Pharmaceutical packaging currently absorbs a major section of the overall packaging market. It is significantly focused on preserving and maintaining the quality of the enclosed medicine. However,
with progress in drug administration methods (e.g. prefilled syringes, blow fill seal vials, powder applications, and others), pharma packaging, too, has evolved drastically to embrace the emerging innovative formulations. Besides, the customers are now more aware of their treatment options and favour customised, individualised packaging solutions that can ensure the effectiveness of medicines and at the same time are easy to use.
Let’s take a look at some of the trend-setting innovative pharma packaging that has set the ball rolling and redefined the user experience.
3M™ Intelligent Control Inhaler [Branded by 3M]
It is a breath-actuated, patient-centric inhaler to ensure both correct use and adherence. It detects the right inspiratory flow by the patient and then releases the full dose automatically. The inhaler comes with an app that provides useful information about the dosage, sets refill reminders, and gives technical feedback on the correct technique of the inhaler use.
CerePak® [Branded by: Westrock]
It is a microprocessor enabled packaging to track the patient’s adherence to the dosage regimen during the clinical trials. The microprocessor chip, invisible through the packaging, records the date, time, and location of each tablet removed from the pack. It incorporates a “prompt” technology to nudge patients to take medicines through vibration and light.
Constantia Teos [Branded by: Constantia Flexibles]
It is a tamper-evident packaging specially designed for medical devices. It is a peelable, removable cover film which is destroyed when opened. Upon demand, this opening protection can be integrated into various open or concealed options – from holograms and safety films to pigmentation and concealed pattern deviations that can further aid in combating the illegal trade of counterfeit pharmaceutical products.
Contactless Multidose Delivery Cap [Branded by Virbac group]
It is a smart cap dispenser for reducing contamination due to handling. The user can extract liquid into a vial (a small container) by connecting a syringe to the smart cap. The smart cap ensures the remaining liquid stays decontaminated. The device shows the potential for application in the human and animal health market.
Flexi-Cap [Branded by: Schreiner MediPharm]
It is a counterfeit-proof combination of label and bottle closure or cap. The bottle container is completely enclosed in the cap and then the label is applied on the cap. There is a peel-open strip attached to the cap. When the strip is opened, the upper half of the cap comes out while the bottom part, along with the label, remains attached to the container. Any attempt to remove the rest of the cap destroys the label indicating illegal reuse of the medicine. As compared to shrink-wrap film versions, this design also scores points with its heat-resistant manufacturing process, which allows easy packaging of temperature-sensitive drugs. Also, the unique combination of label and cap does not affect the brand and label design. Flexi-Cap can be integrated with the other overt and covert features of anti-counterfeit packaging.
SelfDose™ [Branded by West Pharmaceutical Services Inc.]
This device is appropriate for patients taking regular injectable medicines such as insulin doses. The device includes a passive safety system to cover the needle before and after the injection to prevent needlestick injuries to the patient. It also features audible and visual end-of-dose indicators to ensure that the prescribed dose has been administered successfully. SelfDose™ can help minimise pain as compared to spring-based and syringe injectors. The injector also has an option to customise needle depth to optimise drug absorption.
Thermochromic labels [Branded by Hally Labels]
These labels show colour change and indicate that the medicine has not been stored at a specified temperature. The labels incorporate irreversible thermochromic ink for designing pharmaceutical labels. This ink retains the change in colour once the temperature changes. The technique is highly useful for sensitive pharmaceuticals which require deep freezing and delicate handling.
Wasim, R., S.Brito, R., Sreedhar, C., Kalaam, E., B.Nagendra, B., P, S., Vardhan, G. H., M, V., & Reddy, K. B. (2012). INNOVATIONS IN PHARMACEUTICAL PACKAGING – AN UPDATE. International Journal of Advanced Biomedical & Pharmaceutical Research, 1(1)(July), 29–39.
Agrawal, N. (2018). Dose of Innovative Pharmaceutical Packaging You Surely Need. https://bizongo.com/blog/innovations-in-pharmaceutical-packaging-2018/
INNOVATIVE PHARMACEUTICAL PACKAGING: BEAUTIFUL, SAFE AND SUSTAINABLE. (2016). https://www.interpack.com/en/TIGHTLY_PACKED/SECTORS/PHARMACEUTICS_PACKAGING/News/Innovative_pharmaceutical_packaging_beautiful,_safe_and_sustainable