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Hallie Forcinio is packing editor for Pharmaceutical Technology and Pharmaceutical Technology Europe, firstname.lastname@example.org.
An annual Healthcare Compliance Packaging Council competition recognizes innovative pharmaceutical packages designed to improve patient adherence.
Avive’s personalized, multi-medication 30-day dosing system won the 2012 Compliance Package of the Year award in an annual competition organized by the Healthcare Compliance Packaging Council (HCPC). HCPC also recognized a pharmacy seal pack from Information Mediary Corp. as first runner-up, and a 30-day dose pack from Eli Lilly as second runner-up. Awards were presented at the association’s RxAdherence 2013 meeting, on March 12, 2013, in Florham Park, New Jersey.
The winning Avive package was developed by MWV Healthcare and LTCPCMS, its pharmacy innovation partner, with input from patients and pharmacists. Each Avive package features a month’s supply of prefilled medication packets, labeled with medication names and dosing instructions. The container also holds patient education information. The Avive service is designed to increase medication adherence and consumer convenience, allow more time for pharmacist–customer counseling, and reduce medication errors.
The Avive system synchronizes a person’s medications, so all prescriptions are picked up on the same day each month from one pharmacy. The system also creates a customized regimen, which consolidates dosing times consistent with universal medication schedules and aligns with the consumer’s daily habits. A central-fill location dispenses medications via a robotic system and pharmacist oversight. At the local pharmacy, the pharmacist makes a final inspection prior to pickup.
The multi-medication packaging format delighted the judging panel. One judge noted the Avive dosing system “truly brings us to a personalized medication approach.” Another judge commented that the dosing system “…seems to be tailor-made for elderly patients, who often have multiple drugs to take, while assisting them in maintaining compliance.”
The first runner-up in the competition, the Med-ic 21 Dose Multi-Med Pharmacy Seal Pack from Information Mediary Corp., was initially developed for a study to monitor Hepatitis C. The package provides large blisters for multiple dosages, is easily filled at the pharmacy, and can be heat- or cold-sealed. An electronic content monitor (ECM) and grid hidden inside the paperboard records when the patient breaks through the package. This information is stored on the ECM tag and can be read when the empty package is returned to the pharmacy. It also can be read via Smartphone, near-field communication terminal, or radio-frequency identification reader.
One judge commented, “This package is quite unique—especially with a way to transmit information about adherence to the pharmacist straight from the packaging. The ECM tag is a great feature that does not require a patient report of behavior….The blister packs are easy to push through, which is good for individuals with arthritis. This can allow pharmacies to send a reminder call or text and interact with the patient to figure out ways to improve adherence. This design also allows for pharmacists to package multiple medications per day in one blister pack for the patient.”
Second runner-up honors were earned by a MWV Dosepak for an Eli Lilly Strattera Physician Sample, copacked by AndersonBrecon. Eli Lilly Strattera treats attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in children, teens, and adults and is prescribed (based on the weight of the patient) in a titrating regimen to reach the target dose. The 30-day Strattera Physician Sample Dosepak features a color-coded, calendarized format that identifies the starting dose of 18 mg for the first five days of therapy and progresses to 25 mg for the second five days, 40 mg for the third five days, and 60 mg for the remaining 15 days. Other versions present 10/18/25/40 mg or 25/40/60/80 mg regimens.
To further support patient compliance, the Strattera design incorporates dosing instructions that include tips to avoid side effects. The pack also directs patients to a supporting website for further information and possible discounts. A patient medication guide is included in the cover panel of the Dosepak sleeve.
“This package is ideal for individuals beginning a new medication regimen,” noted one judge, adding, “The color-coded sections for each increasing titration of medication helps the patient know what they are taking and also be able to pinpoint side effects to specific dosages. The opening design is great for preventing medication overdose and child resistance. Additional pluses are the easy-to-read instructions included on the inside panel.”
—Hallie Forcinio is Pharmaceutical Technology's packaging editor, email@example.com.