According to Packaging Digest, the European Aluminum Foil Association is celebrating pharmaceutical blister packaging solutions for their resource efficiency. This announcement may surprise some people, who haven?t considered the additional economical design advantages of blister packs.
Why blister packaging? The EAFA was celebrating Amcor Flexibles, which created a technology that can make the plastic ?blister? cavities deeper and with sharper wall angles than what was previously possible. As a result, it will be possible to fit more medication into a smaller blister card; or, manufacturers will be able to add additional cavities, without having to create a larger blister card.
This technology has ramifications industry wide. To begin with, it can help pharmaceutical companies lower their costs of production while still providing a quality product with all the information consumers need. It can help lower the cost of shipping — in bulk amounts, being able to save even a small amount of space pack by pack can add up to hundreds of dollars difference in shipping costs since it affects not only the space needed to transport goods, but the potential weight as well.
Packaging Digest points out that there is a third benefit to this formulation development — consumers are interested in receiving blister packs that are smaller, more convenient, and discreet so that they can take their medication privately and easily.
The foil organization also recognized a new lidding design from Constantia Flexibles. This design combines tissue paper with aluminum for pharmaceutical products. This lidding combination produces a foil backing that is 23% lighter than conventional foiling. It still offers an important barrier to exposure, while helping to, again, reduce costs and increase efficient use of resources.
Besides these new formulation development innovations, pharma packaging continues to move in the general direction of carded blister packaging thanks to the functionality of its design. While pill bottles remain popular, they have several drawbacks. The average consumer tends to under or over consume their prescribed medication, despite proper labeling; blister packs can help to more clearly identify not only the proper doses, but can also segment the doses by days of the week and month as needed. Carded packaging designs are also better at ensuring longevity; everything from air to moisture impacts the effectiveness of medication, and blister packs allow for pills to stay isolated in individual slots until the individual is ready to take them.