Alexa Jones Healthcare Group — A global provider of advanced packaging and medication dispensing solutions
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50 Most Innovative Companies to Watch 2021

Jones Healthcare Group — A global provider of advanced packaging and medication dispensing solutions

Jones Healthcare Group — A global provider of advanced packaging and medication dispensing solutions

Packaging in the healthcare industry is essential as it protects products from physical, chemical, and biological damage, ensuring safety and efficacy for a patient or consumer. Packaging is also an important conduit between manufacturers and patients or consumers, communicating critical usage and brand information, so users can make informed decisions about their health. The healthcare packaging business is one of the most complex verticals, since it requires utmost care maintaining high regulatory and quality standards.

Jones Healthcare Group is a global provider of advanced packaging and medication dispensing solutions. Over 100 years in business has led it to trusted partnerships, deep industry and product knowledge, and expertise across health sectors that uniquely position the company as a leader in integrated regulated packaging products and services.

The company’s origin 

The roots of Jones Healthcare Group started in 1882 when Henry J. Jones and Frank Lawson created Lawson & Jones Inc. to provide apothecary packaging to pharmacists. Henry Jones then established Jones Box and Label in 1920 to expand into the pharmaceutical market, launching the Jones Healthcare Group known today.

Over the last century, Jones Healthcare has specialized in regulated packaging across healthcare sectors, while responding to evolving market needs. This has led the company to launch a series of “market firsts,” from introducing the first child safety vial to the Canadian pharmacy market to co-developing the first multi-medication blister card to help patients take the right medications at the right time. Today, with an eye on innovation, the company is at the forefront of the growing digital packaging revolution.

The industry-leading packaging solution — CpaX™

Jones Healthcare was the first to successfully integrate and verify dual-sensing Near-Field Communications (NFC) tags – the same ones used in debit and credit cards – for folding cartons on high-speed production lines, allowing its clients to produce smart, connected packaging at scale. This portfolio offering, known as CpaX™ connected packaging, includes cartons, labels, and medication adherence packaging enabled with NFC tags, which allow consumers and patients to engage with packaging via their smartphones.

This leading-edge packaging allows health brands and pharmacies to become their own medium by directly connecting to consumers and patients. CpaX delivers unlimited potential in data, creative and measurement, with a unique opportunity to improve consumer wellness and engagement as smart packaging comes to life. It can also support robust inventory management programs, anti-counterfeiting, and grey market diversion.

As a Tier 1 partner of the National Research Council of Canada’s Printed Electronics Consortium, Jones Healthcare developed transmitting printed electronics technology to support monitored medication adherence packaging currently in market trials. The company’s connected packaging development to date has earned Jones Healthcare multiple innovation awards from the intelliFLEX Innovation Alliance and PAC Packaging Consortium.

A trusted partner to global health organizations

Jones Healthcare’s clients include global pharmaceutical and wellness organizations, such as Johnson & Johnson, Nestlé, GSK Consumer Healthcare, and Galderma, as well as some of the largest pharmacy chains worldwide. The company partners with global government regulators and agencies, educational institutions, advocacy groups, and technology providers to build and trial solutions for the future, such as smart, connected packaging. Some of the partners include the Council of Colleges of Pharmacists of Catalonia in Spain, University of Waterloo, University of Ottawa, London Health Sciences Centre, The Ottawa Hospital, NXP® Semiconductors, TPG Rewards, among many others.

Ensuring better healthcare standards for packaging and medication dispensing solutions

Jones Healthcare focuses on improving patient adherence to medications through adherence packaging and blister pack solutions. This type of packaging organizes medications by the time of day and day of the week they should be taken – much like a calendar. There are more game-changing new products coming in the future from Jones Healthcare to improve and sustain medication adherence, which are currently in market trials, including the application of technology to multi-dose adherence packaging to create a “connected package” – part of the company’s CpaX™ portfolio.

One type of CpaX connected packaging, called the electronic adherence card, allows the package to communicate with software to record when a blister has been broken (or not) and register time, date, and geographic location. Another type of connected packaging uses near-field communication (NFC) tags. For prescription drugs, a tap on the medication packaging can launch educational videos about health conditions, what meds patients are taking, potential side effects, correct usage, and track adherence.

Both connected packaging technologies can be set up to send a text or email message to a caregiver or healthcare provider – hence, they know a loved one or patient has taken a medication. These technologies can also send patients reminders for doses. Overall, connected packaging can create an entire patient support program that builds and sustains adherence.

Jones Healthcare has also successfully launched to market over 50 different proven multi-panel folding cartons and multi-ply labels for clients in response to new safety regulations from Health Canada known as Plain Language Labelling Regulations. These designs offer up to 55% more surface area for new required non-prescription drug usage and indications, while maintaining the same retail shelf footprint, seamless performance on packaging filling lines, and optimal usability for consumers from shelf to home. Jones Healthcare was named Best of Show for Package Innovation by PAC Packaging Consortium for this new regulatory-compliant packaging offering.

Jones Healthcare has a team of industry experts dedicated to proactively monitoring the marketplace and building relationships with leading affiliates to uncover and respond to evolving requirements, trends, and best practices with differentiating products and services, such as smart and connected packaging platforms. The company’s full-service and integrated offerings include graphic and CAD design, print, and conversion for folding cartons, pressure-sensitive labels and smart packaging, blistering, bottling, pouching, travel vial filling, and secondary packaging services, as well as a range of medication, dispensing and delivery products for pharmacies including adherence packaging.

Serving the community with commitment

Jones Healthcare was founded over a century ago in health and wellness. Then, it meant apothecary packaging for pharmacists to deliver medication safely to patients. Today, helping people live longer, healthier lives remains the company’s purpose – it’s the core of everything the company does.

From packaging that protects and informs to new platforms that improve consumer outcomes, Jones Healthcare is invested in advancing wellness with unique experience across the healthcare spectrum. It has been in its DNA for over 100 years.

Contribution towards environmental sustainability

Jones Healthcare Group recognize their responsibility to create a better shared future for the world. They commit to making a difference by:

  • Minimizing their consumption to reduce its carbon footprint, including participation in the EcoVadis and Carbon Disclosure Project platforms
  • Maximizing circular design in customers’ packaging, supplier materials, and products for lower impact

From a sustainable development perspective, Jones Healthcare also focuses on creating an ethical, diverse, and inclusive organization where people thrive as a WEConnect International certified woman-owned business.

Major markets and expansion plans

Jones Healthcare focuses on health and wellness markets, including pharmacy, pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, personal care, medical device, and nutrition. The company also supports the legalized cannabis market in Canada. In November 2020, Jones Healthcare acquired Medi-Clear Medication Management Solutions based in Hull, UK, expanding its manufacturing capabilities overseas and bringing 14 medication adherence product patent families into the business.

The company is also investing $20 million in new equipment and technology from 2020 to 2022, including a fully integrated Uhlmann bottle line and two-lane blister packaging line, custom-built Koenig & Bauer Rapida 106 eight-color carton press, and custom-built Aquaflex LX 2350 label press.

Awards and Recognitions

Johnson & Johnson named Jones Healthcare the winner of the 2021 WEConnect International Rise to the Challenge Sector Award for Healthcare Supply Chain, recognizing trailblazing STEM organizations that have overcome significant challenges to gain market access.

Life Sciences Review named Jones Healthcare a 2021 Top Packaging Solution Provider, recognizing organizations at the forefront of providing exemplary packaging solutions in the life science space.

About the Co-owner

Christine Jones Harris is the Co-owner and Principal, Corporate Development at Jones Healthcare Group, a private company under the leadership of the family’s fourth generation. In this role, she leads innovation development and commercialization, external partner relationships, digital commerce, marketing and communications, and organizational talent strategy. After obtaining a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) degree from Queen’s University, Chris began her career in Toronto in the natural resource industry, holding various commercial management positions with Noranda Inc. in the zinc and alumina markets. She has led Jones with her husband Ron Harris since 1996 and currently serves on a number of Boards, including the Advanced Electronics and Photonics Advisory Board of the National Research Centre in Ottawa.

“Our full-service business units work with our dedicated Innovation Solutions Group to advance packaging for health and wellness brands, manufacturers, and pharmacies around the world.”

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