There’s a revolution happening in the pharma packaging industry and consumers are at the forefront. Experts in the pharma packaging industry are highlighting that healthcare spending can be reduced by providing patient-centric wrapping, printed with clear directions, that would allow patients to take care of themselves as directed.
Packaging Design Material Changes
In the past, pharma packaging materials have been centered around stability testing and regulatory approval, but that all seems like it’s about to change in order to appeal to the patient/customer…gaining a competitive advantage. Packaging design is also on the block for changes, which is also being evaluated for a patient-centric focus. Promoting things like safety, compliance, and usability to the customer is how pharma packagers are looking to boost sales. The high-end simplified packaging, that tech companies have been employing people for, is a perfect example of how packaging changes the image and perception of the quality of a product. Providing an innovative packaging design can no longer be ignored by pharma packagers.
Factors Affecting Pharma Packaging
There are many things that need to be considered when it comes to the future of pharmaceutical distribution and packaging in the United States.
- Amazon vs Walmart: Right now, Walmart is the largest retailer and its pharmacies are the largest distributors of medicine in the country. However, companies like Amazon, with low prices and the benefit of added convenience, slowly steal market share and are changing the pharma distribution landscape. The question is how will this affect the packaging and regulations in purchasing online versus in-store?
- Tech Companies: Large tech companies like Apple, Facebook and Google are trying to get into the packaging and distribution games and pharma is in their crosshairs. With additional competition from companies with extraordinarily deep pockets, a paradigm shift in how things are done seems almost inevitable.
- Packaging Information: As smarter packaging is rolled out, regulatory authorities will have to adapt and make decisions about how information is conveyed in ways that are more effective for consumers. New types of packaging and delivery systems will also need to be taken into consideration as online sales will inevitably grow.
- Mobile Devices: The popularity of smart phones has changed many aspects of consumerism and social and commercial interaction.
Functions of Pharmaceutical Packaging
Pharmaceutical packaging technology must consider the following five functions according to the National Institute of Health:
- Containment – The containment of the product is the most fundamental function of packaging for medicinal products. The design of high-quality packaging must take into account both the needs of the product and of the manufacturing and distribution system. This requires the packaging: not to leak, nor allow diffusion and permeation of the product, to be strong enough to hold the contents when subjected to normal handling and not to be altered by the ingredients of the formulation in its final dosage form.
- Protection – The packaging must protect the product against all adverse external influences that may affect its quality or potency, such as light, moisture, oxygen, biological contamination, mechanical damage and counterfeiting/adulteration.
- Presentation and information – Packaging is also an essential source of information on medicinal products. Such information is provided by labels and package inserts for patients.
- Identification – The printed packs or its ancillary printed components serves the functions of providing both identity and information.
- Convenience – The convenience is associated with product use or administration e.g., a unit dose eye drop which both eliminates the need for preservative and reduces risks associated with cross infection, by administering only a single dose.
Future Of Pharma Packaging
Overall, the future of pharma packaging is inevitably going to change and its direction is going to be impacted by multiple social, economic, and technological factors. It appears the main driving force behind this impending change is the need for better consumer education, improved delivery of products, and a heightened level of competition that can’t be ignored by pharmaceutical companies.
For more information about pharma packaging, contact Hughes Enterprises for packaging systems and solutions today at 1-267-409-6100.