Pharmaceutical Packaging Basics


Bottle packaging services

There are constant new advancements in the pharmaceutical packaging market. With consistent growth projected over the next five years, the industry is fueled by new product innovation as well as technical advancements in materials and manufacturing methods for items such as blister packaging and vial pharmaceutical packaging. A recent study from a Cleveland, Ohio research firm reports that globally, the demand for high quality pharmaceutical packaging will rise 6.5% annually over the next three to five years, surpassing an annual profit of $100 billion by 2020. This is in conjunction with the over $230 billion in sales reported by U.S. pharmacy and drug stores in 2011. Needless to say, packaging is a big deal.

Primary packaging is the packaging that touches the product. It has to be made in such a way that there is no interaction with the drug and that the product is not changed or damaged in any manner. It must also protect against climatic conditions and ensure adequate stability of the product over time. The packaging cannot leak in any way; it must be air tight and in some cases, reduce exposure to light. This is another vital element of the design; with bottle packaging, liners and seals ensure that the product is not tampered with.

Finally, there must be clear labeling and secure fastenings, some of which is regulated by The Drug Quality and Security Act, which governs and monitors the manufacturing of compounded drugs and makes it easier to trace drugs throughout the U.S. supply chain for legal security and health purposes.

For pharmaceutical packaging, there are a few different types.

Blister packaging
A blister pack is any of several types of pre-formed plastic packaging containing small items; the type that can be ?popped out? of a pocket in thermoformed plastic and covered with a thin layer of foil, paper, or both. For medicines, carded blister packs are most common, since they are airtight, tamper proof, and separate medicines into individual doses.

Strip packaging
Similar to blister packaging, strip packaging organizes medication doses for the consumer in clearly labeled plastic pouches. Portable, convenient, and safe.

Vial pharmaceutical packaging
Glass vial pharmaceutical packaging
is more sterile and strong than other types of containers. They carry low risk of chemical interactions, as well as providing longer shelf life for the product. And, perhaps less crucial, bottle packaging designs are available in many shapes and sizes.

There are four types of glass for pharmaceutical use.

1. Type I-Borosilicate: Highly resistant and chemically inert glass.
2. Type 2-Treated soda-lime: These are more chemically inert than Type I glass.
3. Type III- Regular soda lime: Untreated, with average chemical resistance.
4. Type IV- General Purpose soda lime: used only for products used orally or topically.

Whether blister packaging or vial pharmaceutical packaging, high quality products can make the difference in someone?s health and perhaps their life, especially if you consider things like tamper resistant packaging, product quality, and ample space for clear labeling. Timeliness and efficiency are also important, both in manufacturing and delivering packaging, but in other ways as well. The nature of medicine delivery, and medicine itself, is often changing with new innovations, such as prefilled syringes or unit dose vial pharmaceutical packaging, and medical packaging companies need to stay up-to-date on these developments.