Child safety and drug packaging
Pediatrics are a patient population that often requires substantial planning, forethought, and consideration within the drug development life cycle. When formulating a medicine, scientists must consider the useability of a product as children may have difficulties in swallowing medicines, dislike the taste, require smaller doses than adults, and so on. When packaging medicines that are aimed at children, however, it is important to ensure the packaging is ‘child-resistant’ to avoid any potential overdose issues, which could be very harmful or even lethal.
“An increase in legislation and awareness globally about the pervasive issue [of pediatric-appropriate packaging] has led to the growth of the child-resistant packaging market, which is predicted to double over this decade from approximately $20 billion to $40 billion by 2031,” explains Rich Quelch, global head of marketing, Origin. “The emergence of effective packaging solutions is encouraging the industry to challenge the minimum legal requirements for both ethical and commercial advantage, conscious no doubt of the importance of brand value.”
Quelch expects that there will be continued advancements in child-resistant packaging throughout 2022 and that these advancements will be spurred on further by investment and innovation in the expanding cannabidiol market. “The shift towards non-re-closable designs will become more widespread, providing a higher level of protection to the medicine, plus a longer shelf-life,” he says.
Another popular advancement in Quelch’s opinion is ziplock bags, which offer a single-entry design requiring mature dexterity to be able to access the contents. “The bags can easily be opened and re-secured by adults but provide a barrier to entry to children. Many designs even include a flap that covers the zipper when the bag is closed, disguising the entry point as an added layer of security,” he explains. “Other recent packaging developments include visual distraction technologies designed to distort depth perception and cause children difficulty opening the product.”