Research Guides Teva’s Packaging Redesign

Hallie Forcinio

Hallie Forcinio is packing editor for Pharmaceutical Technology and Pharmaceutical Technology Europe, editorhal@sbcglobal.net.

Equipment and Processing Report

Equipment and Processing Report, Equipment and Processing Report-07-17-2019, Volume 12, Issue 7

Teva harmonizes its generic drug packaging brands under its corporate umbrella with a redesign.

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries has begun rolling out harmonized packaging to present a unified image for its global product line. The Israel-based firm serves 200 million patients in more than 60 markets each day. Since its founding more than 100 years ago, it has grown largely by acquisition to become the world’s largest producer of generic medicines. “Up until now, there never was any kind of global effort to unify the brands under the Teva name,” reports Noa Shumovitch, vice-president of Marketing Brand & IMC at Teva. “In the past,” she recalls, “many packages didn’t have the Teva logo at all, or it was a minor element.”

The decision to unify brands spurred a three-year effort to identify the needs of stakeholders around the world, consider all touch points, build an action plan, develop and test packaging concepts, and finalize and validate the design. The process involved multiple rounds of research with input from 13,000 patients, more than 9300 caregivers, and almost 1000 physicians, pharmacists, and payers.

The result is a new logo and redesigned packaging (see Figure 1), which is being launched worldwide as supplies of existing designs are depleted. This phased rollout prevents waste and dovetails with Teva’s sustainability objectives. 

Research showed a new design needed to simplify the patient/caregiver experience, build trust and confidence, address daily needs and routines, and be uplifting. Additional studies, including eye-tracking, helped select and refine the final design and ensured it would work across the company’s complex portfolio of products and packaging formats. Stakeholders were enthusiastic about the refined concept with 93% of patients, 95% of pharmacists, and 100% of physicians agreeing the most important information is easy to find (see Figure 2). Finally, the team worked with regulators in various markets to ensure the design meets their requirements.

One of the primary goals was to reduce the level of frustration expressed by many survey respondents. “Many patients have multiple chronic conditions and find it difficult to determine which pill is which and when to take what,” reports Shumovitch. “Frustration is high among pharmacists too because they have to be able to identify the correct package as quickly as possible with no mistakes,” she adds. 

Clear navigation and easy-to-understand instructions immediately guide patients and caregivers to the information they need to ensure the medicine is taken correctly. The design is flexible enough to work across all markets and be acceptable to regulators in each jurisdiction. As a result, the design can present visual representations of the product, or not, depending on local requirements. The built-in flexibility also accommodates a range of price points without increasing costs. “Different markets need different price points; we didn’t want to affect affordability,” explains Shumovitch. 

The navigation path leads from the patient information to the Teva logo, which eventually will be on all packages with the exception of a few strong heritage brands. “It’s a stamp of quality,” says Shumovitch. A green color was chosen early in the process based on a comprehensive landscape analysis that showed it’s relatively unique in the pharmaceutical category. “Green also is associated with health and well-being,” notes Shumovitch. 

The project involved all areas of Teva, drawing team members from corporate brand and communications, operations, supply chain, research, finance, and regulatory departments. Outside resources also were used, primarily Conran Design Group, part Havas Group, which provided assistance with the research and design of the global concept. In addition, Shumovitchsays, “Each market has its own design agencies and partners, and design centers within Teva help with implementation.” 

The redesign touches all packaging components except the highly regulated leaflet but made no changes to substrates, containers, or sizes with the exception of standardizing on a Teva green cap for bottles. Although it’s too early for firm sales data, “Initial response has been amazing,” says Shumovitch. “We thought we had a good design, but we did not expect such high numbers. We’re very excited. It’s been a very long journey for us,” she concludes.