The pharmaceutical industry has been growing at a rapid pace. Through that growth, the industry has recognized the needs of specific individuals by offering more user-friendly forms of medication. Without advancements in packaging, different forms of dosage would not be possible. Such packaging must be easy-to-open but still provide safety to the consumer and maintain the hermetic seal required to uphold the shelf life. Advances in pharmaceutical packaging materials, design, and technologies have resulted in a variety of user-friendly options.
Packaging Design for Convenience and Customization
The modern consumer expects convenient pharmaceutical packaging so products must be tailored to their preferences. As a result, pharmaceutical organizations have created medicines that can easily be taken quickly, such as chewable tablets. While this is convenient, packaging must be re-closeable and more portable to protect and easily access medication while on the move. Secondary packaging with cut-out slots and cardboard lids to create re-closeable flaps are becoming more commonplace. Also, re-closeable, small flip-top folding cartons are ideal for stick packs or sachets since they are easily accessible and can provide a single dose, thus eliminating blister packs or medicine bottles and preventing spillage.
The number one goal of pharmaceutical packaging is to shield products from the damaging external environment. When exposed to air, light, or moisture, many formulations become unstable, so protection is critical to maintaining effectiveness and safety. To do so, packaging engineers have developed user-friendly and protective dosage primary packages like foil strips, pouches, sachets, stick packs, and portable tubes. For drink medications, the ideal package is a sachet which is available in a variety of sizes and can be produced using laminated polyethylene terephthalate (PET) with aluminum foil to protect from light and moisture. Stick packs, which are ideal for orally disintegrating granules (ODG), can also be constructed from laminated PET aluminum foil. Chewable tablets can simply use aluminum paper foil while tubes can be constructed from aluminum or polypropylene (PP) to protect from light and moisture.
The designing of user-friendly pharmaceutical packaging is critical for older and elderly consumers. Since a significant proportion of customers consuming medication are elderly, poorly designed packaging can be a barrier to following regimens and accessing medicine. This is especially accurate regarding traditional tablets whereby older customers have difficulty pushing the tablets through blister packs or retrieving them from tamper-evident closures on medicine bottles. Packaging design features are being more incorporated into the execution to improve opening. For instance, the addition of tear notches on sachets and stick packs, and easy-to-open stoppers with short rip safety rings on traditional tubes.
The pharmaceutical industry recognizes those who experience difficulties ingesting medicines or opening packages and are responding with packaging improvements while continuing to protect the product. To improve the user experience while protecting the consumer and differentiating from the competition, the packaging must be intelligently designed and executed.