The chances are high that you have, at some point your life, taken a prescription drug of some kind. Even if in some anomaly you haven’t, it is very likely that someone you know has been prescribed medication. The pharmaceutical industry is a major one in the U.S. and indeed worldwide, with 48.5% of Americans having taken at least one prescription drug of some kind within the past 30 days. Prescription medication is usually filled in 30 days intervals of some kind, with many picking them up directly at their pharmacies, while others have them mailed to their homes. It depends heavily on what your insurance provider requires. But the fact is that no matter how you get your medication, drug sourcing is a major issue in this country. While you may acquire your medication legally and indeed use it legally, many unfortunately do not. A huge issue in the pharmaceutical industry is that of people falsifying illnesses or conditions, or perhaps exaggerating them in order to be prescribed medication that they plan on selling illegally. Another issue the potential of medication being given to the wrong people — this is a problem that comes up in an industry subject to human error. As such, it’s a major priority that pharma packaging is not only clear, but protective. It needs to be accessible to pharma track and trace systems, but physically usable by the patient. As daunting as this can be, there are many different types of pharmaceutical packaging that can do the job — both in regards to protectiveness and clinical labelling. Let’s look into them below.
1. Blister Packaging
Blister packaging, often known as clamshell packaging due to the fact that many can fold into themselves, is a popular form of packaging for hard pills. This is because, with its compact and easy to package nature, it makes clinical labelling easy and medication highly accessible. Often, blister packaging companies offer services like lot numbering and expiration dating. This makes the medication easier to track. At the same time, there are drawbacks to this type of packaging. As flexible as blister packaging is, it’s also easier for people to open — potentially the wrong people. This is a particular issue in the cases of medication that is potentially toxic and can have negative side effects if the person who wasn’t intended to take it does. Therefore, blister packaging is usually used for very select types of medication. ‘
2. Bottle Packaging
Like blister packaging, bottle packaging makes clinical labelling easy and is used for pills. However, where blister packaging has security issues, bottle packaging usually does not. As a hard type of packaging, it is a bit more durable and can perhaps better shield the medication involved from temperature issues or damage. But even more appealing is the fact that bottles can come with lock caps. These caps, also known as child safety caps, make it difficult for these bottles to be opened unless you can read the directions. Children often either can’t read the directions or don’t notice them — and in fact in some cases, they lack the strength necessary to push and twist the child safety caps. As such, it’s very important for pills that could be more harmful in the wrong hands are bottled correctly. Bottle packaging is also easy to store, and the clinical labelling is readily readable.
3. Pre-Filled Syringes
Some medications need to be administered in liquid form. While in some cases these medications are drinkable, in many they are meant to be administered through a syringe. Some patients have such medications dispensed in pouches; they buy syringes separately and fill them on their own. It is potentially safer and more convenient, however, to have these syringes pre-filled and delivered ready to go. This saves time for the patient, and ensures that there is less of a risk of a mistake. It is in general, a better option for many patients, especially the elderly.