Ace Pharmaceuticals: Big in smaller volumes

It has been an exciting time for Ace Pharmaceuticals in Zeewolde. Within the period of one and a half year, they substantially expanded their business premises, workforce and brand products. ‘We, both staff and machinery, have been fully operational since 1 January 2020 to respond to the specific needs of pharmacists and patients even better than before,’ says Purchase & Warehouse Manager Eric Morel.

Ace Pharmaceuticals has grown because of the production of smaller volumes of registered and unregistered drugs. On the one hand, the pharmaceutical company fulfils the necessary medical needs of a small patient group. And on the other, they meet the specific demand of more than 750 (and a growing number of) pharmacies through the preparations they supply.

Unique: Everything in-house

’That’s our strength,’ says Eric. ‘We produce volumes that are of no interest to the large pharmaceutical companies but respond very directly and specifically to the needs of a small patient group or pharmacy. We do everything ourselves; from research, development, registration and production to analysis and sales. This makes us unique in the Netherlands.’

Eric shares how Ace Pharmaceuticals recently took a big leap forward. ”Our factory grew 2.5 times in size and our workforce increased from 70 to 150 employees. This substantial growth resulted in the development of more than three hundred new products and yes … they all had to be provided with labels, folding boxes and leaflets. Thankfully De Budelse, supplier par excellence, immediately offered their help.”

Strong in appearance

How does it work if you have to provide such an extensive, new range with packaging and leaflets in a relatively short time? “In consultation with De Budelse we’ve devised a system for this,” Eric replies. ‘We work on the basis of an artwork and text format. Much was achieved in a short period of time and under great pressure. Partly thanks to the flexibility of De Budelse. Everything was available before 1 January.’

We produce volumes that are of no interest to the large pharmaceutical companies.

Eric acknowledges that De Budelse contributes to the strength of Ace Pharmaceuticals. ‘Their advice on the materials to be used, the finishing and layout have led to sound packaging that not only makes a strong and professional impression but also looks good. They shared their thoughts and ideas with us and it was that type of empathy that helped them translate our wishes into excellent packaging.‘

Ace Pharmaceuticals is GMP certified as is the case with De Budelse.

This means, for example, that the pharmaceutical company continuously submits new product information for packaging and leaflets. In its turn, De Budelse takes care of the incoming inspection: Once the leaflets have been printed and folded, one example of each print run is checked in detail by a special scanner. This to ensure that everything is 100% in accordance with the information provided.

What happens now?

Is Ace Pharmaceuticals also going to use De Budelse’s showpiece where the reduction of stock is concerned? Eric laughs. ‘That’s the next phase. We will investigate as to how we can organise our order and stock control more efficiently in the future. For the time being, we’re just going to let the dust settle on all the frenzy, the expansion and changes. It was an exciting period.’

Cardboard showing your best side

Also for food supplements, herbs and food

It can be done; replacing plastic with cardboard. De Budelse is developing a process that will make cardboard airtight as well as moisture resistant and greaseproof. To be used for food-safe applications or as eco-friendly packaging for food supplements, food, (dried) herbs and the like. In collaboration with a number of partners, this cardboard packaging is currently being tested in various sectors. The first results are promising.

Moisture resistant and greaseproof cardboard is an excellent, versatile and food-safe alternative to plastic. You can use it at various levels for many products. It prevents the loss of moisture so that moist foods such as pak choi, snack cucumbers or fruit retain their flavour and texture. But did you know that this type of cardboard is also a perfect, eco-friendly packaging solution for food supplements, pet food and herbs?

Cardboard blisters, pouches and sample packs

De Budelse is currently testing the first moisture resistant and greaseproof packaging in collaboration with a number of partners from the food supplement and food industry. It is being tested as to whether the cardboard is sufficiently moisture resistant and whether the packet is glued airtight. This is where the biggest challenge lies; in gluing the boxes in such a way that it results in a sealed, airtight packaging. 

The cardboard test packs are alternatives to plastic blisters, pouches, pots, bowls and trays for various types of food supplements as well as human and animal food.

A great example would be Tenetrio; a German distributor of pet food. They asked for an environmentally-friendly packaging to be used in the distribution of cat and dog food sample packs. De Budelse got to work and developed special moisture resistant and greaseproof cardboard gondola boxes. Tenetrio’s reaction was overwhelming.

As a result, they further reshaped their ecological vision and (as the first customer of De Budelse!) replaced all plastic in the sample packs with greaseproof cardboard.

Fully compostable

Once the test results from the food supplement industry are positive, De Budelse aims to replace all plastic with environmentally friendly moisture resistant and greaseproof cardboard that carries a composting at industrial and consumer level certificate. After use, this type of cardboard composts in a completely natural way, for example in the vegetable garden.

A few more facts; all packaging materials, including the moisture resistant and greaseproof cardboard, are processed by De Budelse in a food-safe manner and according to BRC guidelines. Moreover, as there are no limitations in design and creativity each product can be given an attractive appearance while leaving an eco-friendly footprint showing your best side on all levels.