions.


In conclusion, the market has evolved and is changing considerably. Not all of the changes can be attributed to Covid-19; and some of the changes that we are observing in the industry have been accelerated due to the pandemic. For Oliver, many of the investments we have made and are making are ensuring we provide adequate supply, technical support, and good quality to our customers. Our goal is to play an important role in patient safety and provide customers with the best material designs, a broad selection of products, and good technical support when launching their devices in the market.




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