Packaging plays an essential role in the storage and administration of pharmaceutical products. Therefore, we must know the best materials for flexible medication packaging. As there is a call to fight against disposable plastic packaging, the pharmaceutical industry can find itself with an uphill struggle. The demands on the packaging are very complex and high. This is where manufacturers need to know the best packaging materials and why they would benefit consumers, the industry, but also the planet.
ALTERNATIVES TO RIGID PACKAGING
Rigid packaging tends to be made of hard plastic, glass, cardboard, tin, or aluminium. As rigid packaging is more substantial, as well as costlier, this does provide better protection against the elements. However, this means that we have got to find and a better alternative to keep pharmaceutical products intact. Flexible packaging is the alternative. This can be made of plastic sheet, cloth, paper, or other lightweight and flexible materials. The materials can be sealed using pressure or heat. The right packaging needs to protect contamination. While flexible packaging is less prone to defamation, it is important to choose the right packaging that is customisable to each individual need.
ENSURING PATIENT SAFETY
The safety of the person using the packaging is integral. Not just in the most visceral of senses, but with the fact that around 200,000 people in the EU are dying each year from not following medical advice, this results in an economic strain. Smart packaging is one tactic that can help to monitor dosage information and give patients reminders, and while this is the shape of things to come, smart packaging is something that needs to be given consideration to right now. This is especially true in terms of those people that don’t have authorised access to medicine, such as children. But this is where pre-filled syringes or tamper-evident packaging are becoming more mainstream. Child-friendly packaging need to adhere to child resistance levels of F4 to F1. Patient safety is paramount, and it’s a swift combination of the right packaging and clear instructions.
Compliance is pivotal in the pharmaceutical industry across the board. Make one wrong move, and it is costly. The demands placed on what suppliers are developing to make the packaging means that they have to follow a strict set of conditions:
Because there is this challenge of using lidding with the appropriate seal strength, the packaging still needs to be accessible to the consumer. This is especially prudent with an ageing population that might not necessarily be able to open a package easily. Different blister applications can consist of ALU-, PETM- and transparent PET laminates. The transparent range is particularly useful for products because the medication should be visible.
Swapping From Pouches To Trays
Packaging needs to be easily accessible, and simple to use. When in an emergency, the contents need to be accessed with ease. This means that from swapping over to trays rather than pouches, this will reduce time across the board.
Too Much Packaging
The packaging doesn’t necessarily have to have multiple components, especially during an emergency. If there is a lidded tray that houses another lidded tray and is contained within a paper sleeve, this is a lot of time and effort.
Necessary Information Should Be Easily Displayed
Details like the date code and the prescription need to be displayed properly, and if someone does not know where to look, again, in an emergency situation, this could be a waste of precious time.
Providing comprehensive safety to pharmaceuticals isn’t just in relation to the consumer, but it’s about tackling counterfeiting. Protecting the industry is as important as protecting the consumer. One way to prevent counterfeiting would be to have a holographic effect built into the packaging, without using any inks. This holographic effect can be visible to the consumer made with Nano-structures and can be customised accordingly.
The next generation of pharmaceuticals that need to offer suitable solutions should think about eliminating polyvinyl chloride (PVC) from packaging, which has been going on for some time but combined with the initiative to reduce carbon footprint and reduce chlorine from the waste stream, alternatives need to be developed in a cost-effective manner. Moving away from rigid packaging and embracing flexible packaging will result in a more conscious impact on the general environment. As companies are looking for environmentally friendly and recyclable packaging, it’s important that we move away from the norm. Flexible packaging has to form part of the overall structure of the dispensing of medication.