Package Design Boosts Patient Compliance - Pharmaceutical Technology

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Package Design Boosts Patient Compliance
Compliance features help patients follow medication regimens correctly.


Pharmaceutical Technology
Volume 33, Issue 6

Wallet-pack designs

At least two wallet-pack designs were shown in March 2009 at the INTERPHEX show. Both patented designs achieve an F=1 child-resistant rating, yet are senior-friendly and compatible with manual and automated assembly. A large billboard area maximizes space for information, brand elements, and detailed dosing instructions.

One design relies on parallel stripes of adhesive to seal together front and back panels of solid bleached-sulfate paperboard. Strategically placed die-cuts and perforations and a carefully registered Tyvek tear strip provide access to the proper dose (CRx Pack child-resistant wallet pack and contract packaging services, Carton Service-Packaging Insights, Norris, TN).

Another child-resistant wallet pack seen at INTERPHEX relies on a laminate of solid bleached-sulfate paperboard–polyester–heat-seal coating and patented die-cutting, which allows access for adults, but keeps kids out. Frequently used for clinical trials, the design is compatible with virtually any blister-card configuration and structure, including cold-formed foil (3C Pak, 3C Packaging, Clayton, NC).

Yet another F=1 wallet pack design was named the Best Compliance Package in 2008 at Pharmapack in Paris. RxPak, a subsidiary of McKesson (San Francisco) will commercialize the child-resistant design in 2010. Available in single or double blister-pack configurations, the design combines compact size with a high level of structural integrity and can accommodate patient-loyalty or reward cards. A patented dual sliding mechanism ensures all the components (i.e., patient-information booklet, blisters, and outer carton) remain intact until the final dose is taken. In one variation, pulling the leaflet carrier causes the blister card to slide out the opposite side, thus providing access to the tablets. Prefolded patient-information booklets can contain 4–24 pages (Burgopak wallet pack, Burgopak, London).

Machines aid compliance

One early user of the dual slider design, Bayer (Newbury, UK), launched its Rennie Ice heartburn and indigestion product in a 12-count pack with two blister cards. The package includes ample space for eye-catching Rennie Ice branding and keeps the patient-information booklet, blisters, and outer carton connected at all times. A contract packager fills the compliance pack (Contract packaging, Brecon Pharmaceuticals, Hay-on-Wye, Wales).

At the contract packager, a 17-m machine handles single or double blister formats at speeds as high as 150 packs/min. A special feeding-wheel technology for fast pick-and-place operation, combined with a transverse product-infeed chain, minimizes format changeover time (Burgopak packaging line, Sigpack Systems, Beringen, Switzerland).

Today's flexible packaging machines are well-suited for compliance packs. For example, one new blister-packaging machine features a modular feeding area that accommodates extensions for multiphase products. In fact, all product feeding drives can be integrated into one unit for a simple exchange of feeding systems. A servo-driven web with gentle, creep-feed startup precisely positions film in the workstations. Other features of the 300-blister/min machine include tool-less changeover, a platen sealing station with integrated cooling and automated monitoring and control of sealing temperatures, extensive machine diagnostics, intuitive operating menus, and smooth machine surfaces for easy cleaning. A retractable transport conveyor rejects faulty or partially filled blisters and simplifies integration with a stacking system or cartoner (OYSTAR IWK Blisterpac BP 5 blister machine, OYSTAR USA Pharmaceutical Packaging Division, Fairfield, NJ).

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


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