Compliance Packaging Spikes Innovation In Medical Packaging

Compliance packaging is a friendly way to help consumers take their medication on schedule. And blister packaging provides the perfect platform for it. 

Let’s establish why compliance packaging is such an important issue today. If you’ve ever been charged with taking a medication daily, there have surely been days when you forgot about it. Whether that lead to unintentionally skipping a day or just a few hours, it has an effect. Or maybe you’ve been prescribed a device that you’ve been using incorrectly. Inhalers are notorious for misuse. With over half of the US population on some kind of medication for a chronic condition, nonadherence is a big issue. So much so that a 2008 Medco survey estimates that half of those people don’t adhere to the given guidelines for their medication. A year later, the Network for Excellence in Health Innovation cited this as responsible for up to $290 billion in unnecessary costs every year. 

How Thermoformed Blister Packs Aid Compliance Packagingcompliance packaging with blister packs

As mentioned above, compliance packaging makes it easy for users to to take the right dosage at the right time. Here are some examples from the 2016 HCPC Compliance Package of the Year winner of how they used blister packaging in their design. 

The winner created packaging for a two week dosing regimen. The blisters are designed like a calendar, with each box making up two two-week packs. With red arrows leading the user from pack to pack, it’s clear how they should progress and take the dosage. The thermoformed blister packs ensure that the user doesn’t take more or less than is prescribed. 

In addition to keeping the dosage consistent and accurate, blister packs play another role. With the aging baby boomer market, packaging accessibility becomes a consideration.  Being able to open pill bottles requires dexterity and hand strength… Something we tend to lose as we age. Blister packs allow for users of varying strength and dexterity access with ease. 

Implications in Other Industries

While the term is usually applied to the pharmaceutical or medical packaging industries, compliance packaging measures can apply everywhere.  Making retail packaging that’s easy to use, regardless of hand strength, is a standard to which all packaging should be held. Designing labels and lids for thermoformed packaging that inform and educate users is a great use of space. 

What measures has your organization taken to create a compliance packaging approach?

Custom Blister Packaging Gets Smart

It’s not enough for custom blister packaging to provide security, support visual elements, and address security concerns. It has to be smart, too. 

To be fair, this idea of ‘smart packaging’ has been around for a while. It evolved out of ‘active packaging.’ Active packaging simply refers to some kind of function beyond containment of a product. Something as simple as an expiration date meets this criteria. As technology embeds itself further and further into the fabric of our lives, from smartphones to AI systems, this expectation of engagement extends to packaging. Intelligent or smart packaging refers to some method of information transfer between users and packaging. 

You’ve probably heard the word ‘smart’ appended to other things. Smart phones, most commonly, but also smart houses, smart cars, etc. When it comes to packaging, it has just as many possible variants. Moisture control. RFID tags. Oxygen control. The list goes on. But when we talk about custom blister packaging, there are some interesting immediate applications we’re seeing in the real world. 

Custom Blister Packaging for PharmaceuticalsThermoformed blister packaging

IMC is one company leading the way when it comes to smart packaging, specializing in pharmaceuticals. These kinds of specialized packages need to combine branding and functionality seamlessly. Custom blister packs meet the bill. 

Blister packs allow custom-fit cavities to adhere to a cardboard or other sturdy packing. It allows users to see the product while giving package designers some leeway with the hard backing. And this is what draws IMC to custom blister packs. While traditional pill bottles–even with smart bottle caps–the space to embed electronics or other elements necessary for smart packaging is limited or non-existent. With blister packaging, it’s easy to encase something in the backing. Whether it’s an electronic designed to monitor dosage or help users with the product, it offers a different kind of experience. 

One of the more practical reasons for this kind of smart packaging is that adherence to prescribed routines is a major issue for patients and doctors. HealthPrize Technologies estimated in 2016  that such non-adherence lead to $637 billion losses in treatment for chronic conditions. Adding functionality that can, for example, remind users when to take their medication could lead to a decrease in  major medical events. 

Custom Forming & Smart Packaging

Thermoforming in any incarnation–trays, blister packs, or clamshells–can work with the demands of smart packaging. Easy to customize for any product, all of them offer a high degree of branding and functionality. Contact a representative today to learn more!