Decisions regarding the appropriate type of packaging for distributing pharmaceutical products are critical to their success. The package has to be consumer-friendly and protect the product from damage or degradation caused by exposure to moisture, light, or gases.
The appropriate packaging design varies depending on the product type and the regulations and guidelines established by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA). There are a wide variety of packaging options available, such as blister packaging and other pharmacy packaging designs depending on the customer’s specifications.
Critical Industry Needs
As drug treatments, therapies, and technologies continue to become more complex, so do the industry’s packaging needs. Pharmacy packaging designs must meet FDA requirements for consumer safety and sterility. They often make use of non-traditional or non-standard technologies in packaging development. Packaging needs for retail industries, such as supermarkets, pharmacies, and other retail outlets, require additional consideration and often utilize state-of-the-art custom designs to create brand recognition.
The supermarket and retail industry requires drug packaging that meets unique specifications. Sensitive primary packaging must maintain the proper humidity level and protect the product from environmental factors that cause degradation. Different packaging materials offer protection from moisture, light, and air. Blister packs often use cold-formed aluminum to block out light and harmful UV rays, while vials use protective sleeves for the same purpose.
Pharmacy pill packaging may require the use of a coil to keep tablets from breaking during shipment. Medicine packaging requires sterility as well as proper aggregation for proper labeling and consumer dosages. Brite stock labeling ensures brand recognition, product visibility, and labeling requirements are met. Compliance packaging provides customers with the convenience of blister packs that are marked with the day and time of each dose, making medication management safer and easier.
The unique pharmaceutical packaging needs of supermarkets, pharmacies, and other retail customers include:
- Branded pharmaceuticals
- Specialty pharmaceuticals
- Orphan drugs
- Retail pharmacies
- Over the counter medications (OTC)
- Generic Drugs
- Private label pharmaceuticals
Packaging design must also consider the product’s intended use and who will be using it. OTC products and medications may require childproof packaging such as peel and push child-resistant backing for blister packs and child-resistant lids on bottles. The appropriate packaging may require tracking to help with patient compliance or in a clinical setting blind packaging, so the strength and identity of the product are concealed from participants.
Additionally, FDA regulations play an essential role in pharmaceutical packaging and labeling. Regulatory requirements now demand the serialization of individual commercial products to provide tracking and as a counterfeit deterrent. Serialization provides each product unit with a unique code enabling monitoring from the consumer to the store shelf and its source.
The FDA also has new requirements for the distribution of opioids and other medications that pose a risk of abuse. These new regulations require packaging designed to hold a week’s worth of drugs as opposed to a month. These regulations limit excess medications and drug diversions, leaving patients with fewer leftover opioids to be abused.
Innovative Packaging Methods for Healthcare
Unique pharmacy packaging design is necessary for a variety of products that require sterile packaging options including:
- Oral Strips
- Dental Strips
Below are several specialized packaging options to meet the specifications of any product.
Blister packaging is a safe and effective way of taking medicine as directed. It offers child-resistant packaging and ensures the proper dosage.
Bottling provides aggregation for pills and sterile packaging for both pills and liquid medications.
Folding cartons provide sensitive primary packaging for numerous applications.
Paper pouches are ideal for single-dose packaging of pills as well as wipes, transdermal patches, and some liquids.
Foil and Non-Foil Based Flow Wraps
Foil and non-foil based laminates are suitable for a variety of packaging needs such as diagnostics, inhalers, physician samples, and syringes.
In Need of Pharmaceutical Packaging?
Developing the appropriate packaging for each client’s particular needs requires an understanding of the product, marketing goals, and FDA regulations concerning safety, labeling, and packaging.
At Econo-Pak, we have been providing specialty packaging for the food and pharmaceutical industries for over 35 years. We work with our clients to ensure that their packaging needs are met and their products enter the market with quality and efficiency. Our state-of-the-art 200,000 square foot facility enables us to meet the packaging specifications for any product, and our highly skilled team is dedicated to customer service.
Contact us today to request a quote for your product or to learn more about how we can meet your packaging needs.