Innovations Enable Packaging to Play Many Roles - Pharmaceutical Technology

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Innovations Enable Packaging to Play Many Roles
Drug packaging performs functions such as ensuring patient well-being, providing information, preventing tampering, blocking counterfeiting, and improving compliance. Since 1977, packaging innovations have occurred in four major categories. The author provides an overview of major packaging improvements that have emerged in the past 30 years.

Pharmaceutical Technology

Development must continue on all fronts, however. Despite our best efforts, fewer than 50% of prescriptions are taken correctly, tens of thousands of medication errors occur each year, an estimated 10% of all drug products worldwide are counterfeit, and quality-control lapses serious enough to warrant a recall put consumers in jeopardy on a monthly, if not weekly basis.

Hallie Forcinio is Pharmaceutical Technology's "Packaging Forum" editor, 4708 Morningside Dr., Cleveland, OH 44109, tel. 216.351.5824, fax 216.351.5684,

Where were you 30 years ago?

"I was working as a marketing communications assistant at an engineering and construction firm, living in my first apartment, and looking for a new job. I found a new job that led me to meet some nice people, including the man I eventually married, but was otherwise mostly awful. I spent my spare time editing a biannual newsletter for the Kappa Phi Club, an organization for Christian collegiate women."


1. Consumer Product Safety Commission, "Child Resistant Packaging Saves Lives," CPSC Document #5019, (accessed June 7, 2007).

2. CPSC, "Use Child-Resistant Containers," CPSC Document #5018, (accessed June 7, 2007).

3. US Food and Drug Administration, Prescription Drug Marketing Act—Pedigree Requirements under 21 CFR Part 203, Draft Compliance Policy Guide 160.900 (Rockville, MD, June 2006).

4. Hallie Forcinio, "Bar Coding Deadline Looms," Pharm. Technol. 29 (5), 42–46 (2005).

5. Holly Wagner, "One-on-One with Pharmacists Gives Patients Medication Advantage," Research News (Ohio State University, Columbus, OH), (accessed June 7, 2007).

6. Hallie Forcinio, "Improved Blister Packaging Benefits Consumers, Caregivers, and Drug Makers," Pharm. Technol. 27 (9), 38–45 (2003).

7. Hallie Forcinio, "Interphex Showcases Packaging Innovations," Pharm. Technol. 31 (6), 42–47 (2007).


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